day 117
badlands national park

"Anything with poo that big could
easily kill us." -a.
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Badder than Bad:
Established: 1976
Land Area: 64,000 acres
Old Home to: Mesohippus, Hoplophoneus, Archelon, and Metamynodon.
Now Home To: Bison, Coyotes, Vultures, and Muledeer.

Prairie Pest of the Day
We also visited...
The incredible, fantasmic Corn Palace! Each year, the murals on the outside of the building are redone into a different corn scene. Sound corny? It is!
Older and Older!

Mel turned 270,000 today! Email him and let him know that he's still got it!

Note to Kev's Mom:
The speed limit in South Dakota is 75mph, so we weren't speeding.

Jurassic State Park
Dec 21 - Man oh man, the scenery alone is enough to make you want to stay in this place for weeks. We know this for a fact, since all we got was the scenery. Definitely enough.

There have only been a few things on this trip that have been so over-the-top, so utterly amazing, so expectation-exceeding that we've just stood there in awe. One was the St. Louis Arch, one of the most impressive man-made monuments ever created. Another was two days ago at Devil's Tower, a clear choice for Steven Spielberg as a UFO landing point, and a beautiful natural wonder. The third is right here.

It's incredible to see scenery like this, despite the weather and the wind. The drive is relatively flat (after all, you're in the prairies), when suddenly, the world drops away. There's grassland right up to the edge, where it drops to become a barren, lumpy, inhospitable terrain. You don't even see it coming.

BisonWatch 2001

Regular Bison:47
Nasty-looking Bison:5
Baby Bison:2
We actually got to the Badlands yesterday in the late afternoon. It was going to be just a short detour, then on to the eastern end of the state to make some good time.

But, once we saw the landscape, we knew it deserved more than a drive through. We drove the full 24 mile zig zag through the mounds to the visitor centre at the other end, only to find out that the free campground
Point to Ponder:
In Badlands National Park, the primitive campground is free, and the regular campground costs money. In the winter, they shut off the power and water to the regular campground, but it still costs money. Why?
was at the point where we started. That was fine with us, we were looking for an excuse to drive through it again. Besides, added the park ranger, there's usually bison out that way.

We saw our bison, as you can see, giving us the South Dakota Wildlife Grand Slam: mountain goats, rams, mule deer, wild donkeys, elk, wild turkeys, a bald eagle, a golden eagle, a coyote, and a herd of wild buffalo. The only thing we missed was a prairie dog. You know, a real prairie dog. Thirty foot papier mache prairie dogs don't count.

watch out for bantha...

more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Badlands National Park, SD

Next Stop: Fargo, ND

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Nice and Cold

Daily Stats

Ponderosa Pig-Out:
Kev Had:Steaks
How Many:4
Total Size:24oz
Last Ate Here:1984

Sleeping Quarters
Motel 6 in Fargo

Room 275. Kev got the single room rate cause he told his sob story to the front desk girl. Way to go, Kev!

Cost: $31.00

Triple H Truck Stop
K's Order:Eggs & Pancake
A's Order:Biscuits & Gravy
In Mel
Highway 29
Shared:Pizza Pringles
K's Order:All You Can Eat Steak
A's Order:Pork Chops & Buffet

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Bad to the bone.