Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

On to the Badlands

Sunday September 18, 2011
Cedar Pass Campground Site 12
Badlands National Park, South Dakota


We’ve had a fun 4 days in the Custer area
and enjoyed spending some of it with Eldy and Jeannie.
But today was time for us both to leave.
They are off to Sioux Falls to sign Jeannie
up as a South Dakota resident.
We are off to Badlands National Park
to meet Mike and Terri.
The friends you make in this life are amazing!


David was up on top the coach wiping off the slide toppers
from last night’s big rain when I saw his shadow on
their Phaeton.

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Here are the guys working on their rigs.

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Down the ladder he goes


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We saw Jeannie and Eldy off at 8:45 but it was another TWO hours before we could get on the orad.  Don’t ask ME why…ask that other guy.



And then we had to stop to get gas
and put the car on the dolly.
But FINALLY we were off.

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Our route took us through the edge of Rapid City.
Here’s what we saw on
opposite corners of the street
when we stopped at a light.

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We entered the Badlands from the west which we
later learned was the least common way to come in.
Nearly eveyone comes from the North West or North East off of I90.

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We were on the Prairie for miles and little by little the
Badlands appeared.



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When we got to the little town of Interior,
we knew we were only 2 miles from
our destination at Cedar Pass Campground.



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The campground is $28 a night for electric hook ups.
Half that if you are a senior.
There is a dump station and you can take on water there.
There are two loops and about half the sites in each
have electric.  I thought it was a lovely setting.

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Here’s Duckie’s mighty fine view!
(hey Roamin, when you gonna get your tail feather out here?)

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We headed over to the visitors center since it
was so late in the day to catch it before it closed
at 5pm – it’s winter hours.  We hooked up the electric
but new we could level up later.

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The Badlands is an oddly shaped park.
The National Monument was made into a
National Park with the help of some additional
lands on the Oglala Lakota reservation which are jointly administered.  The Northern section (in yellow)
is the original monument and the Southern (in green) is on
the Lakota Reservation and contains many sites sacred
to the Oglala Lakota and other American Indian cultures. 

There is a 3rd section of 122,000 acres
which was formerly  used as an aerial bombing range
during World War II.  Due to the quantity of unexploded ordinance that continue (AFTER OVER 60 YEARS???) to litter the areas used for bombing practice, a multi-agency task force is working toward clearing the South unit of these devices.  Cell phones can detonate
these devices.   Sounds like no one is going to be hiking
here for another how many years??


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The Visitors Center is named in honor of Ben Reifel
the first
Native American elected to congress. 



We watched the 15 minute film which was excellent
except for the “change lamp bulb” notice that took
up the middle left hand side of the screen for the entire film.
Why don’t they change the bulb already???

They had very informative exhibits of the fossils found in the
Badlands which is one of the chief paleontology sites
in the plains.  This area has bones and teeth from the dinosaur era
but none of them are dinosaurs.  They are all marine mammals
and the ancestors of cats, dogs and horses.

Among my favorite things at this center was this
1905 photograph of the Lakota here in the Badlands
their home place.

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David had a favorite picture too

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When we got back to the coach,
this beautiful singer flew up to the top
of our picnic table cover and serenaded us with
his lovely Meadow Lark song.
Not sure you can see him there.



But here’s a closer look.



What a good omen for our stay in the Badlands.



  1. I really enjoy the Badlands, maybe it's because of my nature. ;c)

    Actually, they are so different from anything else it makes them very interesting. Then there are the colors, another great painting by Mother Nature.

    Enjoy your time with Mike and Terri.

    PS: Let us know when you're coming back to VA, we need to get together.

  2. I can't wait to go exloring with you. We loved our 'drive-thru' the Badlands. Would like to go back to ride the bikes and do some hiking there!!

    Great shadow photos of David!!

  3. Enjoy the Badlands. One of our favorite places:)

  4. LOL! We thought the same thing about the "change lamp bulb" notice during the film. Why don't they just change the bulb??

  5. Beautiful bird and great prairie watching picture! :)


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