Badlands National Park, South Dakota

This was my second visit to the Badlands.  I was here many years ago but it was nice to come back and spend more time enjoying it.  It was a hot day (100 degrees before noon, and a high in the Park of 108) so it was not too crowded.  Plenty of room in the scenic overlooks and parking areas and didn’t even have a wait in the restaurant at noon on a Sunday.

As with Carlsbad Caverns, the pictures don’t do it justice.  Everyone should visit to see it for themselves.  Only saw two bison roaming around (free range) but saw lots and lots of prairie dogs.  Unfortunately there has been a big outbreak of the sylvatic plague in the prairie dog community (which is lethal) so there are now warning signs to keep a safe distance (not hard to do since they are pretty skittish, though I do have a picture of one on my foot taken at Devil’s Tower many years ago.  Those little guys had gotten very accustomed to having people around).

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Before getting to the Badlands I made the obligatory stop at Wall Drug.  For those who haven’t been there – it is the “South of the Border” of the northwest US.  Signs along the interstate for miles and miles (though smaller and not as witty as Pedro’s) woo the folks driving down the road to stop at Wall Drug. It is a family owned, full city block in size, drug store/tourist trap in Wall, SD.  As was the case years ago, it was packed.  I stopped, took a picture and was on my way.  Didn’t spend a dime.

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