I am in no way considered a great traveler but I have been to a few places, many of which are more beautiful than the badlands. However, there is something about the badlands that surpasses beauty in a magical way. I love it there. I think my childhood experience of seeing the badlands as my first encounter of a landscape other than miles of prairie left an indelible impression. Actually we only went there a couple of times when I was a kid and it seemed such a mysterious place I longed to prob its secrets. As life would happen I have not been able to do that and so the mystery remains. When I first returned as an adult the park entrance had been moved and I was disappointed as I was so looking forward to seeing the great peaks that surround the entrance in the old days. With that in mind Deb, Rex, and I hiked out to the old entrance, and there were those thrilling peaks that I saw as a child. We had to walk through a prairie dog town which was entertaining. The young prairie dogs were very comical and cute.

The entrance as existed in the 50″s
What remains today
Me watching the prairie dogs playing
Deb and Rex walking through the prairie dog town

Sandstone blocks were commonly used in the development of our national parks in early days. You still see that today but everything breaks down in time so they are slowly disappearing.

I love how the colors change as the lighting changes

When I was a kid I wanted so badly to climb those peaks in the distance.

There are so many beautiful vistas a person gets dizzy wanting to photograph them all. In the end the photos never do justice to the real thing as they don’t show the depth of the canyons and so forth.

I have got to go up there !
Queen of the Hill
One series of cliffs will be white.
The near by cliffs will be dark gray.
The rack on this elk was huge
The deer were large as well.
The bands of wild horses come in all different colors and patterns.
The horses don’t seem frightened of people but they aren’t friendly either.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park abounds with animals, large and small. Early morning or just before dark is the best time to view them as they come out to feed.

Beneath the surface are veins of coal that due to lightening strikes catch fire and burn for years. You can see the fires burning at night in some places. In the above photo a trench was dug around the fire to prevent it from spreading more above ground.

Deb backs me into the bushes.
Being silly
Dakota Sunset