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#37 Badlands National Park, SD

October 1, 2018

 

Well, this was a treat!  In all my childhood years (and adult years) I had NEVER seen the Badlands so lush and green.  At times I couldn't believe it was the same place of my memories; it looked so different.  There was even standing water in areas!

 

We came in the southwest entrance of the park and were treated to wide open vistas filled with waving prairie grass and buffalo herds grazing.  

 

 Buffalo grazing happily

 The Badlands consists of 244,000 acres and at first glance one would be tempted to think "Yeah, they're kinda cool formations, but is it worthy of National Park status?"  The answer to that lies in the fact that the Badlands are one of the richest fossil deposits in the world.  Yes, the world.  Millions of years ago rhinos, horses, and saber-toothed cats roamed these lands.  Today, of course, it is bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, badgers, pronghorn antelope, rabbits, bobcats, porcupine, skunks, mule deer, and black-footed ferrets.

 

 

  

  

 

 

 I was so excited to have an actual shoulder for my afternoon run.  It was so fantastic to be running through this incredible landscape!

 

 

 

 

 

 We camped overnight at the east end of the park and were treated to a dreamy sunset after the rain storm.

The next day was filled with more hiking and adventure.

 This ladder on the hike probably isn't for the faint of heart.

 

 Then you have to skirt around on a thin band of dirt to get to the drop-off overlook.

 

 Made it to the top! If my heel goes off that edge, it's about 1,000 feet down without any stops.  I love heights; it's exhilarating!

 

Time to head back down the ladder and go into Wall Drug for refreshments!

 We exited the park at the north side into Wall, SD, home of the famous Wall Drug.  It brings back so many memories of goofing around with Anna there.

 Fred at the old fashioned soda fountain.

 Who knew the Jackalopes grew so big here?!?

 Ride 'em cowgirl!

 Goofy girl trying to look like the cowboy statue.  She always knew how to make you laugh.

 

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