The Badlands in South Dakota was the first stop on my trip to Florida in May and though it was just a drive through it was spectacular. To my surprise, I saw a bird species that I had never seen before and the only way I will be able to identify is to return for a longer visit. The formations in the early morning light of sunrise were almost otherworldly. Just a short drive from an otherwise non-descript highway sprawled this landscape that if bathed in sci-fi light hues would feel like walking on a planet unlike our own.
The geologic formations are bathed in whites and grays with desert greenery sprinkled throughout. During my short visit, I could not help but think what a wonderful overnight camping place it would be and how peaceful yet spooky at the same time. The roads passing through were narrow and twisty in places with some sections showing signs of recent collapse most likely related to cars traversing an ever-changing geologic surface combined with the weather.
Only seven hours from home The Badlands is on the list of places to overnight camp. Sunrise and sunset photography would be ideal in such a location along with night astrophotography. The Badlands feels like a magnificent hidden gem conveniently located in a stretch far from most places and in a way that feels like a good thing. The impact of humans is evident in other geologic places of interest, but I think The Badlands will remain for many eons to come thanks to the location.