Sunday, September 9, 2007

13 - The Badlands

Neither of us had been to Badlands Nat’l. Park, so we decided to check it out. It was a 50 drive east of Rapid City to Wall, where we spent a couple hours at famous Wall Drug (free ice water). From there, a 60+ mile loop drive took us through a portion of the park. The visitor’s center provided all the literature we needed and a video to get us off on the right foot. It was a nice sunny day and the drive was very interesting, with lots of viewpoints to photograph the rugged landscape along the way. The terrain is pretty amazing. It's easy to see how it would slow down a wagon train. Since we're well into September, traffic wasn't a problem at all.

The park has a good assortment of wildlife. We saw some along the road and were glad we didn't encounter some of the others.

Just outside the park is a restored sod house and other outbuildings from an old homestead. It was very interesting, with chickens and geese roaming around and a white prairie dog town nearby. The house was built of sod, including the walls a roof, and had a dirt floor. The geese didn’t appreciate Ron taking their pictures, so they cornered him in a small shed and were threatening to attack until another tourist chased them away. Wildlife can be dangerous!

The geese didn't appreciate Ron taking their pictures, so they cornered him in a small shed, honked loudly and threatened an attack. Just as they were entering the shed to do him in, another tourist chased them away and Ron avoided getting seriously goosed. Wildlife can be dangerous if you're not careful!

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