The Badlands… More Like The Awesomelands

I’ve been wanting to experience the Badlands for a few years now. I’ve seen several photos and heard nothing but good reviews, but that didn’t make the view upon entry into the park any less awe-inspiring. They are absolutely breathtaking. And they’re so much more than that first viewpoint when you enter the park that you usually see photos of.


a viewpoint closer to the Sage Creek campsite

Sometimes they appear to be carved down into the earth, and other times they tower up like mountains. Some are graced with dusty pink stripes, others are a rich yellow and still others seem almost white.


the yellow mounds

They are jagged and rocky, smooth and rounded, flat topped and grassy. Some are dotted with animals while others are barren alien lands. Sometimes it’s so quiet that the only noises that you hear are your own footsteps, there are times when the wind is so violent that it’s all you can hear, and at dusk and dawn the silence is punctuated with the songs of the coyotes.

As a photographer this range frustrated and inspired me. I love to tell the story of a place, journey or person to my audience, but here there is no definitive view and what you can get into the viewfinder on your camera is never enough to give the full picture. It’s a land that needs to be experienced. It cannot be contained in a single image.


along the Castle trail

The national park is filled with opportunities to immerse yourself, if you take them. Driving all the way out to the campsite at Sage Creek takes you through a range of landscapes and hiking the 15+ miles of trails allows you deep into their heart. Mike and I took every one of those opportunities so we could learn, explore and enjoy the Badlands.





3 thoughts on “The Badlands… More Like The Awesomelands

  1. Wow —-Oh my God—–what a country we live in. What God has made for us to enjoy. It brings back memories of when grandpa and I went to the Grand Canyon and Oak Creek Canyon. I am so happy you both got the opportunity to make this trip. Wonderful. God Bless you both. Love you both, be safe. Mimi

  2. Syd, quite poetic, and the photos are wonderful. I will see the Badlands in person. Mom says she’ll go and even hike a little, as long as there are high-end hotels close by! That’s progress. Love you, and can’t wait to see all of the pictures. Don’t forget to stock up on the $1 MGD long necks on your way home. Dad

  3. What an amazing vacation you guys are having – can’t wait to see some more photos and hear about all your adventures. Love the buffalo next to the car. You should send that photo to Sally.
    Can’t wait to see you guys on Thursday. Safe journey! L.M.

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