The beginning of the Badlands
We entered into Badlands National Park, and purchased a National Parks Pass card for $50. This would give us entrance into any National Park for the next year. Since we planned to visit over 20 of them in the next month, this was indeed a bargain! We would have spent hundreds of dollars in entrance fees if we had to pay for each one separately. The Badlands is interesting because it is flat prairie right until you get up to it, then it turns into large packed clay-like dirt formations that would be impassable without roads already being there. I can see why the pioneer settlers considered these to be "bad lands" indeed! Still, they are beautiful formations, and Tyler had a blast climbing all over them.
This mule deer came out to say hello!
This would be his favorite park until we reached the Grand Canyon. We saw a mule deer right by the side of the road, and it let us pull right up next to it and take pictures. He wasn't bothered by us or the truck at all! After exploring for awhile, we went to a grocery store in a local Native American Reservation in the town of Interior, and bought the necessary supplies to make hamburgers for dinner. We registered at the nearby White River KOA campground, and made a fire to cook dinner. It was not too crowded, and they let us switch to a better, corner site. We also got to do laundry here, for the first time on the trip. I put a few loads going, and Dawn wasn't tired, so she stayed up to finish and fold them. It was pretty windy that night, the tent flap kept flapping and kept us awake!