OK, I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since I posted a blog. Wow. Truth is . . . I’m a teacher, and the end of the year was hectic and insane, and I found that I did not have the time nor energy to put together a coherent post. But enough of the whining, let’s finish the journey. . .
The last leg of the journey brought us to Edgemont, South Dakota, a full 106 miles from where we began at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. I was excited, but a little wistful to end the trip. It had been incredible in so many ways. We headed north at a very fast pace, nearly 4 miles per hour I realized later! We came through the sparse, somewhat abandoned town of Provo, SD, but quickly realized it could not be totally abandoned because we were drawn to the smell of someone, somewhere cooking a big breakfast. We imagined, pancakes, waffles, bacon, toast, coffee, orange juice, the works – no wonder we were making such good time! It was not coming from a restaurant because there do not seem to be any operating businesses in Provo. It seems to me that there is a prime opportunity there for someone to open up a little breakfast joint. One thing is for sure: Great Plains Trail hikers are guaranteed to be hungry!
The last few miles from Provo brought us into Edgemont. Edgemont is the southern terminus for the Mickelson Trail, a converted rail-trail which runs for 110 miles through the Black Hills. The GPT will merge with the Mickelson Trail as well as have connectors to the Centennial Trail, which runs roughly parallel, but is more of a rugged hiking trail.
We finished our hike, ironically, at the Mickelson Trail sign that marks mile 0.0 – after 106 miles, it was a sight for sore eyes.