A Good Reason to Get Lost

black hills scenery on top of rock - travis hIt’s the last weekend before college starts up again. It’s my birthday. My plan to visit Canada didn’t work out. Where do I go for my last adventure before the semester? The Black Hills. The Black Hills of South Dakota is one of the most beautiful places that the United States has, and always has adventure to offer.

My brother Anthony, his friend Adrian and I headed out to the Black Hills with very little idea of where we were actually going to go while we were out there. All we knew was we wanted to hike something, catch some trout and sleep in a tent.

The start of our lost adventures begins with me not being able to find proper directions on my smartphone to the campground area we wanted. The service can be a pain out in the winding, deep valleys of the Spearfish Canyon area, but we knew there had to be a campground around. After checking out two different campgrounds in the middle of nowhere and finding everything full, we drove in complete darkness to somewhere we didn’t even know existed. I don’t remember the name of the place, but it had a deep valley, its own little lake, a big dock, and sign that said “Kayak Ln.,” so it felt like home to me. We set up our tents in the pitch black darkness and explored the campground the next morning.

upload 9.2015 190Although the campground was amazing, our goal of the trip led us to the Devil’s Bathtub. We packed up camp and loaded our backpacks with pudding packs, oat bars, and water bottles and headed out to adventure up the trails. My brother Anthony had also brought his fancy pull-apart fishing pole for when we found somewhere that looked promising to fish. The water up there is naturally cold, but that didn’t stop us from taking the brisk, chilly dip in the deep pools of water you find along the streams. Along with that, we passed around the fishing pole and all caught a little trout or two. We tossed them back in and kept walking. The Bathtub was great and we spent several hours there, but the next day’s adventure was where being lost became amazing.

We were in search of Hippie Hole, the well-known cliff jumping spot in the middle of an enormous valley. With the help of some random kid on a dirt bike, he led us and our Monte Carlo down a trail meant for nothing other than off road vehicles. Along this trail, we drove up hill after hill where we were able to see for miles and miles. We loved the view, but before we ran out of daylight we made our way to Hippie Hole first.

upload 9.2015 195After hiking some pretty rough terrain, jumping up and down boulders and trees, we finally got there. We each took the polar plunge twice into the water, and spent a good amount of time just relaxing in the cove behind the waterfall you jump over. Running out of daylight, we headed back to that peak we passed to see the land and watch the sunset.

This trail, in the middle of we-don’t-know-where, led to probably the most amazing view I have personally seen. We climbed up this giant rock, and just sat there. That’s all I needed to do to enjoy the moment, just sit there and look around. Stare at world.  We spent every last moment of daylight we could, looking around, just enjoying nature in all its natural beauty.


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