August 26, 2012
Travel to Mako Sica, Les Mauvaises Terres a Traverser or "The Badlands" of South Dakota.
We travelled easily on route 90 west to Badlands National Park Campground on August 22nd. We must have seen 1,000 Wall Drug billboards on Rt. 90 since first entering South Dakota, only another 30 or so miles until we get there. It seems that everyone stops there, then leaves them a bad review on the internet ?
We are staying put for a week to immerse ourselves in this park area, slow down, calm down and relax a bit. It's amazing scenery and geology here, we are slowly checking it all out. It is hot, dry and often windy here, a harsh but beautiful landscape. A very exciting thunderstorm late last night and much cooler today. Thunderstorms are exciting events in an RV, nothing like the sound of a hard rain on the tin roof, lightning and thunder cracking nearby and wind gusts rocking the RV. Tourist from all over the World are here, took a picture of a french family last evening, a bus load of Russians at the park lodge today.
The closest town to the park, Interior, SD, population 84, appears to be mostly poverty level American indians. The general store, the Cowboy Corner, is the only place with Diesel for miles, but it's $4.30 something a gallon ! I pulled in, a car was in the way of the pump, then two bikers pulled in behind the car and the store owner (Sue) ran out to move them all out of the way. She must have sensed a big sale ! After paying she even gave me a nice black and yellow plastic Cowboy Corner pen.
We did an off trail hike today from the Yellow Mounds Overlook following a creek and animal paths through a prairie area winding our way between eroding buttes. We ran into a group of mule deer who quickly bounded away. Lots of cool rocks and what looked like petrified wood and following park regulations, we left it all there. As we were coming up the steep slope back to the overlook parking area there was a tour bus with a group of tourists with their cameras out, so we powered up the hill without stoping. I noticed one of the pot bellied men had a tee shirt that said "blood, sweat and beers", and I was thinking a beer sure would taste nice right now ! We have seen it go from 45 degrees at 7 AM to 93 degrees at 4 PM.
|Hardy flower growing out of the cracked ground|
|Storm clouds rolling in|
|The rope ladder|
|Sue striking a pose|
|Interior, SC sign|
|Bands of color|
|Sue climbing the rope ladder|
|Rain in the distance|