Thursday, September 11, 2008
Donkeys in Custer, Dust in Badlands
Having spent an extra day just lounging around Center Lake, hiking to a high point nearby and catching tiny fish by hand, it was time to move on today. We’d planned to spend two days in the Badlands of South Dakota, but instead had today.
The Badlands are colorful and certainly unique, particularly in that they appear to rise from the plain. But having spent quite some time in the enormity of Southern Utah, they were a bit anticlimactic. We took a short fossil hike, listened to a long-winded ranger (the 15-20 minute talk became a 65-minute talk in the heat of the day, standing), then headed to the visitors center where V completed her 14th Junior Ranger program of the trip. (E opted out of this one.) The camp we were planning to use was under construction (it’ll be quite nice when they’re finished later this year), and the one near the Visitors Center was less than exciting. Then again, it’s tough to go from the trees and hills, lakes and streams of the Black Hills into the dry, flat prairie campground with little shade and threat of Prairie Rattlesnakes! So, we all agreed we’d rather carry on and put on the miles today that we’d otherwise face tomorrow.
Ended up in Chamberlain camping on the banks of the Missouri River. Now THAT’s more like it!