Adventures in South Dakota: The Badlands

Our third day of adventures began in Badlands National Park:

Badlands Entrance Sign

We stopped at the Visitors Center and got some maps and set out to explore this amazing land.

Badland Canyons

This was a trail that we climbed…it was very beautiful!

Badlands Hiking Trail

It had lots of pretty flowers…

Badlands - flower pod

Badlands Orange FlowerBadlands Pink FlowerBadlands Sunflower

including some pear cactus in bloom:

Badlands Cactus in Bloom

and even a deer hiding in the foliage. HorseyGirl has great eyes!

Badlands deer in foliage

Several trails had this lovely, comforting sign:

Badlands JitterBug & Snake Sign

Fortunately, we did NOT see one! ūüėČ

After several hours of hiking, exploring and enjoying the beautiful scenery, we decided to leave. Driving along, we saw these pretty colored formations:

Badlands Colorful Rocks

Aren’t the colors fantastic together?

As we started around some of the last of the rock formations, there were cars pulled off to the side of the road. By now we were learning that meant something cool to see. ¬†We looked up on the top of the rock and saw a mountain goat. ¬†JitterBug was dying to take a picture so I sent her off with Mr. Bug (who fortunately had my camera) to get a picture. ¬†They walked up and around the rocks so we couldn’t see them and never came back.

Badlands Mountain Goats 1

¬†JuneBug was getting upset because she wanted out too, and I finally decided that it was her vacation as well, so we all piled out and crossed the road to see what was going on. Imagine our delight when Mr. Bug pointed out that the goat we had seen had 2 babies and there was a small herd all over the hills right there. ¬†Everyone was loving it until the goats decided to go behind the hill we had come past to see them. We decided to get in the car and while buckling seat belts, the goats decided to cross as well…

Badlands Mountain Goats 2

They came right up behind the car on the left and went up the hill on the right:

Badlands Mountain Goats 3

We were all thrilled! As we continued on out, we saw a delightful prairie dog colony.

It was only noon, and we still had places to be!

Next stop, Mount Rushmore!!

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