Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 19 - Badlands National Park, SD

Prairie Wild Flowers and Grasses

Our 2nd day in Badlands dawned hot and promised to stay hot.  We went looking for places to climb rocks and a neat drive to do.  Greg and the kids climbed at several locations around the park but their favorite is the first one you come to when you approach Badlands from the east -- it’s a great spot with lots of climbing opportunities.
At Badlands, they say that you can climb where ever you want . . . You can’t do as much damage as the next rainstorm.  So, climb we did.  
After that, we went back to the campsite for lunch and then took off on a drive that one of the rangers had mentioned to an isolated part of the park.  We took off on the same dirt road we’d seen the Big Horn Sheep on and then kept on going.  We ended up at an area called Sheep Mountain -- it was beautiful and isolated.  My favorite part was when the road just ended at a cliff.  Yup, end of the road indeed! 
We attended another ranger program that night -- this time it was about native americans and the origins and meaning of the prairie dance.  Fascinating talk.  

Ruth likes to climb to the top!

Do you feel my stress?  

Prairie Dog!!!

American Bison!

Prairie sunsets are amazing!

The Millers return to The Badlands!

The moon -- a cherry moon to the natives in the area -- rose bright red from smoke caused by wildfires in the nearby Black Hills.  We were sad to learn about some of the fire fighters dying when their plane went down fighting these fires.  It’s a tough summer for fire. 

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