Road Trip: Day 8

We finished up our time in South Dakota, and I have one more surprise for you: were you aware that South Dakota is not only more than just grasslands, but that it also has a massive series of canyons and massive rock structures? Oh yes - better known as 'The Badlands'.
I was surprised too, don't worry.
Why are there so many misconceptions about South Dakota?
It really deserves more credit - the Black Hills and the Badlands are incredible, and totally worth visiting. 
Phil and I took a 20-mile scenic drive through the Badlands, and then stopped at a hiking turnout. We decided to go on the Saddle Pass hike, classified as a 'strenuous 4-mile round trip' hike.
Look, see, I don't do 'strenuous' hikes. I mean, I probably could, but I'd rather no one see me try for (A) the number of times I would fall down/over, and (B) the heavy breathing that would compose the background music.
I guess because I've never done a 'strenuous' hike before, I didn't realize that the entire hike isn't difficult, only some parts. 
As was the case with Saddle Pass. 
The first 1/4-mile and last 1/4-mile of the hike involved scrambling up the cliff edge on a narrow path suitable for a deer or small child. Or a monkey. Really just something good at climbing (are deer good at climbing? Zoologist over here).
Regardless, the rest of the hike was on the flat grasslands above the cliff's edge, with beautiful views of the surrounding rock formations and brightly hued plains. 
I came out the other end with blistered shoulders and rash-covered legs (thanks, nettles. Love you too.) but I think that's the mark of a good hike. 

PS - I'm pretty certain cactus flowers are my new favorite. They are incredibly pretty! I loved searching for them in the grasses. 

The near vertical 1/4-mile hike/climb to the precipice edge. I only fell once!

Have you been to the badlands?
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1 comment:

  1. Haha, I hate strenuous hikes too. I mean, when you're hiking, you're just trapped and you have to finish whether you like it or not. It's kind of awful. Those cactus flowers are cool!