travel tales for family and friends. . .

wild horses. . .Theodore Roosevelt NP - North Dakota

Monday, May 31, 2010

Badlands National Park and Bear Country

All told, this has been a rather uneventful week, but we have done a couple of fun things, so I'll catch you up.

An RV friend, Kathleen, after reading about our excitement at the Corn Palace, said, make sure we didn't miss the Wall Drug Store and our free cup of ice water.  I had no idea what she was talking about, but as soon as we left Mitchell SD, we started seeing the billboards every few hundred feet. . .

They were like Burma Shave signs. . .you couldn't miss them. . .and then I remembered reading about it on a friends blog, and I will have to agree with their take. . .if you've never been, I guess you need to go, but just so you know. . .it's just a big old tourist trap. . .sorry, but we were hard pressed to find very much historical value. . .but ok, now we can say we have been there. . .done that!

Next, Badlands National Park. . .it's one of those things, if you are that close, you need to see it. . .
Our first impression was that it reminded us of the Painted Desert in New Mexico. . .
but much more intense. . .
we certainly got a sense of how the bad guys in the westerns could just disappear into the Badlands.
and of course, "The Beast" looks awesome everywhere!
Nearly rattled our teeth out driving down a scenic overlook but we did see mountain goats,
Prairie Dogs
huntin' prairie dogs
two bison
and antelope? (maybe?) not sure, so I guess it was worth it,
 but I tell you, it was rough. . .just so you know
Isn't this a beautiful backdrop for this ranch, but I tell you what. . .if I lived way out there. . .
on that road. . .I would grow my own food. . .'cause I simply would not want to hafta drive
that road any more than necessary. . .goodness! Did I say it was rough?  It was ROUGH!
and then there was Bear Country. . .what can I say?
It was a drive through zoo. . .their motto was "you're in our territory now, so stay in your cage," 
which I though was a cute saying.

Now if you have kids, absolutely. . .this would be a great place to take them. . .but seriously. . .
I'm not a big fan and I thought $30 to drive your vehicle through was a little ouchy. . .but it was what Dave wanted to do for the day. . .so hey, I'm game. . .let's go!

My favorite shot. . .this timber wolf crossed the road in front of us. . .
we will probably never get a shot of one of those in the wild.
and there were bears. . .lots and lots of bears
seeing an 800 lb grizzly in this setting does not do justice to the magnitude of what they are capable of
even I had to admit. . .the bear cubs were adorable
It's sort of like a kitten. . .if only they would stay that size. . .

We have a big day planned tomorrow. . .a bus tour of Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, where I hope to see a herd of buffalo, Needles Highway, and several more interesting sites. . .

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