Wandering the West in a pickup

SHoll

Active member
So, I've been a little behind. It's better for everyone to follow me along on Instagram as it's much easier to use for me. But, I like adding on ExPo too.

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After Kentucky it was highway and back roads to St Louis. This was my first big trip stop. I've never seen the Arch. Luckily I got to ride to the top of it. I also went to a Cards game at Busch stadium and saw the Budweiser factory.

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SHoll

Active member
After crossing the Mississippi I went to Rolla, MO to meet a friend and crash for the night. The next morning I got up and headed south (luckily not far) to the Mark Twain National Forest. I'm not an avid reader by any means, but I've always liked his work. The forest itself was beautiful and I got to explore some gravel roads through it before I continued west.

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Up until that point I wasn't enjoying my road trip in the driving sense. I was just racking up highway miles with nothing to look at, but now that was changing. I took MO-7 on my way to Kansas City and I have to say that it was a great driving road. Higher speed limits, less traffic, windy wooded roads, and there were stops along the way. I drove over the Lake of the Ozarks and stopped at the Truman dam and Hooper House during my lunch.

Kansas City seemed really cool but it was a rainy day when I was there. Nonetheless I toured the WWI museum and memorial before eating at Woodyards Backyard BBQ (from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives).

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SHoll

Active member
If you have any questions or comments of my travels please leave a reply! I'll keep posting until I'm caught up.
 

SHoll

Active member
Nice report...how is the bed cap camping setup working out?
It's fine so far. I built the platform to cover half the bed. It's fine for my size and live/have gotten used to the headroom. But my issue is that I have a lot of gear, including my mountain bike on the other half the bed, so I can't walk anywhere and need to move some stuff to access what's in totes under the platform. For the future I'll definitely get a bike rack or not bring the bike and I'm already considering adding a roof rack over the cab to put more stuff on the roof.
 

SHoll

Active member
UPDATE: I'm obviously very far behind if you've checked my Instagram and compare it to ExPo. However, after departing KC I made my way through Iowa and into SD. I stopped in Sioux Falls at the USS South Dakota museum and memorial, checked out the falls, and explored downtown. This took the second half of my day and come around 7pm I hit the road in search of a campsite in Mitchell, SD.20180821_164113.jpg
 

SHoll

Active member
I got to see the Corn Palace in Mitchell which is an entire building covered in corn and husks. They re-do the exterior every year and supposedly is very popular though I never heard of it. The building has been around since the late 1800s. Mitchell is a small town and this is the main attraction. I left and continued west on the interstate until a roadside billboard caught my eye.

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SHoll

Active member
I noticed a billboard in the middle of nowhere that read "Real General Lee". Being a car nut and having enjoyed watching The Dukes of Hazzard when I was little, I had to see the car. It was in a small collection at the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, SD. I stopped and killed about an hour and a half looking at their collection of vehicles from the 19teens to the 70s. They even had a Superbird, another one of my favorite cars. Besides automobiles they have antique furniture, toys, signage, tractors, and old west collectables. It was worth the stop. If I remember correctly the place was on an episode of American Pickers.

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SHoll

Active member
I have WAY more photos than what I'm sharing but the server cant process many of the files. I will try and stay more up to date and have a lot of catching up to do still. My Instagram always has new content and will be more real time, but to accomodate those on ExPo who don;t have one, I promise I'll do my best at posting on this thread. Again, if you have any questions, travel suggestions, comments, leave them. I love learning from others and hearing stories and if there is any way I can help with your adventures I will.
 

SHoll

Active member
After the auto show I went to 1880 town in South Dakota. It's a good size Western recreation that contains countless Western artifacts. Some if the buildings are actually from real Western towns and were moved by truck there. It took me a little over an hour to explore the whole place (and I was kind of rushing). There are animals such as longhorns, mules, horses, and even a camel. Definitely a cool place to bring your kids. There are movie props from Dances With Wolves here to such as wagons, costumes, etc. I won't post pictures of it unless someone requests simply because you can look up the place online if you're interested. Was neat but nothing completely blew me away nor do I have a huge passion for the west.

After leaving I continued on the interstate west to Badlands NP. It was getting late so I got some low light photos in (I'm by no means a photographer) before grabbing the last campsite in the park. Here are a couple images from the evening:

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I would hike and explore the park in more detail the next day.
 

SHoll

Active member
Badlands NP is definitely a cool place. I did some of the short hikes and drove the entire park. Didn't see any bison but got really up close to a bunch of Prairie dogs.

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After Badlands I went to Hotsprings, SD where I would see the black hills, Wind Cave NP, Mt. Rushmore, and Custer SP
 

SHoll

Active member
When you travel make sure not to be such an introvert. Talk to the locals and ask questions of places to see, routes to take, and things to do. Research online or in forums is great but locals usually know it and more. As I've been traveling I've struck up conversations and asked people anything from "the best off-road trail around" to "where can I get away from other tourists?". I know this has helped me, especially with the Black Hills which is how I learned of Song Dog Rd (a forest service road). I was able to hit dirt with some cool mountain views and not see another soul aside from a couple of FS guys.
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