Give me green!

After being in the rocky hills of the South Dakota Badlands for a few hours, I was getting eager to see some green.


And I'm not talking about the strange but wonderful mineral deposits that sliced across the trail. I'm talking about plants.


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Although, the mineral veins were cool!




So, hiking...

At the end of the last post, we had reached the end of the Notch Trail and taken a little rest. Granola bar-recharged we decided to get a little more adventurous, and climbed up into one of the little side canyons.

It was a bit steep but not dangerously so, and it ended much as the Notch Trail had: with a great view!


This edge seemed a bit more treacherous though, and it was a long way down:

Looks sturdy, but also like it could crumble easily

The hike back gave a few more opportunities for exploration of side canyons (or gullies? Not sure what they should be called), and we did venture into some of them:




By the time we made it back to the ladder and down (which meant the start of the trail was getting near), I was glad that the plant life was increasing again:



Can anybody ID this species of Opuntia?


Sunflowers are dominant in this part of the country!
There was a large patch of these -- cocklebur?


Here's the sap-leaking plant again that I first saw in North Dakota

It was approaching noon -- or was it 11:00? Whatever the time, it was starting to get hot! We were glad to get back to the RV and return to our campsite -- where it was nearly as hot as it was in amongst the rocks. Thank you air conditioning!

We thought that this would be our last up-close look at the rocks, but we got one final chance the next morning as we left the park.

Next up: the prairie!

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Maywyn Studio  – (October 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM)  

Those mineral deposits are weird. More weird, after the geology courses I've taken, I don't recall seeing them before. Nice photographs.

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