Thursday, August 15, 2013

South Dakota Day 2, Part 3: The Badlands

After Wall Drug, we drove south off the Interstate to the Badlands. We didn't know what to expect!   They were incredible.
See those dark figures on the right?  Yes, even the Amish like to go sightseeing!!
Check out the striated rock.  Magnificent!  Imagine this whole area under water thousands of years ago.

Like Shae, on my knees was the only way I was going to get up close to peer down into the valleys.  We were really high up here!!
You can't tell from the picture, but there's a big drop right behind these guys.  Wynne was crying every time a family member got up close to the edges.  The thing is, there's so much erosion, most of the hills are rounded off and so easy to scramble over!
Was it a joke? or gas?!
Imagine trying to cross these if you were a Native American or pioneer traveler.  Not too easy!!
We saw several Big Horn Sheep.  This must have been a female because we never saw any mature rams with the thick horns that curl back to their noses.  Still, very awesome and a first for us to see in the wild!
Down she goes...
...and she has some kids with her!  The sheep had no trouble darting up and down the cliffs.
Very, very cool.
On our way through the Badlands, I made Mark pull over so I could get a picture of a REAL prairie dog town.  Sure, we see them at the zoo, but in their native habitat?  How cool is that??  Darn things were quick to zip back into their holes whenever we tried to get a picture.  So cute!!
Check out the colors.  Simply gorgeous!
Scrambling up a crumbly path to explore some more...
It was really windy, too.  But the stillness of it was just what we needed.  Especially Mark.  He was enthralled!
This looks like an aerial shot, but it's not.  See how high up we were?!
Hey kids, remember the time your dad got us lost in the Badlands when he was trying to drive up close to that castle formation?  We finally turned around after several minutes of no sign of human life.  I think the cattle and the stink-eye of that lone driver (probably on her personal ranch driveway) tipped us off.

All in all, an amazing place.  Everyone should see it for themselves!
"Let sculptors come to the Badlands. Let painters come. But first of all the true architect should come. He who could interpret this vast gift of nature in terms of human habitation so that Americans on their own continent might glimpse a new and higher civilization certainly, and touch it and feel it as they lived in it and deserved to call it their own. Yes, I say the aspects of the Dakota Badlands have more spiritual quality to impart to the mind of America than anything else in it made by man's God."
-Frank Lloyd Wright 1935


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