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  • Ben Farris

Episode 9: Scaling a Cliff at Lake Pactola

Updated: Jan 18

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." -Benjamin Franklin

In Episode 9, we continue our camping trip in Hill City, South Dakota! We started the day exploring a silica sand pit behind the Trail Side campground in Hill City. The sand looked like it was filled with glitter, and Clara could have played here all day. Everyone else enjoyed the challenge of crawling up the sandy sides.


Since arriving in Hill City, there is one place I have been dying to go: Candy Land! This huge building filled with candy caught my eye, and I just had to get the kids in there somehow. It was just as incredible as I imagined! They had every flavor candy I could think of, and the kids had such a great time shopping through all the choices then taking their sweet treats along in the Jeep for the day. (Full disclosure, everything was priced a little higher than we would normally pay for candy, but the experience was worth it!)

With our sugary provisions carefully packed, we set off for a full day of riding with a big part of our group in tact. Keeping everyone coordinated and on the same page throughout the trip was a pretty big challenge, so finishing our last full day with everyone together was a nice note to end on.

What continued to amaze us about the Black Hills was that everywhere we went, we found new trails, new scenery, and very few other riders. This was so much more than we expected when we set out. From the giant boulders to the tiny grains of glitter along the road, everything was remarkable.



We saw so many mother deer and fawns during our week in the black hills. The pair in this shot didn't mind our loud group wading in the water near by.

We had heard from some locals that we needed to get out to the Pactola Reservoir. We had some trouble finding a swimming area with the water up so high. We ended up scaling down this ridiculous cliff side with the kids to meet up with family to swim. We did have a beautiful view when we reached the water, and the kids loved swimming here.

We ended our last South Dakota evening with a family movie night! This is one of the pros of marrying a man who is both brilliant and persistent. Our reward: Wild Bill lit by the South Dakota sky.

Check out our adventure here!


Watch for our last episode in South Dakota coming soon! Connect with us on Facebook if you ever want to ride with us or just to see what we're up to!


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