First, I’d like to thank everyone who left a Happy Birthday comment to my brother Randy on my post: Happy Birthday Golden Child! I think he really liked it and I appreciate your contributions to his day :)
Now, on with the story! We left the Black Hills area of South Dakota Monday morning and drove East about 90 miles to Badlands National Park. We exited I-90 in Wall and followed 240 south to Badlands Loop Road which eventually took us to Cedar Pass Campground in the National Forest. This route took us through a good portion of the park and was it a pleasant surprise!
There is a stark contrast between the Black Hills and the Badlands. Both are incredibly beautiful, but very different. The drive to the campground was windy and beautiful.
There were many pull offs for scenic viewing but, in Lucy and towing the Jeep, we opted to continue on and return the next day with Jeep only :) Of course that did not deter me from taking photos through the buggy windshield :)
*NOTE: I’ve recently been playing with the collage feature on Picasa, so am trying it out. Do you love it or hate it? Does it work or should I go back to several single photos? Let me know what you think!
We arrived at Cedar Pass and registered for a first come, first serve electric site. (Another collage style for your opinion) This is a rather “different” campground. There are no water hookups. You take on water at the dump station or bring it with you (which we did). They offer (50 amp) electric only or no hookups. The sites are basically parallel parking around the loops. It works but it’s sure not ideal. Each site has a picnic table with a sun/wind break. In this heat, that’s not much help.
Our original plan was to stay 6 days but when we arrived and realized we had no cell signal, no internet and no TV, we changed our minds and paid for 3 days to start. We could always extend our stay. They have a 14 day limit. It is HOT here though and there is absolutely no shade. In the end, it was the heat that did us in :)
Tuesday we took off to explore the park and take in some of the trails and paths established by the scenic overlooks. The formations were stunning and ranged from looking like ancient ruins to fairytale princess castles. One of the trails lead right out into the Badlands. It was an adventure every kid there was loving. Even the big kids :) They climbed the giant sand castles, they hiked across, climbed town into crevices and caverns. One little guy was so happy to be there his father had to bribe him to leave! All this in 96º heat!
We saw little wildlife but I imagine it was too hot for most of them. Except the Prairie Dogs. In the Badlands, there are more of them than people and heat did not seem to faze them one bit! We drove Sage Creek Rim Road, a wash board dirt road off the main loop that had stunning vistas and a Prairie Dog Town. There were thousands!
There is no shade to be found anywhere in this huge park and with the temperatures in the mid 90’s we eventually headed back to Lucy and her air conditioning.
Here is our proof we were here :)
Thanks for stopping by.