27 August 2010

Good day in the Badlands

The Wall near the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Badlands National Park, with tipis

I don't have time to leave work these days, not with all the preparations for next week's grand ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building. But I had a meeting with friends and colleagues at Badlands National Park today. This is not an onerous drive. It's 75 miles. You can get out there in under an hour via interstate, or just over an hour on the blue highways.

Or it can take you 3 hours to cover the territory by meandering all over the landscape on the tiny unpaved roads chasing storm clouds, rainbows and wildlife.

It was spectacular. Fall is starting, no matter what the calendar says. The grasses are brown and red, the cottonwoods are turning yellow, the meadowlarks and killdeer are wildly restless. Afternoon storms change the light in a million different ways every minute. The angle of the light has slipped lower; summer is over up here. The winds are cooler. I cannot remember when I last watched every minute of a 2-hour sunset.

I came home, unlike my camera batteries, fully recharged and ready for the week ahead. Not trying to set any overland speed records worked wonders. I did have time, after all. Here's hoping you enjoy the scenery, too.

First signs of fall

Sign in Scenic, SD

Gate, Scenic

Pteranodon sculpture, Scenic

Distant Badlands, Sage Creek Road

Bison and prairie dog

Badlands in early fall colors

Storm clouds rolling in

Badlands sunshine and shadow

More storm clouds over Interior

Holy Rosary church, Interior

Presbyterian church, Interior

Jail, Interior, undoubtedly not in use

Welcome sign, Interior

House, Interior, with spectacular light

Yet more storm clouds

Double rainbow, Conata

More sunshine and shadow

Clouds and light, Sage Creek

Storm cloud sunset

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a needed break, I'm sure! This is such interesting country - can tell you are enjoying it. Best of luch this week, and tell everyone hello from all of us! Steve and Marsha