Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 June 18-21 Badlands National Park, SD

I read somewhere the description of Badlands National Park as "otherworldly".  It is an apt description. But, it is so much more than that. It is different at different times of the day, depending of the way the light caresses the landscape. In that way it reminds me of the Grand Canyon. Yet, I experienced more sense of desolation in the Badlands than I ever felt in Grand Canyon. It is beauty of a different sort.  Perhaps the feeling of desolation comes from the spires and crags that are part of the landscape. Perhaps, it stems from the lack of shelter from the sun at its most oppressive. Perhaps from the lack of a powerful river like the Colorado. Whatever the source of the feeling, it never fully left me while we explored Badlands National Park.

We camped in the park and received our senior discount, but still paid nearly $20/night with electric hook up. Although, the website currently lists the discounted price @ $14/night. The campground was pleasant enough, and did tend to fill up by early afternoon, since it is operated on a no reservation, first come, first served basis. The weather when we were there was very windy and hot with a few sudden thunder storms tossed in. I was very glad we weren't camping in a tent! Due to the high wildfire possibility, fires were banned during our stay, although use of coal or propane grills was permissible. But, seriously, we tried to use our propane grill and couldn't keep it lit due to the wind.

We did marvel at the open spaces in the Park, as well as at the rock formations, and wild life. If we visit badlands National Park again, we will probably do more preparation with regard to the time of year we visit. Between the drought conditions and the high winds, the time we choose seemed less that idyllic. But, who knows, maybe the wind is simply a fact of life in the Badlands. 

We did have some amazing sunsets there. And, I managed to fall on my behind as I was trying to scale a trail that was a bit too steep for me. Fact was, I could've climbed the nearby stairs, but I was so sure I could make it…  Enjoy a few pictures. 

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