I left you in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, also called Badlands. From there we went to the actual Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Let’s see how far we can get today. Again it will be mostly pictures since it’s such amazing to see.
6/3 – 6/5 – I had planned, even made reservation, to stay at Badlands a whole week, thinking I could set up and stay put and make day trips to Black Hills west of here and all the sights to see around there. But first I realized it’s rally too far for days trips, and second it’s 100 degrees, blazing sun and not a tree in sight, much less in campsite. So I cancelled 4 days and luckily wasn’t charged.
Again they don’t show up in the exact order I put them in. Starting at top right these are all just getting there, the long lonely flatland road, finally some hills appear, turning into amazing rock formations of the SD Badlands. The top big one is the campground, notice all the trees?!?!?! If you can zoom in you can see us just right of center.
The Big Sky does make for some beautiful sunsets and star gazing (sorry I can get star pictures). And sunrise the next morning.
Just like with TRNP Badlands there is a long loop drive. Hiking here is really difficult, not just the terrain but also the heat and exposure. I spoke with several “young” people who were nearly dead after just 5-6 miles. Also dogs aren’t allowed on the trails (rattle snakes and other wildlife) and it’s way to hot and exposed to leave Xena in the car even with all windows open. So I drove!! I did walk a little into the trails, one a little longer with Xena. I have a million amazing pictures. Here are some:
A few hardy flowers poke their heads out, pretty amazing considering the cracks in dry ground. Lots of meadowlarks I heard more often than saw, and a couple of other interesting birds I didn’t know and still haven’t identified. The last 2 pictures are close ups of the cottonwood “cotton” and resulting seed pods.
The “loop” takes you to Wall, SD. I drove into the town with intentions of stopping at famous Wall Drugs but it was so overcrowded, no place to park and even if there had been it was to hot and exposed to leave Xena so I passed by. Looks like the perfect example of tourist trap.
Next day we drove part of the loop again and an extension of it. More amazing formations – Mama Nature is just such an artist.
Xena waiting so patiently, and beautiful, unafraid pronghorns.
1st picture is one of the strange birds I got later. Anyone identify? Folks in this rental RV said Xena must have modeled for the picture. All this company’s rentals have dogs in the window, different dogs. Sorry Pronghorns in the road didn’t turn.
That afternoon the winds picked up really bad. I heard the next day there were 100 mph tornadoes not far away in northern SD and Montana. Here some tents were blown down and some away. Made for dramatic sunset, and beautiful sun on the west face of rock formations. I’d met some lovely young women who held their tent until the winds subsided a bit. But then winds picked up the worst overnight and it was flattened. They spent the restless night in their car. Aliner with wind strap held but it was a rockin’ and rollin’ night.
Next day I was outathere by 7am!!!!! It is beautiful, stark, harsh, inhospitable, hot and windy, but beautiful. Worth a visit, make it short!! I do have ac but no elec at campsite. But I did get a much needed shower.
Next stop – Black Hills.
Real time – I don’t have elec where I am now at the Bighorn Canyon and computer battery was low so I’m sitting with my coffee outside the bathhouse where there’s elec. 🙂 I needed to take some downtime this morning anyway and it’s a quiet town camper park. I’ll post this and see if I have time this evening after sightseeing to do another post.
I’ve posted more pictures and video on FB and I’ve sent a few via text to friends who don’t do FB. Can’t post videos here and it’s easier to quickly post pictures real time on FB when I have just a little time on internet.
Off to see the Bighorn Canyon,
Lynn and Xena