Mom and Dad visited the Badlands previously in 1999, before their RVing
days. They flew to Rapid City and rented a Harley-Davidson
motorcycle. They wouldn't spring for an airline ticket for me nor could
we ride 3-up on the motorcycle (Mom didn't have her license yet), so I was left
home for my Grandma to rodent sit.
why I am especially excited to be here this time around!
View from the Campground
This place is surreal! It is very early in the tourist
season. I hear not a whisper, see little sign of humans, just me and
acres and miles of rock formations dating back millions of years! Some of
the rock tables and plateaus look like how I envision the surface of the
moon! Then I see high peaks, with the rock formations so fragile,
crumbly, and dry like paint peeling. I am in awe they are still standing! The sun, casting shadows, gives the illusion that the rocks change colors right before my eyes!
Though the area lacks in human life, the wildlife has been prolific!
We encountered dozens of long-horn sheep and prong-horn deer.
Not to mention all my rodent buddies, the prairie dogs (I couldn’t
fraternize with them because they are suffering from plague!) Most
importantly to Daddy, we saw a rattle snake! Unfortunately, none of us
were quick enough to snap a picture of it!
|Long-horn sheep at Norbeck Pass--look like a set of bookends!|
We rode the motorcycles down Sage Creek Rim Road--a moist, rocky, unpaved/ungraded
road that prohibited us traveling any faster than 15 miles an hour.
Virtually no one else was on the road, but we
hit the jackpot in our animal expeditions—dozens and dozens of bison, right
near the road!
These huge, majestic beasts
stopped grazing and cast their dark eyes upon us, watching our every move.
I squealed with fright!
Since they can run at speeds up to 30 miles
an hour, they could surely overtake us!
Needless to say, we refrained from getting too close and personal for photo
|The Beastly Bison on Sage Creek Rim Road|
|Long-horn sheep along Castle Trail|
We enjoyed seeing the back-country and grasslands by completing a 4 mile hike
roundtrip from Fossil Trail to Castle Trail.
And while Daddy and I climbed the ladder up the ridge on Notch Trail, Mommy
chickened out, worrying she may fall on her attempt to descend (she freaks out
with heights sometimes).
|PoPo reaches the top of the ladder on Notch Trail|
Mom actually did sustain an injury.
would have liked to say it happened while doing something adventurous like climbing
the ¼ mile strenuous ascent of Saddle Pass Trail (We only went up 1/8 mile
before she panicked and retreated).
instead, Mommy just tripped while walking 20 feet on a pressed pebble path to
the trash bin at Cedar Pass Campground minutes before our departure.
She’s banged up badly, with a deep gash, bruising,
and swelling of her knee, causing her to walk with a limp. We just call her “Gimpy”
The visit to Badland National Park and Buffalo Gap National Grassland has
been extraordinary, with the wonders of nature never ceasing to amaze and
delight. It is a “must see” place, and merits a
Rambling RV Rat 5-cheese rating.
|Mother Nature is amazing - flowers growing in the crevices of ancient rock formations|
|Badlands/Buffalo Gap earns PoPo's distinguished 5-cheese award|