Nothing Bad about the Badlands!

Badlands Travel Blog

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I should first mention how my mother was actually worried about me visiting this gorgeous region! Many many years ago my parents had lived in Wyoming where often she would hear through various sources about biker gangs and "bad people" dumping cold bodies off in the uninhabited landscape. When my father told her of my plans to visit the Bad Lands her immediate response was "But... Isn't that a bad place??". Not trying to disregard my mother's motherly concern, but I often wonder how she ever manages to leave her home with her growing list of dangerous places...

Well needless to say I came back from the park just fine.

It took me a couple of attempts to actually see the beauty and wonder of the Bad Lands! The first attempt was foiled by poor weather.
I had stopped after a long and tiring drive from laramie, WY for a night at a local hotel in Wall, SD and originally planned to get up early in the morning to explore the park. However, the sky was a dark charcoal grey and rain never ceased. It wasn't a hard downpour, but a consistent nonstop and uncomfortable drizzle. I knew it would a bad idea to pay the park fee and see nothing. Not to mention to be restricted from climbing and exploring the area on foot because the sandy earth formations dangerously weakened by the rain.

Unhappily I had to continue my drive to Fargo, ND for a work trip, but still taking some solace that there will be another chance for my adventure.

The second time was better timed weather wise! I followed the scenic Route at exit 110 off of Interstate 90 to the Park entrance and paid my $15 for a week long pass.
Fee paid will depend on the type of vehicle. If you plan to visit the park again you might as well pay for the full year pass for $30.

I spent several hours driving from one scenic overlook to another and finding various places to climb for better aerial views of the park. The views were a visual feast for the eyes! the deep blues of the sky, the complex earthy tones protruding skyward and endless miles of grassy fields. I sat on one small mound of earth with another park visitor names Mike. He was from Minnesota and on his way traveling west to visit a friend. Along the way he decided he was going to stop at as many national parks as he could. I must admit that I think I may have developed a slight crush on this stranger while listening to him describe his excitement for the natural earthy adventure.
.. Sigh.. From our spot we watched a Golden Eagle soar above the grassy plains in search of food. I have never seen one before in the wild. It was majestic!

I had to tear myself away from the view. A part of me wanted to camp in the park like Mike had done and experience the world at night when only few individuals if any were around. but I knew I had to make it back to Fargo for another work trip.. PLus I also had planned to retake some photos of an old school house that i had lost a week earlier.. Still, to leave such beauty and peace was painful.

The park was filled with visitors but not too crowded, I found plenty of places to park and have a walk around without anybody else around to bother me or get in the way of my photography. There were plenty of hiking trails for various fitness and stamina levels and several handicap accessible scenic outlooks.

For information about the park check out: http://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

esterrene says:
haha your husband has great taste then!! :)
Posted on: Apr 15, 2014
cotton_foam says:
my husband likes the Badlands... :)
Posted on: Apr 15, 2014
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Badlands
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