Black Hills Outback

We’re feeling our dependence on a good cell phone signal these days. As always we’re most attracted to out-of-the-way places and free camping in the boondocks, but I need to stay connected to work. Near Mount Rushmore there’s a resort-style KOA with sites for $52 a night, which we can’t bring ourselves to pay. We back out of their gated RV corral. The national forest campground ($23 / night) has no phone signal. So we drive around at a crawl looking for forest roads, find one that heads up a hill, and amazingly locate a site with a phone signal. It takes us an hour to get level, but it’s still a relief. There may not be time to sample the rock climbing in the area from here, or hike the popular trails, but we’re in the national forest so we just wander around on foot when we need exercise. This results in a hike that is part old forest roads, part trail, and part highway. We work in a stop at the pricey KOA for internet and coffee. Not bad!

We imagine these concerns will continue to challenge us. Will there be any phone signal in the badlands?

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