Near Tilford, South Dakota
Bethlehem Road crosses from the frontage road along Interstate 90 near
Tilford into Vanocker Canyon. This steep, short road (between three and
six miles, depending on how you count) was the route that I took one day
in late fall of 1996. Without food, warm outerwear, or much of anything
else, this is the closest I've come to a bicycling "death ride."
Nice scenery, and signs announce that it should be travelled by four-wheel
drive vehicles only. The road gets its name from a monastery hidden back
in the forest. The monastery itself is based around a cave with caverns
that have been converted into a chapel. I've seen only one of the caverns,
with steps leading away into more mysterious places. The monks don't like
being bothered by tourists, so even seeing that much was a lucky experience.