On second thought, “suddenly” hardly describes it. Abruptly, immediately, instantaneously the topography dramatically went from flat grassland besieged with billboards to the spectacularly gnarled Badlands.
Out of nowhere the South Dakota plains gave way to layers of soft shale, clay and limestone that wear away at a rate of about an inch a year. The wind blown process leaves behind stunning silhouettes and fanciful formations.
The Lakota Sioux dubbed the region “Mako Sica” or “Bad Land” and early French Trappers concurred, calling it “les mauvaises terres a traverser” meaning “a bad land to cross.”
No one said anything about it being a bad land to LOOK at, so America recognized it as a uniquely beautiful spot and proclaimed it Badlands National Monument in 1929.
However inhospitable or difficult to traverse this place may be, the Badlands certainly provide a most unique spot where one feels
utterly removed from the rest of the planet. We are certain that we weren’t the first to express the thought that this looks like the moon.
While most of the park is wilderness and inaccessible by vehicle, The Badlands Loop Road passes through the most mind bending of the formations.
Absolutely remarkable — we’d go so far as to describe it as “out of this world.”
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com