I love cowboys. Not in the imperialist, racist, manifest destiny sense, but I do love cowboys for their independent, pioneering, self-reliant, wilderness exploration spirit. It was a fantastic treat to go to swing through South Dakota on my way back from Alaska this summer, and see the many places that gave birth to American cowboy myths, like Deadwood and Badlands National Park. Though it was wasn't the hottest, driest, coldest, or most humid environment I've ever experienced, it was the harshest and most unusually beautiful. Day 52: Badlands National Park.