“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous”. – Aristotle
There are few things in life as spectacular as a sunset. Sunset tends to be my favorite time of day, as the light casts shadows and rays of brilliant, ever-changing colors across the horizon. It is hard to decide whether I prefer watching the sunset over water or land. Each has it own set of attributes and wonder.
The last day of our summer vacation to South Dakota was rewarded with a magical sunset over the Badlands. The utter, surreal beauty of this vast land of jagged buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires seemed to come to life as the sun set. Although it only lasted a short while, it was by far the highlight of our week-long trip.
We left our hotel shortly after dinner and drove into the deserted Badlands National Park. Most of the day tourists had come and gone and we had the entire place to ourselves. It had cooled down to a delightful temperature, much more conducive to hiking than during the hot, shadeless afternoon scorch of July heat. Our only obstacle was time. We only would have an hour to hike until it was completely dark.
The views were astounding and the rock formations became even more colorful as the sun dipped further below the horizon. The deep maroon-hued rings of sediment became even more dramatic with sunset. During the daytime, you can hardly see them but at night the rocks looked like candy cane stripes.
It was so incredibly peaceful that evening. The only sound you could hear was the constant buzz of the mosquitos which believe it or not came out in masses at night.
As we set off along a short trail, I couldn’t resist stopping to take the dramatic scenery all in. Camera in hand, I snapped away marveling at the magical sight before my eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before in all my travels. The Badlands felt like they went on forever, and what was even more amazing is that they were below me, not above.
“Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. – Roald Dahl
As we walked in silence, we noticed a lone big horn sheep off in the distance. It was the first one we had seen in the park. I think he was enjoying the glorious sunset too.
If you turned away from the sunset and looked back at the rocks, they were almost colorless. Even this landscape was unusual and surprising. It kind of reminded me of being someplace in the desert.
Unfortunately time was not in our hands. I would have loved to have hiked more but it was getting dark fast. It was time to head back to the hotel. Before we left I took two final shots of the beautiful Badlands. It is a place I will never forget.
It continues to amaze me what an incredible planet we have. The world is worth preserving and protecting for future generations. It is too special to not do everything we can to save our planet.
Thank you! it was a gorgeous sight to see!
You are welcome! Yes, the Badlands are very beautiful.
Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
Great photos Nicole. The mere fact that someone named a place Badlands makes me want to visit it, and now that I’ve seen your photos I definitely have to go there!
I bet this is a place you would love Sas. Have you been to Yellowstone? I am sensing a next big trip to the US!
No I’ve never been to Yellowstone. My next trip to the US is going to have to be big, there are so many places I’ve said I’ll visit I’ll be hopping around all over the country! 🙂
Yes, and you are always welcome to come to Minnesota too! It is beautiful and I’d love to show you around! 🙂
Thanks Nicole, Minnesota is definitely on my list 🙂
Wow! Amazing landscape! Great photos you took. Thank you, Nicole!
Thanks Amy! I bet you would love it.
Beautiful pictures and beautifully written… This place is definitely on my bucket list now!…
Thank you so much! It is a special place. 🙂
You got some fabulous shots Nicole, of stunning country. It must have been a wonderful hike.
PS I think maybe that goat is a big horn sheep 🙂
Thanks Alison! You are right. It is a big horn sheep. My embarrassment! I’ve got a terrible head cold and wasn’t thinking straight. I knew I wrote it wrong… Lol. Thanks for catching it! 🙂
Eh, we all make mistakes now and then lol.
Yes! I am finally feeling better too after two long weeks of a cold! Thank goodness!
Yes it is amazing there!
I want to see it!
So very different from mine, Nicole, and yet the same 🙂 🙂 Absolutely glorious! A wonderful festive season to you and the family. 🙂
Thanks Jo! you too!!!
I love your photos and how you captured the light in layers! Beautiful. Nature never ceases to amaze me. It is such a fabulous way to ‘recharge’ and feel re energized after city life and or stress. I really enjoyed your writing as well!
Thank you so much!
Love the line horn sheep and the landscapes. Beautifully captured especially the way the light is I layers on the hills. Enjoyed reading you. How do I sign up for your blog?
Thank you so much! You can sign up on the left hand side of the blog, there is a link to sign up to receive posts via email. Thanks!
What spectacular photos! You chose a good time for the shoot. I keep looking at them and sighing. Wish I was there.
Thank you so much!
My mom was raised in this part o the country, but she never told me how beautiful it is. Thank you for showing it to me. I want to see it in person.
Yes, it is quite beautiful. I hope you can see it for yourself. A lovely part of the country.