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.
Although, the mineral veins were cool!
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!