Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bad Lands of South Dakota

Years ago, my in-laws did a trip out west. On their return I asked my father-in-law Howard what he enjoyed the most and he answered the Badlands of South Dakota.

We entered the National Park at the eastern edge near Interior and exited north along route 240. You could not drive in other sections of the park.

My first impression was that it reminded me of Cappadocia in Turkey, but without the hoodoos.

The wild grass is really beautiful.

Notice the reddish horizontal band. You can read more about the geology here.

We did not see any. It was cloudy, coolish and very windy so any self respecting snake would be underground.

Closeup of the ground.

Wild flowers.

We were not tempted to follow them up the path which looked a bit steep. The woman at the left really did not want to go any further.

The sun would peek through the clouds occasionally and light up a small section for a few moments.

Lots of fossils were found in this area.

It is a very surreal landscape. In the early morning or late evening light, it would be quite spectacular. On a cloudy afternoon, it was still worth seeing.

A photo just does not do a view like this justice. It is breathtaking.

I enhanced the colours to show more of the banding detail.

Interesting picnic tables.

Eagle Nest Butte in the distance.

It was a clear day.

The Park Service paths are made of plastic wood like Trex that we use on our decks.

We stopped numerous times to take photos. Fortunately there were not many tourists around but I would not want to be there in a month's time on a really hot day with hordes of tourists.

The yellow colour came from decaying jungle plants 35 million years ago.

I've enhanced the colours to emphasize the yellow.

It was really windy and quite unpleasant out there. It was a struggle to open and close a car door safely.

The drive through the park was interesting and took a couple of hours. After a while however, you realize each time your leap out of the car to take another photo that the shot will be much the same as one you took thirty minutes before. Still, I was very glad we visited the place.

We then drove along the freeway to Rapid City. The speed limit was 80 mph but with the strong wind from the west buffeting our car all the way, it was quite unpleasant and I kept the speed down to the high 60's.

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