Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Badlands

Monday morning we left The Blackhills/Mount Rushmore area and headed east to The Badlands. It's only a few hours away and we made it by early afternoon, but both of us were exhausted and we spent Monday doing absolutely nothing. Unless you count napping and blogging as something.

I don't sleep well in places other than my own bed and according to Kathie, I snore really loud, so neither of us got much sleep the first two nights. I don't know if she's telling the truth or not since I've never heard myself snore!! We stopped at the Wal-Mart on the way to The Badlands and she bought earplugs! Problem solved for her!

Tuesday we were up and on our way to The Badlands. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had heard of The Badlands before and had this vague idea that it was kinda like the Grand Canyon meets Death Valley. Well, it is kinda like The Grand Canyon, but instead of a river slicing through it, The Badlands were once covered by an inland sea. This inland sea eroded The Blackhills and the sediment from this settled in the area. As the sea receded, the water eroded the sediment left behind into what can be seen today.

There you go, my unscientific explanation of how this beautiful landscape came to be. The pictures may portray it as a stark and barren world, but take my word for it, it was teeming with life.
Yep, that's me on the edge of the abyss!

I think these were my favorite. They were this golden yellow on the bottom, vibrant red in the middle and this dark ash grey on the top. Absolutely gorgeous!!

We had an awesome thunderstorm coming in from the west. We managed to miss the rain, but were treated to a lovely showing of lightening and thunder.

Here's some of the life I was telling you about. I was lucky I even saw this guy. The photo makes it seem like he was pretty close, when in reality he was at least 300 yards away. Thank goodness for the zoom on my camera! I have a picture of him without the zoom that gives a better perspective, but I didn't want to send you guys into a picture overdose.

The prairie dogs were everywhere there was a flat grassy area. One of them "barked" at us when she thought we had strayed a little too close to her den. It was a funny little high-pitched chihuahua sounding bark.

We also saw rabbits and other small rodents, but they were too quick for pics. There were signs everywhere warning us of rattlesnakes. Thankfully we didn't see any of those!!

The Badlands National Park


Jeanette said...

Your trip looks like tons of fun. Your camera must be amazing. I'm sure you're a great photographer too. ;)

Heather said...

Wow, you are having an awesome trip. I'm so jealous. I like the yellow, red and gray mountain (is it a mt?) too. The mammoth site is way cool. Who knew there was so much neat stuff in South Dakota?