To the Badlands

Trip Start Jun 15, 2008
Trip End Aug 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Sunday, June 15, 2008

The National Parks Tour started with an arduous fourteen hour drive from Oklahoma City to Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota.  This drive passes through the always entertaining states of Kansas and Nebraska, open country where the terrain changes once every 400 miles and the iPod becomes your best friend.  After a night at the four-star Badlands Budget Host Inn, I awoke early for a big day in the appropriately named Badlands. 

This was by far the most underrated of the parks I visited, making for a nice start to the trip.  The Badlands are a group of sedimentary rock peaks that rise several hundred feet out of the South Dakota plains.  I spent about half the day hiking, including the premiere trail in the park that leads to "The Notch," a hole in one of the peaks that stands probably three hundred feet above the surrounding plain.  This is a land of scarcity - dry, few people, and few animals.  I give it a six of ten, a must-see if you're ever South Dakota way. 
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