We are camped on the side of a cliff again. This time at the edge of the plains and the Badlands. The wind is whipping and the snow is pelting the camper. The view, before the light dimmed down, was of time scarred earth dusted with snow fading into atmosphere. It’s cozy inside with cat and dog and husband. Bonus we have great cell service tonight. The plan was to drive into North Dakota avoiding the storm. Funny about those plans…
Kurt and I left Wyoming passing a mildly disturbing mining sign:
Blasting in progress. Orange cloud possible. Avoid contact.
I rolled my window up against the warm spring day and pondered the meaning of those dire words. And I was so happy to see the mining operation had restored an area of landscape they were done stripping.
I soon forgot about the orange cloud of doom, lost by mesmerizing cascading grassland hills. Soon we approached the Black Hills. If you imagined some, you know, black hills like I did I’ll stop you now. It’s forested evergreen covered mountains. Mountains. There’s some nearly black rock outcropping sometimes.
Through Deadwood and Sturgis we passed taking one detour to see the Crazy Horse Monument, a face and arm being revealed from the mountain, before continuing on past Mount Rushmore, the dead stone heads staring over the traffic, the trees, the land, in judgement of the society they shaped.
Just as the weather caught us we entered the Badlands National Park. In the off season we had the park just about to ourselves… and the Bison. The older animals stood like woolly statues against the cold. The younger ones bounced away from the grumbling truck at approach▪️