Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sep 22 – Badlands National Park

So sad. This was our last day of sightseeing before we make a beeline for home. It seem appropriate that it is also the last day of summer.

Another long post with lots of pictures. There are just so many interesting formations here.

Our campsite. There are so few trees here they have to build these shelters over the picnic tables to give you at least a bit of shade in the afternoon.


First up was the Notch Trail. It was another bad one for Jennie. Right in the description “Not for those with a fear of heights” but she was game so off we went. It starts out easy enough.


Then comes the ladder. Again it starts out easy enough but the top is almost vertical.


Then you climb along a ledge with the gully below.


and then up a small slot to the notch for the view.


In this park you are actually allowed to hike anywhere, I guess because you can’t hurt much other than yourselves so we did a bit of exploring off the trail.


The view from where I was standing.


Working our way back.


We took the gully part of the way and then back down the ladder.


On to the Door Trail we started yesterday. It is called the door trail because it is a notch in the wall that you can go through. The Window Trail went to another notch with a steep cliff that you can just look and not go through.

At the end of the boardwalk you go out into this.


You must try to find these little yellow poles that tell you where the path is. It is very rocky so there is no obvious path, no one else was out to follow and the poles are very hard to see. There is one just right of center below.


But wow…


One formation looked like a little pulpit. It seemed appropriate.


Next we went back to all the viewpoints on the Badlands Loop Road that we skipped yesterday when we were in the RV.

The road follows “The Wall” for its 30 km length . On top is a grassland prairie going as far as the eye can see.


Then the eroded cliffs.


and at the bottom another prairie off to the horizon.


The dust trail is from a truck on a dirt road.

One section had this red and yellow clay.


What little vegetation was ugly but there were a few flowers.


And so our trip is essentially over. Sigh!

I figure it will take us 4 days to get home, mostly on the interstate highways so probably not a lot of interesting sights.

I will do some posts just for the record and then then a final summary of trip statistics when we get home.

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