Last week while I was driving West from a wind farm near Sioux Falls, South Dakota to the Washington coast for our next job, I passed by the Badlands for the first time in years.
The Badlands, located in Western South Dakota along I-90, are one of the most colorful and beautiful natural spaces in the American States. It took me two attempts to see this wonderful place the last time and it was painful to not have the time to stop for another visit this time around. You can briefly glimpse some of the eroded buttes from the interstate, but will not see enough to satisfy a craving.
Feeling a bit nostalgic about my earlier trip to the Badlands, and suddenly realizing that many of my photos from that visit are probably gone thanks to a cruel hard drive failure over two years ago, I decided to go through every photo file I had backed up and eventually through my Google Picasa account. Thankfully Picasa had a copy of every photo that I had posted on a former blog of mine. Though I didn’t post everything, but I did post a few images and looking through those precious few I could feel myself back in the national park. It was a bright sunny day, the park had plenty of visitors but not too many, and I was in awe of everything that I saw.
While taking in the view from above there was a golden eagle, my first, soaring above the landscape. There were these giant silvery poofs that looked like prehistoric dandelions all over the park. And of course there was the magnificent display of color in the rock formations from the various type of rock material packed together in tight layers. Each layer representing a different time in the long geological history of the region.
If you should ever go to this wonderland then you must go when the weather is lovely and the sky is blue to really appreciate the color. This is not a visit for bleak grey days. Its also a perfect place to bring a portable watercolor set.