Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's Good in the Badlands

We have had a wonderful day! We woke up and took our time getting out, because I wanted to tidy up the "house" after the disruptions of the past few days, and Joe had a few housekeeping chores of his own. Plus we needed time to upload the blog from yesterday, and Roxy wanted to go for a walk. Since she's been so good, we took her to the White River, the border of the campground. We were surprised to see that the river was mostly dried up, but Roxy loved the whole thing. Something evidently smelled great to her, and she started running madly in circles, then digging into the clay-ey dirt. We had to laugh as we dragged her away, and took her to the very large dog park the campground had set up. We spent 10 minutes getting her to run, so she would have a chance to stretch her legs-- she's been such a good traveller up to now.

Then we headed out, but I wanted to mail a couple of postcards, and was told there is a post office in Interior. Interior was the offical address of our campground, but in fact there is very little town there! The sign on the road says "Interior, Pop. 67". We drove down the main street and passed a sign proclaiming that despite its modest appearance, Interior had its own history and claims to fame. Here is the sign (I hope you can read it!)
After I mailed my postcards, we left Interior and drove into Badlands National Park. We bought a multiple-use pass good for all the National Parks for a year, hoping that we would get to use it at more than just Yosemite (but it supports the parks, so it is a good cause anyway.) And then we started going "oh, wow!" again. This was one of the first photos I took (and although my photos are entirely unenhanced, and I am not a great photographer, I hope you can get a flavor for how awesome the rocks looked).

I had to make sure you believe that we really made it in Mo:

We drove the Badlands Loop Road--first retracing our steps from the night before back to the beginning of the park, and stopping for some short walks at the same time. And then we turned up the long leg of the loop. More photos:

These photos make the rocks look mostly gray, with maybe some pink in them (if you can see in the photos--perhaps not.) But toward the north-west corner of the park, the terrain changed in some places to rounded yellow hills with lots of pink. We stopped several times to take photos:

The larger animals, bison and pronghorn antelope, are not visible from the main roads of the park, and we were hesitant to take Mo on the unpaved roads. But we did see these cute little guys:

Prairie Dog


After we finished the Badlands Loop, we returned to I-90, and, resisting any temptation to stop at Wall Drug, we drove the 60 miles to Rapid City. There we stopped at Walmart to buy groceries and some moccasins for Joe, and then we headed south to Hot Springs, where we are now camped for the night at a very pretty, heavily wooded KOA. Our plans for tomorrow include exploration of the Black Hills, a visit to the Mammoth Site, and .... who knows what else?

1 comment: said...

Oh no, no Wall Drug? We had a blast there, such a cheeseball thing to do! Badlands was one of our favorite places. If only it hadn't have been 113 degrees when we were there in July! We're going back this winter.