Heading to South Dakota – With a Surprise Roadside Rodeo Stop – Day 7

As we headed out of Nebraska towards South Dakota, we never imagined that we would end up at a Roadside Rodeo.

But before we get into the details of the roadside rodeo, let me explain how we ended up there, and how we almost didn’t!

A Morning Bike Ride

As many of you know, one of our goals is to bike 25 miles in every state. See: Biking Across America

Therefore, this morning we knew that we would need to head out on our bikes to get in the extra miles that we needed.

We were lucky enough to be staying at a campground in Scotts Bluff that had a bike trail access less than 50 feet from our campsite.

biking in Scotts Bluff, NE
Taking in one last bike ride in Nebraska next to the North Platte river.

So we unloaded the bikes and got pedaling!

We biked along the North Platte River with beautiful scenes of water, trees, and of course the Scotts Bluff National Monument in the background.

And we learned even more about the history and development of the land through historical markers placed along the way.

On The Road To South Dakota – We Almost Didn’t Make It!

After a morning of biking, we packed up our little NuCamp camper and headed north.

A quick stop at the grocery store and we were off! We had about a half a tank of gas so we decided we had enough until we made it to the next town.

fields of sunflowers
There are acres upon acres of fields filled with sunflowers, but no sign of civilization for miles.

However, that is when the problem arose. There were NO towns!! And I mean literally, there were absolutely no signs of modern day civilization for miles upon miles.

The gas tank got lower and lower and we began to worry. So with just about 60 miles left on our gas tank gauge we decided to turn off the air conditioner.

Yes, it was 93 degrees outside, and it became very warm in the truck. However, we knew that it would be even more uncomfortable for us if we had to walk several miles to find a farmer that could help us with an empty gas tank.

I attempted to look on my cell phone for the nearest gas station and the only response I received was ‘none found’.

Then we passed our first street sign indicating that a town was 47 miles down the road.

empty gas tank
This is what our fuel gauge looked like when we finally found a gas station.

WOW – we were going to cut it close, but we were hopeful that we could make it there.

With just about 6 miles left in our gas tank, we pulled into the town of Crawford, ND and filled up.

And you can bet that we were happy to roll up the windows and turn the air conditioning back on!

Surprise Roadside Rodeo Stop

As we headed into South Dakota we were amazed at the beauty of the terrain.

Lots of rolling hills, plateaus and pine trees filled the landscape. We even got to see herds of Bison in the fields as we drove by.

the road to a roadside rodeo
The beauty of South Dakota’s terrain is stunning!

But sometimes the absolute best stops are the ones that you don’t expect!

And that is exactly what happened today. We were about an hour outside of our destination when we came across a roadside rodeo.

Immediately we both knew that we had to stop and take in the action of a real rodeo.

We pulled in the bumpy lot that was filled with trucks and horse trailers. There were cowboys and cowgirls everywhere.

Some that were standing along the cattle fence watching the action, and others that were on their horses preparing for their upcoming event.

Roadside Rodeo
A true roadside rodeo experience

We even asked one of them if we could take their picture by our camper.

We strolled through the area watching the action and were amazed that even the kids as young as 5 years old participating in the events.

After talking with the Oelrichs, SD locals we learned that this roadside rodeo was founded in 1885.

The event is named the Last Round Up Rodeo and we were so glad that we were able to witness and be part of such a historical tradition.

And it was then that both of us realized that you never know where your travels will take you!

Happy Traveling – Jim and Mary

Current Trip Stats

  • Day 7 of 365
  • States Visited 2 / 50
  • Stayed In : Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Miles Driven : 192
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 1825
  • Total Gallons Used : 135.19
  • Biking Miles : 9
  • Biking Miles To Date : 27
  • Hiking Miles : 0
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 4.5

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

You can follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.

4 thoughts on “Heading to South Dakota – With a Surprise Roadside Rodeo Stop – Day 7

  • September 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Giggling at the gas, or lack thereof. WE”VE all been there out here. It’s no joke.
    I warned my parents about that driving across northern Iowa. They thought I was joking. NO hotels. NO towns. Little handy tip, watch for CO-OP grain towers (doesn’t apply to the route you took, but those towers mean people and 99% of the time fuel!

  • September 16, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Name game addition: New York Strip steak! yum.

  • September 23, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Sounds both beautiful and wonderful. What a blessing to be experiencing this.

    • September 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      It has been amazing!


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