THE BADLANDS - DAY #1 - Sunday, August 22nd, 2004
When I think of the Badlands, I think of a desolate, unforgiving place, littered with the bones of the long forgotten. Having never visited myself, my impressions have certainly been formed more on imagination than on fact. Today I will see just how far off the mark I am.
Today will be my first day in Badlands National Park. On the drive from Rapid City, SD, I first stop at the world famous Wall Drug for a look around. Suprisingly, this well established drug store is a rather large complex of shops, attractions and amusements. Interesting place indeed.
After my Wall Drug tour, I set my sights on the Badlands. Upon entry into the park, I decide to go on a mountain bike ride along the park's northern reaches, on the wide and dusty Sage Creek Rim Road. The 20 mile bike ride in stiflingly hot weather serves up great views of Badland's oddly beautiful formations. Unfortunately, I have a mishap with my digital camera that results in a sudden and unexpected halt in my picture taking.
After my bike ride I drive to Sage Creek Campgrounds, a primative campgounds with no water or bathroom facilities, for some rest and relaxation. As evening approaches, a spectacular thunderstorm unleashes a torrent of rain, all orchestrated with bountiful thunder and lightening. It's all quite impressive. It is times like this that makes me thankful I'm not sleeping in a tent!
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