Monday, July 2, 2007

Into the Badlands...

Today we headed into Badlands National Park.

Badlands is true to its name, in the respect that it would be virtually impossible for people to survive there. However, like many deadly things, it can also be quite beautiful. We were driving into the park when I caught a glance at this...

I think I'm seeing things... I thought I saw the Loch Ness monster earlier in the trip. At least this time I got a picture.

Another thing I saw on the way in was this creek. I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but for some reason there were dozens upon dozens of birds flying about. It was like being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie!

Time to head into the badlands...

Ride ambiance: Van Halen, Joan Jett, assorted 80's tunes.

It really got interesting when we officially entered the park and came across these amazing rock formations... The clay rich soil causes red bands to appear in the soil.

As you can see, we weren't the only people enjoying the rock formations today.

"Hi Paul!"

Paul has been experimenting with different camera angles as he drives. I think he's getting some cool shots.

It almost feels like the surface of the moon.

At one point we pulled over for some water and pictures, and a biker couple stopped by. Phil and Patty have been riding awhile, and as you can see, she has excellent taste in motorcycles! (For the uninitiated, she has the identical twin to my bike)

We talked to them for quite a bit about riding, bikes, accessories and the like. I think Patty liked the Rick Mayer seat on my bike so much she may get one of her own.

The road started this pretty steep climb, as we rose from the desert floor to the high plateaus...

Of Paul's pictures, I think this is my favorite.

Further into the moonscape...

My attempt at one of Paul's cool, "over the shoulder" pictures... Not bad, eh?

Paul calls this one, "Bad ass in the badlands"...

We were driving along and Paul suddenly pulled over. Apparently, the prairie dogs were popping up like a game of Whack-a-Mole.

At least they decided to pose.

These hills had this cool, rainbow color thing going for it. Do the ranger's sneak out here at night and airbrush them?

There really are some amazing views.

For a place that is so inhospitable to human beings, Badlands National Park is filled with stark beauty. The clay rich soil creates layers and layers of red and strata of colors in the rock formations. Even though I melted in the 107 degree heat, it was well worth the visit.

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