Still had a little ways to go today. The further west I get, the more interesting the land becomes. It is also interesting to see the name Gutzon Borglum everywhere. (If your name is going to go down in history, I suggest picking a different name. Also, don’t be a terrible person) I almost become giddy looking at all of the beautiful rocks in the Black Hills. I arrive at Wrinkled Rock (The official rock climber campground) and relax a bit waiting for my climbing partner to arrive.
Once Margery gets here, we go over the guidebook to pick out routes we want to do. Manga Carta area is selected for its plentiful sport routes. Our first route we want to do is Gossamer, a classic that goes up a needle with a hole at the top. I say “want to do” because we never made it to that needle. Instead we became hopelessly lost. For hours. We wandered into an area called South Seas. (Kinda fitting to be lost at sea) Trying to back track into Manga Carta got us even more lost. I did start to wonder if I was going to be spending the night out. Margery’s 12 year old dog was faithfully plodding on behind, but he was getting very tired. He wasn’t the only one. I am very much not used to this western terrain.
After a while we were back in the South Seas. We found a bolted route and thought it looked in our grade, so we geared up. No sooner than we finish putting our harnesses on, it starts to rain and thunder. Not a good idea to be on a spire when the lightning starts to fly. We hastily pack our gear and get back to the car. Back at Wrinkled Rock, we hide under an overhanging boulder from the thunder that has been joined by hail.
The storm clears up a bit and Margery goes to her friends place she is staying at. I cook up some stir fry and set up camp. Thankfully there are trees in this part of South Dakota to hang a hammock.