“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous”. – Aristotle
Last July, we decided to take a different kind of family vacation and headed west to South Dakota. Our trip brought us to such national treasures as Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park. I’d never been to the Badlands before yet had heard that this remote part of South Dakota is worth the trip for its unusual beauty. Although the drive there is long and uneventful, once you arrive, this striking landscape of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires takes your breath away. It is quite unlike any other place I’ve ever seen.
The Lakota (the indigenous people who inhabited this area) gave this land its name, “mako sica” which means “land bad“. The Badlands was delegated a national monument in 1939 and a national park in 1976 after reaching an agreement with the Oglala Lakota. Today, the Badlands National Park welcomes visitors and paleontologists from around the world who come to see and study this magical landscape of eroded sedimentary layers of rocks that holds fossils dating back millions of years in time.