Saturday, September 7, 2013

Badlands National Park

On the way to Badlands,  There are brainwashing signs along the highway for miles and miles advertising Wall Drug.   The two that hooked me were homemade ice cream and a 6 ft rabbit.  So, I stopped at the largest tourist store I have ever been in.  I found the ice cream right away and went in search for the 6 ft. rabbit.   This store has every piece of tourist stuff that could find in almost every gift shop, anywhere,  but all in one place.  Well the ice cream was not that good,  and I couldn’t find the rabbit after 2 passes.  So that was enough it was time to go to the Badlands.


Badlands National Park is the edge of what they call the wall.  From the north, it looks like the plains just dropped off,  from the south, the Wall stretched for a hundred miles.  The edge has been eroded to form pinnacles and gullies revealing many different colorful layers of earth.  Some of the mounds were similar to ones I had seen in the Petrified Forest.


I thought I had escaped the Texas heat,  but it
has been rather warm the past few days.  Today was just HOT.  It was 96 degrees and high plains desert.  I drove the loop from west to east in the afternoon.  Interesting, but the colors were just not there.  I needed to go back during sunset and sunrise.  I got to the visitor center and campground and decided to wait out the afternoon till sunset.  It was so hot,  for the first time in the camper,  I paid for an electric campsite so that I could run the air conditioner in the camper.  


For those who have not read the whole blog,  my camper is solar powered and runs everything I need except for the air conditioner.   Last year,  I only plugged in twice, not because I had too,  but because the campsite was the same price with, or without electricity and I thought I would try it.  I found it not even worth the hassle of getting out the electrical cord.  I did not even plug in Death Valley last year!


I got back out about an hour before sunset to go photograph.  Definitely worth the wait.  At one point there was a big horn sheep, silhouetted on the mountain crest.  I got one shot with my normal lens,  and wanted to put on the 400 to get the real shot,  but a ranger pulled up behind me and made me move on.   That would have been a shot for the books.  I turned around down the road to try again, but it was gone.   The rest of the shots were pretty good though.


Back to the campsite, with electricity for the night and off towards Theodore Roosevelt National Park tomorrow. 

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