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                                                The Badlands
                                                                                                 A short visit to an old friend.
Though I have far better, and more extensive selections of photographs on other parts of this site, I can never resist a visit to this place, whenever I am nearby. Of course, a few new photographs must be taken. Actually, this is not as silly as it might be. The Badlands are constantly changing. On average, two inches are carved from these formations every year, changing them, just a bit. In some areas it is less, while in others it may be considerably more. In addition, as in most places, this is a different place at different times of year, and sometimes even on different days. Generally, when I come here, it is clear, dry, and very hot. On this visit, the day started out with fog, and the temperature never did get above sixty or so --- very unlike The Badlands of my many summer visits. This is just a very short overview, of a very recent visit. There is a much more extensive collection of Badlands pictures on other parts of this site.
  Just inside of the park is a scenic overlook, which is a must, for anyone visiting. This is set right on The Wall itself, which is the line of separation between the upper prairie and the lower prairie. Sadly, for most visitors, this is the extent of their experience with The Badlands. They come here, look down into the Badlands, gasp at the sight, take a few photos, and then go on their way. Still, better this than nothing.
An early morning fog cast shadows on the prairie, and on the assorted Badlands formations. Fog, as well as rain, are rare phenomena here.

Heading down into The Badlands.
Starting down into the badlands. This steeply graded road, supposed to have been impossible to build. In addition to the grades, the underlying base, of The Badlands, is soft and easily eroded. At the bottom are the visitor center, and store, the cabins, a restaurant, and all of the other amenities that are expected of a national park.
  The park headquarters, museum, and store, are all housed at the Ben Reifel center. As this visit was in October, there were very few people here.
It is still early, and I am hoping to call home. Cell phone service is sporadic, to non existent here in the badlands. There is also no internet connectivity down here. This may actually be a good thing for the vacationer.
Driving down Highway 240, also know as Badlands Loop road. The 31.5 mile road starts near the visitor center, and ends just outside of Wall, SD. This road intersects Interstate 90 at exits 110 (wall), and 131 (Badlands).
Driving the yellow mounds, and rainbow mounds areas. This is also rather near the Pig Dig area, one of the more famous fossil digs in the park.
Just out of The Badlands, and approaching Wall.

The Wall Drug main dining room. The man to the right of the photo is not sick from the food. He is reading a plaque at the bottom of one of the wood carvings.
More diners, and more wood carvings, as well as paintings.
  Cowboys, and dinosaurs are both a big deal, out here in the near west. Wall Drug is an absolute tourist trap; but a very fun place to stop off for an hour or two. The sell everything imaginable here. I have only put a few photos up, as I have been here many times. A far more extensive collection of Wall Drug photos is displayed on other sections of this site.
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