Small Travel

The Awe-inspiring Badlands

Somewhere between the Midwest and the West, where the divide is not so distinct, the topography changes to a jaw-dropping extent. As I traveled among the mounds, along the lines and ridges, I knew that a comeback into the blogging sphere had to be made. To enumerate the morphing landscape, to acknowledge nature’s potency, to safeguard the picturesque memories etched onto the mind that may otherwise fade away.

An eight-hour drive from Minneapolis to Mt. Rushmore is difficult to contemplate without a good company. The midwestern plains of farmlands and meadows, that stretch all the way through to the destination, can tempt you to doze off behind the wheels, even in bright daylight without the aid of caffeine or good laughter. The dramatic landscape that runs alongside the south of the interstate is rather invisible from the road. The drive on I-90 W seems uneventful as the same flatlands repeat themselves, with occasional sights of grazing cows, pretty haystacks, wind farms, silos and farmhouses serving as minor distractions. But, for about 85 miles, as soon as you hit Stamford, South Dakota, outside the reach of your normal visual range, a few miles south of the highway the terrain will have changed to the Badlands without you even noticing it – that very piece of land that holds the geological history as far back as 75 million years, and human history more than 11 thousands years ago.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

 

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