Roadtrip ends: Leaving the Badlands

It's been a few days since I last posted about our August roadtrip, but today it ends, as we leave Badlands National Park in South Dakota.


If you remember, I chose the less-scenic route when we first entered the park. This meant that we just had to take the longer route out of the park -- even though it meant that we'd be going west for a while instead of east. I'm so glad we did though, as there were some fantastic views!


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First though: did I mention yet how this part of the country is pretty much all sunflowers? I'm not sure of the species, but they're everywhere:


Okay, so on our way out of the park we stopped at one last hiking point -- couldn't hurt to just walk for a few minutes to see what was there, right?



Well, what was there were these islands of grass:


I climbed up one for a better look.


No, not of the Opuntia -- turn around!


As was the case almost everywhere here, beautiful views in every direction!

(Lots of panoramas in today's post -- make sure to click them or "open in new window" for best look. They're the wide images.)

Apparently there's a trail here that goes east for a few miles and ends near the hiking trails we took the other day. That would be a long hike over rugged ground indeed, especially during the heat of the day.

(I took so many photos of the cracked texture of the ground here -- I'll show you those tomorrow!)

Back in the RV and determined to leave the park without too many more stops... we then proceeded to stop many more times -- the views were just too compelling!



I was especially fond of this next spot, as it put these rocky hills into perspective with the surrounding land (a big image but worth clicking!):


Some details from that panoramic view:




As we neared the park exit (or entrance if you were lucky enough to just be arriving), these colorful hills were revealed:





The stripes of color were unlike anything we had seen before! I don't know what they were actually called, but if it's not "Rainbow Hills" then somebody doesn't know what they're doing.


The trip after this essentially just turned into a 2-day drive back home (we spent a night in Sioux Falls at the KOA next to the highway -- what a terrible location!), but we did see one notable thing during this time:



Yep, more sunflowers. Cultivated ones, not the wild ones seen everywhere, but sunflowers still.


I've got a couple more posts, then one "index" post that covers the whole trip, but our roadtrip vacation has finally come to an end. It was a fantastic adventure, lots of fun, and surpassed my expectations... More in my wrap-up post coming soon.

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Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (October 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM)  

Wow, these photos, especially the panoramas, are breathtaking. I really want to visit Badlads NP now!

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