The Badlands

Badlands National Park Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 29 › view all entries
I was up before the sun, or maybe the sun just slept later than I.  The time had come to journey to the Badlands of South Dakota.  Upon reaching the Park the sun greeted me at the horizon.  I had to stop to take in the view.  Yet again I saw numerous mule deer and spotted a herd of pronghorns. That area is truly incredible, and I felt like I was the only person there at least for a while.  It is truly a remarkable thing to be able to hear total silence, no noise generated by any creature or the wind.  Silence is eerie (because it is a rare thing), yet refreshing (because it is so rare).  The landscape is desolate yet beautiful and you can see for many miles around you.  The area at first seems hostile to any form of life but when you look closer you can see it everywhere.  There are very few trees.  Lots of deer, prairie dogs, rabbits, and a large variety of birds abide there. I saw evidence of fox, coyote, and other creatures in my wanderings.  Prairie dogs are fun animals, driving past them is quite the enjoyable experience.  When they see you they stand up on their back legs; lift their front feet in the air; and make a noise that sounds like they are cheering for you.  I’m sure they are just letting the others know you are there but it is entertaining none the less.  By about 10:00 I was tired of driving and figured I’d stretch my legs a bit.  I went for a walk on a trail in the back country. Four miles and two hours later I was a bit exhausted, energized, and refreshed. It’s strange how that works.  I hated to do it but by 1:00PM it was time to bid farewell to the Badlands. 
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Badlands National Park
photo by: WaltJake