Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Buffalo Gap National Grasslands: Fairburn Agate Beds
We hit the road and made it into the “big city” of Fairburn, South Dakota by about 10:30. I had looked at a map of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands when at the Information Desk at work and knew of a campground along County Road 18, east of Fairburn. In town we found a county road, but it wasn’t 18. We decided to follow it anyway. After driving east for about 6 miles we decided it wasn’t the right road, and so we turned around. When we got back into town we immediately found County 18 and soon thereafter saw a sign pointing the way to the French Creek Campground and Agate Beds. The ride was pretty. The National Grassland was not flat like I had imagined, but featured many small hills and canyons. Along the drive we saw some pronghorn, an owl, kestrels, larks, and many meadowlarks. As we headed farther east we started to see some badlands like buttes and formations.
Finally we arrived at the campground and Agate Beds. We parked at the campground and hiked along a muddy, rutted road to the beds.