The Badlands landscape is bad-ass. It’s tough, rugged, harsh but teaming with life and beauty. A cross section of geologic clues and glimpses into a completely different environment. Fossils and life evidence from millions of years ago and of animals that are extinct now. It has been fun to read the descriptions and see how the animals looked – some you would describe as a type of horse (with 3 hooves) but has no relation to the horse. One that was like a pig and another that is like a dog (and actually is related to today’s dog). Ethan was totally into the digs and learning more about paleontology.
The colors change with the sun and time of day. White, pink, red, purple, blue, gray and yellow seem airbrushed onto the stone shapes. The white stone seems to glow depending on how the sun is hitting the rock figures. Different areas of the park have different personalities. Some very jagged and others round. The yellow mound area is dated to 60 million years!
Our first night we stayed at the Cedar Pass campground – lucking into one of the last remaining spots available. Located just down from the visitor’s center, we were able to set up then unhook to go explore a bit. We saw a short film about the park and wandered through the exhibits. The next day we moved to a close KOA to recharge and do laundry. Then took the afternoon to drive through the park checking out all the overlooks and seeing some great wildlife – big horn sheep, prong horn and prairie dogs (or fairy dogs as Wren says). We drove through Wall and checked out the Wall Drug Store we had seen all the billboards for – Wren loved all the figures set up thought the massive café (that can seat up to 530 people!).
Now we start east – going to Shenandoah NP with a quick stop by Nick’s folks in Tennessee to be able to make some repairs.