The badlands of South Dakota
Yes, it's just more pictures of rocks. September, 2007.
Badlands 1
So basically the Badlands are like any other sort of high-plains/prairie sort of deal, except that there's a whole ton of exposed stripy rock. And rather than being some new subgenre of indie music, "exposed stripy rock" mostly just sits there and looks imposing.


Badlands 2
You didn't believe me when I said it was imposing, did you? But now if you look at this, you come to the inexorable conclusion that if you fell down them, you would die. And that would suck.


Badlands in depth
That's a good couple of hundred feet down there. Side note, since you can kind of see living things here: National Parks shouldn't be able to advertise wildlife that they know damned well you won't actually be able to see. That's not fair.


Badlands including valley
So imagine you're in a covered wagon and you're travelling westward. Across South Dakota, which let's face it is not really the most exciting place to begin with. And you're in your happy little prairie schooner in a happy little prairie to be schooning on and you run into this. And then you're all, "what the hell, people?" I was like that, and I wasn't even in a Conestoga.


More badlands
Yeah, ok. This does kind of look like an earlier picture. But it's different! Why? Because I said so, sheesh. Yeah, and you try coming up with captions for pictures of what may as well be the same freaking rocks ><


Even more badlands
I mean, really, it's kind of pretty. And the late-afternoon haze kind of casts everything in an impressionistic sort of light. I can appreciate that. But captioning them is still pretty boring.


Badlands at sunset
Like, ok, here, perfect example. What am I supposed to say about this that I haven't said about the other pictures before? Not much. This looks a little more postcard-ish, though; I guess that counts for something. Right?


Badlands at Sunset 2
Oh, and here's the same picture (mostly) except a little lighter. What's weird is that the Badlands just kind of appear, and then they disappear again. You can see that off in the distance they really don't bother anybody much.


Badlands sunset 3
Oh, and here's a bit of actual sun in this sunset image.


Badlands sunset 4
Roughly the same picture, but without the sun this time.


Deer
Ok, look, I'm not some sterility-cocooned city girl who jumps with glee at the sight of any non-human life. Yes, I've seen deer before. I'm pointing this out here because with the exception of some prairie dogs deer were the only living things I saw here. Not even any birds. Certainly no swift foxes, which anyway are like the size of golf balls or something, but seriously I don't think you should be able to say "these animals live here" when let's face it the average amateur photographer has a better chance of catching a quick Elvis snapshot inside the park boundaries.


God rays
Oh, look, sunset. That means we're done here!


God rays 2
Not quite. Also not pictured: the steering wheel of the car behind which I took this picture, doing about 85 on westbound I-90. Oops! Needed some excitement. Anyway, here's a bit of actual sun. I like how the rays from the sun follow the ones from behind the clouds.

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