Harsh Landscape

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

I have posted a number of photos from my first visit to the Badlands last month. The more that I look at the photos, the more I realize how amazing and harsh the landscape is. What is even more amazing is that the initial formations in the park began over 60 million years ago during the early days of the formation of the Rocky Mountains. Streams carried rocks, dirt and other materials eastward. This buildup continued for about 40 million years, but it wasn't until a half-million years ago when erosion began to form the landscape that we see today. 

While my previous posts focused on some of the rugged rock formations, this photo illustrates how diverse Badlands is, with the effects of the constant erosion on full display. This section is part of the 100-mile Wall that forms the "spine" of the park. This particular composition looks southward, while the northward views are typically either large rock formations or flat plains. The more I think about the Badlands, the more it is becoming one of my favorite places in the US.