Saturday, August 29, 2009

Visiting the Badlands National Park

While we were at Wall, SD, we had the opportunity to tour through the Badlands area. This is an amazing area that is hard to believe unless you really see it.

Wind and rain has shaped this area for thousands of years resulting in remarkable rock formations that are very colorful and made up of all kinds of shapes. Amazingly, 100 years ago, folks tried to settle this area -- without succes.

Cody and Orinda were really impressed by this sign. I supose that if there are possible rattlesnakes out in the trail area, we will STAY up here and not go on the trail!

The Badlands is a surprisingly large area and encompasses many miles. In fact, the City of Wall takes it's name from the "wall" of the Badlands that had been very difficult to breach by the early settlers.

The the eastern entrance to the Park is the Minuteman Missile site. During the Cold War, there were a large number of underground missile silos throughout this entire area. Today, one such silo is being developed into a fascinating National Monument where you will be able to actually tour a site. Currently, there is a temporary visitor center with several exhibits.

Throughout the area, there are a number of prairie dog towns. These small rodents are a blast to watch as they run between the burrows and "bark" (sounds like a squeak) at each other. Each town covered a couple acres and must have had a few hundred "dogs" in residence.

Speaking of dogs -- Cody was VERY interested in the prairie dogs! I think he was convinced he could zip out there and retrieve a couple of them. We decided that for the benefit of everyone concerned, Cody should stay in the car. The Badlands are a great stop in Western South Dakota!


squawmama said...

Well you guys are in my husbands favorite park... He finds it so amazing and loves it. We walked many of the trails and never saw a rattlesnake but I am sure they are there somewhere. Have Fun!!!

Travel Safe

Margie M. said...

Once again, I enjoyed your post. Badlands is a great place, thanks for sharing your photos with all.

Happy traveling,