return to Recent Trips

Badlands and Black Hills South Dakota

June 2006

The western half of South Dakota is well worth visiting despite the presence of tourist traps like Wall Drug.  The scenery in the state and national parks is spectacular and the wildlife is varied and accessible. 

Badlands

S Dak 06 (50).JPG (87492 bytes) S Dak 06 (53).JPG (95479 bytes) S Dak 06 (67).JPG (156231 bytes) S Dak 06 (59).JPG (69597 bytes) S Dak 06 (58).JPG (76502 bytes)

We saw this big horn sheep near the entrance to the Badlands.

This rock formation has a yellow cast, rare for the Badlands.

It's been a long time since I took a course in geology, but this looks like striated sedimentary rock to me.

We didn't see any snakes, but this and similar signs kept us on the marked walkways.

Erosion has created many beautiful vistas in the Badlands.

 

Crazy Horse Monument

Pat SD12.JPG (62730 bytes) S Dak 06 (88).JPG (95311 bytes) S Dak 06 (112).JPG (128079 bytes) S Dak 06 (120).JPG (162191 bytes) S Dak 06 (132).JPG (252400 bytes)

It's hard to imagine the scale of the this monument.  After fifty years all they have finished is the face and part of one arm.

A hole has been drilled through the mountain just below Crazy Horse's elbow.

Work on the face is finished.  When we visited they were working on the ear of Crazy Horse's steed.

Blasting and chipping go on every day.  If you look closely you can see the workers.

This little varmint, seen at the base of the statue, is a marmot.

 

Custer State Park

S Dak 06 (165).JPG (130318 bytes) S Dak 06 (86).JPG (75133 bytes) S Dak 06 (107).JPG (73373 bytes) S Dak 06 (109).JPG (51402 bytes) S Dak 06 (171).JPG (59750 bytes)

The park has a herd of 1500 bison.  Here are a mother and calf.

The antelope is really a pronghorn (according to the park ranger).

This is the type of scenery encountered driving on the Needles Highway.

One of the needles on the highway even has an eye.

Exiting a narrow tunnel on the Iron Mountain Highway a clear view of Mount Rushmore is framed.

 

Mount Rushmore

S Dak 06 (206).JPG (110681 bytes) S Dak 06 (189).JPG (115810 bytes) S Dak 06 (190).JPG (115274 bytes) S Dak 06 (191).JPG (147680 bytes) S Dak 06 (192).JPG (137821 bytes)

This is the familiar view from the base of the mountain.

During the construction George Washington was the first to emerge.

Jefferson was originally on Washington's left, however the rock started to crumble so he was moved.

Teddy Roosevelt's pince nez glasses were a challenge to the sculptors.

Lincoln's beard evoked a great controversy.