Thursday, July 12, 2012

Badlands National Park

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!

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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.

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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!

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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. Turtle


  1. Great photo of you guys. Now everyone is getting fancy with the pictures, I guess I will have to learn how to do it.

  2. I have almost the exact same photo as the first one in your post today;o)) We loved the Badlands, just didn't slow down enough to enjoy it;o(( So it is still on our TODOS list!!

  3. I think collages have their place when you have a lot of photos to share. I use a mixture of collages and individual photos. It also helps if you don't have a very strong signal to publish with. The drawback for me in using them is that they sometimes chop off sides of the individual photo. :)

  4. I always enjoy your blog posts. I like your collage feature. I get to enjoy more photos in just one click. Be safe and stay cool.

  5. I've thought about the collage photos, as I often have a lot of pictures and its hard to pare them down. I find it a bit confusing, though, to look at them if there's no "framework" between photos, and choose to just do one at a time, with a link to the whole set at my Flickr site. I am watching your trip through there carefully, as we plan on stopping for a few days in September as we leave Chalk Creek and head to Fargo for sugarbeets.

  6. We loved the beauty of the Badlands but were there in September when the heat wasn't nearly as bad. You're right, there's no shade anywhere.

    Love your photos whichever way you want to post them. Enjoy them both in single and collage style.

  7. We loved the Badlands even though I was on crutches at the time from a broken ankle. There is so much to see and it is so starkly beautiful. That said, I don't think I would be able to do it at all during the summer. We were there in the Fall and since we were out all day every day, the campground with its half off rate for seniors was just what we needed even if it was around a ring. There are no forests or trees anyway so it didn't matter to me whether we were on streets, on a ring or on a patio. Such a spiritual place the Badlands.

  8. The Badlands was one of the big surprise finds for us when we visited Mt. Rushmore 5 years ago. We couldn't get over the beautiful colors and scenery.

    Nice collages - I like them and I should use them more often - thanks for the reminder.

  9. The Badlands are a whole differant kind of beauty, if you're not a farmer. We've enjoyed visiting there several times, but not in the dead of summer.

    No wonder you're wearing shorts in your "We-were-there" picture. :c)

  10. The Badlands is one of our favorite places. Your pictures brought back great memories.


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