You have to start somewhere right?
Before you even take the trip you'll need to do the research. Before research, you need the gear. Before the gear, you need the license. Before that, you need the will. Practice, practice, practice every step of the way.
Gaby and I decided to take ourselves out of our comfort zones and go to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We'd be camping much of the way.
'Motocamping', that is.
It's a rough life. The elements are your biggest challenge. From blistering plains to freezing nights, rain-soaked rides both day and night, we were ready but we weren't sure what, exactly, we were ready for.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E01: Humble Beginnings
Why not. We've never been to Nebraska before! Let's do it!
Gaby and I take up an AirBnB reservation in a small Nebraskan town on the Nebraska - South Dakota border. We arrive way after dark but they were more than happy to take us in.
It was interesting to see how simple life was there. It was our first night away from home and we couldn't wait to find more adventure on the road ahead!
Due to time constraints we were unable to visit everything we could've seen along the way but I paid homage to them and their stories in this video.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E02: The Prairie Life
After finally getting ourselves situated with our gear and supplies we can get to venturing out and seeing what the Black Hills have to offer!
Gaby was excited to find a cave, luckily there was more than one to see. It was the Labor Day weekend of 2015 so traffic was heavy.
In this video I also break down the different political and geological districts that make up the area.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E03: Subterranean Odyssey
Let's go for a ride!
The Black Hills are a motorcycle paradise for one big reason- it has some of the curviest, most scenic highways in the country!
The Needles Highway is one of the most famous. Named for the rocky spires that decorate the highway, it's a road that is simply just there to be a ride. There are no real 'turns' off of the highway once you get on, it's just a straight shot through the center of the Custer State Park. Enjoy!
Click Here: 2W1C S01E04 The Needles Highway
Time to move.
After spending a couple nights in the colder forests above Keystone, we decided to move to a lower altitude in Custer State Park after seeing how beautiful it was.
One deciding factor was that we could have campfires in a fire pit instead of relying on a torch for heating food (and us!). The later days in the summer truly cool off in the higher altitudes of the Hills.
In this episode I also explain my personal system of classifications of camping.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E05: Moving Day
This marks the farthest I've ever traveled west by land.
Known as 'flyover country' to many, the countryside on the west side of the Black Hills is a bit of a mystery to me. I've lived around plains and forests my whole life but this was something different.
In this episode, Gaby and I cross over into Wyoming on a day trip to the national monument of Devil's Tower. Before getting there, however, I realize how FAR APART everything is. We almost didn't make it to the next gas station!
From here I realize how important it is to plan out your pit stops. It doesn't matter if you're at 3/4 of a tank. On a motorcycle, you might end up becoming a hitch hiker.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E06 Forever West
Cowboys and Indians. Outlaws and Lawmen.
The United States has an almost romantic infatuation with its western history. It's brought its own genre of movies, tv series, dramas, and novels.
My philosophy, however, is that truth is better than fiction. The names of local landmarks are tied to their history. The overlapping white and native histories combine with an element of lawlessness and anarchy.
It took grit to thrive in the 19th century western US. Many survived on wit or honor alone.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E07 Legends of the West
Before becoming a superpower, selfless men fought for what they believed was right to make the United States what it is today.
Washington defied the odds and broke the colonies away from a world superpower, The United Kingdom through his leadership.
Thomas Jefferson laid down the rules which would define Western values for centuries to come with the US Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln guided the United States through the Civil War, the greatest internal struggle the nation ever had. Not only did he win, he fought to bring the South back into the fold through Reconstruction.
Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt brought progressive, populist ideas to the main stage in US politics. The most powerful monopolies were no match for his 'swinging stick'. The common American worker was guaranteed rights like they'd never had before. He pushed the US into industrialization and onto the world stage through his foreign policy.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E08 The Men on the Mount
Tonight is the last night in the Black Hills
We've seen all we can see and we're about to make our way back east toward Minnesota. In this episode I complete the 'Camping Table' and attempt to start a fire after a good rainfall.
Rain and cold can be a dangerous situation, so we challenge ourselves for one more night before the trek back east.
Click Here: 2W1C S01E09: Black Hills Stomp
Gaby and I make our way into the Badlands for one last stop on their way back from the Black Hills. The land here is harsh and historically known for how hard it is to navigate. It's not good land for farming and there are not many trees making it sunburn city for a white boy like me.
This area is also where the Wounded Knee massacre occurred, one of the darkest parts of US history and the end marker of the Sioux Wars in the Midwest.
It's a good lesson for today: our core American values of freedom of speech and religion can be thrown away out of fear. These lessons need to be taught.
This is also the end of Season 1. Enjoy!
Click Here: 2W1C S01E10: What Makes These Badlands Bad