Badland Landscapes

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Badlands National Park

It was foggy and rainy again today.  We set out very early on a ride through the park and could barely see anything in front of us.  We were joking that any animals we would see would have to be on the road in front of us.  As the day wore on, the cloud cover lifted a bit so we got some views.  After the cloud cover lifted and we rode back through the park loop, we were astonished.  The day before the fog obscured everything.  Today, we got to see the scenery and couldn’t believe we drove past is the day before and didn’t see it!  It was a whole new experience even though we were on the same road.

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Badlands National Park
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Badlands National Park
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Badlands National Park
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Badlands National Park
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Badlands National Park

I have a National Geographic Guide to the less traveled places in the National Parks.  We took the road to Sheep Mountain Table.  They don’t recommend the last two miles of the trip if it has rained recently (check) and you have a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle (high clearance?).  The road is 7 miles with the first 5 miles on a relatively decent, if wet, dirt road.  I planned to turn around when we got to the last 2 rugged miles.  What was I thinking?  With Regis at the wheel, that would never happen.  Argh!  I agree we got some astonishing views, but I was petrified that we would be stuck in the mud in the middle of nowhere.  Of course we made it through.  Regis got his fix and Dart wound up in my lap on the return trip because he hated be thrown around in the back of the jeep.

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Look at the mud on the jeep. What a mess!
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Look closely at this female bighorn sheep. Not only is she wearing a radio collar but she appears to be ready to have a baby.
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Two female Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park

 

5 thoughts on “Badland Landscapes

  1. This country is scenically beautiful, isn’t it? I love the colorful layers of soil featured in several of your photos – yellow, red, cream, grey. Makes you wonder what natural events caused it to look like that. Fire? Flood? Meteor? 🙂

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    • I’ve been reading a geology book on the area that is very interesting. All those layers were made over time as the land changed. For example, at one point the area was under a shallow sea. Then, as the land began to uplift, water eroded away the soils. After the rain we had over the last couple days, we were able to see just how silty the streams became. It is certainly beautiful.

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  2. I’ve never seen the bad lands when there was any green. I’m sure I’ve never seen a stream with water. I guess I need to go there in the spring. When I looked at your first photo I was sure it was not in the bad lands.

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    • This is regis. It has been very wet here the last week if not longer. It is probably the greenest I’ve seen it. Still plenty of the usual grassless areas, just all mud now. You can see all the new erosion on the hillsides.

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