Badlands National Park, South Dakota

The road that traverses Badlands National Park in South Dakota runs 31 miles from the town of Wall and terminates at Interstate 90 to the east. Along the way, the landscape takes you from one spectacular view to the next. It is hard to pick one favorite location along the road as they all quickly become favorites.

I had planned a few sunrise and sunset locations to shoot from, and each one offered me some terrific photo opportunities. Sometimes, the unplanned stops end up being the ones that you remember most. We had driven to the town of Wall for dinner (Badlands is quite remote with very little access to food). Rather than pick a place to shoot the sunset on our long drive back to our hotel, I decided to wing it. Boy, am I ever glad we did. As can be seen in this photo, the light and clouds were killer, and, though not in this composition, there was a storm in the distance. Every few miles, I stopped and took a few shots. Believe it or not, we almost had the whole park to ourselves. As I set up for this shot of the sun hitting the horizon, these two bikers showed up and walked into the scene. I could tell that they were mesmerized (as I was) with the view and knew they would add interest to the final image.