Yesterday we visited Badlands National Park in South Dakota. It has dramatic landscapes of layered rock formations, steep canyons, towering rocks and scenic outlooks. When we were crossing the grassy foothills preceding the Black Hills, Morris asked, “Is this the badlands?” “No,” I replied with a laugh, “This is the good lands.
The Lakota people were the first to call the place “mako sica” or “land bad” due to extreme temperatures, lack of water, and rugged terrain. In spite of the name, there is an undeniable beauty about this place. It is as if you have been transported to another world, unlike anything you are familiar with. You are standing on the face of another planet. The rocks have layers of pink, yellow and orange sediment that has hardened into rock. Erosion has exposed these layers and given them their unusual shapes.
Both Mo and I really liked our visit to the Badlands. It was completely new to Mo who has never been west before. Although we spent a considerable amount of time on the winding road through the park, we both felt as if we wanted to spend more time, to really understand the land and its geology.