Right next to Wall is our final national park on this road trip: The Badlands. The name is not enticing, but the park is fantastic. If you are in an air conditioned vehicle on a nice park road, of course. The badlands are sedimentary rock, which was once the bottom of an inland sea, and contains large numbers of fossils. While many of the fossil finds have made it to museums all over the world, we enjoy the bizarre eroded rock formations in their own right!
We don’t have much time, so we decide to take the scenic drive through the park, which is also going to take us in the right general direction, that is, East. The landscape is very strange: grassland, interrupted by spiky rock formations, eroding under our eyes. They come in different colors, too: grey, red, yellow.
As always the park brochure contains a lot less information than would be desirable. Why, for instance, are the horizontal lines across the different formations perfectly aligned? Does this indicate that the sediment was distributed especially evenly? Do they indicate different types of sediment? What about the different colors?
We don’t know. They look nice, though. And we see some animals as well. Bighorn Sheep, I believe, although they don’t look very much like sheep at all.