Monday, September 19, 2016

2016-08-17, Badlands National Park

Holly A. Rife / Norman E. Gibat   -USA

2016 - The Big Trip West

-To visit all the places we have lived through the western USA and all the friends that have scattered. For under US $50. per day? (Average?)

2016-08-17, DAY 14
Badlands N.P.

Distance Walked: 5.9 miles / 9.5 . 
Elevation gain: 516 feet / 157.3 meters
Distance this trip on new Subaru Outback 2029 miles / 3265 Kilometers
US $. --  Food 51.     Petrol 28.     Lodging 25.     Fees 16.     Misc. 9. 

We stopped at a campground 20 miles from Badlands National Park.  It was very windy as we put up the tent attachment on "Tessie", our Subaru Outback.  We had never had a chance to test this tenting attachment in bad weather.  This night will be it's first test.  Soon after retiring the winds picked up velocity and it started raining in fits, coming down in a deluge one minute and then dropping to a light sprinkle the next.  Through it all the attachment kept the rain and wind completely out! 
I had worried that the tent/metal interface would leak water in rain, especially wind driven rain.  This would not be a big problem as the rear hatch seals would direct the water around the opening and spill it over the bumper.  We got no water anywhere.  Upon inspection the next morning I realized that the first few drops of water wicked in between the Subaru roof and the tent nylon and stuck the nylon firmly in place, preventing any water or wind from penetrating!

The Badlands reportedly got their name from the phrase "Those are Bad Lands to cross".   I have 2.7 million pics of Badlands scenes that all look exactly like this one.  I will NOT inflict them on you.  This landscape is crazy weird.  When hiking down trails, you see some new scene like you've never seen before and take a picture.  When you get home, they all look the same, twisted!

Unusual survey marker.  The letters stand for United States Department of Interior, National Park Service, Station X?

Hiking one of the trails at the foot of a high bluff.  In the morning the temps were in the 60s (F), but were pushing 100 by mid afternoon.


Holly at the top of a bluff

 The sign means what it says. 

 At the top of the bluffs. 

Alison on the ledge with Norman trying to be the hero
On our last hike in the early afternoon, we gave up at the half way point due to the rising temperatures.  As we worked our way back, we spotted a scene where there was a woman (Alison) ledged out on an area with very sketchy footing.

We went to assist.  I climbed up to an area two feet to her left and helped her stabilize her situation, but was unable to assist more without ropes, so we waited until the Rangers arrived with rescue gear.

Big Horn sheep next to the Subaru on a dirt back road
One quick note on Badlands.  Consider doing the Badlands loop road west, then take the Badlands Loop Road west to the all dirt Sage Creek Rim Road out the west end of the park.   This takes you through areas that are much more about the wildlife than the wild geology!

Some bison survived the slaughter imposed by the U.S. Army in order to starve the American Indian out of existence in the nineteenth and twentieth  centuries.  Now they are starting to come back in some reserves.

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