As my previous post mentioned the badlands in Little Missouri State Park, I decided to actually do a little research and learn more about why the badlands are the way they are.
|Because this is what I think of when I hear the word "desolate."|
Anywho, the soil gets slippery and slimy with even the smallest amount of moisture.
Soft sedimentary rock that has been extensibly eroded in a dry climate by water and wind, creating a typical scenery of sharp spires, gullies, and ridges (NPS 2014)They aren't exaggerating when they describe it like that.....
|Scenic overview of Roosevelt National Park.|
Rumor has it that even the Plains Indians called the badlands, "bad lands." And the North Dakota State Parks and Recreation's website says that the badlands have been called "The Land God Forgot." Wow. So melodramatic.
Why is this all melodramatic?
What a fantastic question! You see, the badlands are teeming with life. First....trees. Let's compare the following photos:
Little Missouri River State Park:
|The North Unit of Roosevelt National Park....I'm on top of a hill already to give some perspective in scale.|
|Helllllooooooo out there!!! *silence*|
If you're expecting a photo of animals in the badlands, I apologize. The only things alive I saw in the field were a crap ton of rodents...not sure what kind, either. They were scurrying under the snow. However, I do know that bats, white-tailed deer, antelope, mule deer, bison, birds, birds of prey, wolves, coyotes, rabbits.....ticks, mosquitoes....humans...you get the point, right? LOTS of life.
Imagine how easy it would be to hunt amongst all those hills! All anyone/animal would have to do is get high up and go for the animals down between the hills. I wouldn't be surprised one bit to find dozens, hundreds, thousands of buffalo kill sites in the badlands. Bison stampede pretty awesomely. Chase them off a cliff, or up a gully into a dead end and voila! Easy pickings.
What the badlands aren't that great for, given the hill's tendencies to fall out from under you, is farming. So I guess there's that.
Oh, and hiking with vehicle keys in back pockets. Just don't. I promise you it isn't fun standing on an oil well pad access road waiting for help, whilst a large well is being drilled not 1,000 feet away from you. And that may sound far, but with how massive the drills are, it may as well have been 100 feet.
So, there you have it. I highly recommend visiting North Dakota to see Theodore Roosevelt National Park. There is camping, horseback riding, a petrified forrest, bison, the Missouri River, and Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch (which also happens to be a registered Historic Place).