I’ve spent my whole life on Black Hills backroads. They’re like home to me. I’m most comfortable driving on them and they’re safer to be on than on any other roads. My driving is less than exemplary on highways.

I don’t worry about getting lost on backroads like I do in big cities. I know all backroads come out eventually to some road I’ve been on before no matter how deep into the woods I get.

DSC_1716.jpg picture by RanchSlants

I don’t care how fast a freeway is, you get me out on traffic-packed, fast-paced asphalt and I freak out. I’m terrified of taking a wrong exit. I’ve had bad experiences with freeways. Getting back on them isn’t as easy for a rural girl as it is to get back on a South Dakota interstate.

Growing up I spent with a lot of time with my dad, who knew a lot of the backroads in the area. We used these roads to go deer hunting, gather firewood, and  get our Christmas tree. I learned how to drive a stick shift on backroads.


When I worked for the Forest Service I became familiar with more back roads. Most of the work I did required driving on them to get to where our crew was working and backroads were always used to get to forest fires. During those years I spent more time driving on gravel and dirt roads than I did on highways.


After getting married I continued to learn about more backroads. I had to get familiar with all the roads that were on the leased land we used for our cows in order to check the stock tanks and salt locations our cows used.

Backroads are stress-free roads to drive on. There’s no road rage, traffic issues, or stop lights, and there’s a whole web of interconnecting roads to pick from.

DSC_1723.jpg picture by RanchSlants

Driving these kinds of roads whether it’s for work or leisure is one of the advantages of living near a national forest and national and state parks in the Black Hills. I do a lot of my thinking on backroads because I don’t have to pay attention to my driving as much.

DSC_1722.jpg picture by RanchSlants

Taking a backroad is a great place to get lost on purpose but it’s also where I know I’m at home.

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