Open Road Press

The Badlands: Bad or Strange?

August 10, Day 39 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

The BadlandsOn our seventh camping experience on this trip (but who’s counting), we notice we are getting a little faster at setting up and breaking down camp. The KOA campground near the Badlands had everything we needed, even a hot breakfast! So we set out for another viewing of Badlands National Park on our way to Murdo, South Dakota, our Sunday night destination.

from Badlands National ParkFrom Interior, South Dakota, we entered the park and rode up quite a hill to overlook and ride through some of the Badlands. We thought parts of Wyoming looked like another planet. The Badlands certainly qualify as an extra-terrestrial sighting. History suggests that, 75 million years ago, there was a shallow sea where the great plains are now. “In today’s Badlands, the bottom of that sea appears as a grayish-black sedimentary rock called Pierre (peer) shale.” Check out this website for more information, videos, and pictures. If you haven’t visited South Dakota, put that on your list of things to do. It is full of surprising and strange beauty.

More BadlandsOnce we left the Badlands, we were expecting our ride through South Dakota to flatten out. No such luck! Up and down we rode. The fresh air, the wind, the drone of I-90 in the distance lulled us to a state of near sleep. By the time we arrived at Subway for lunch in Kadoka, we were ready for a nap. However, we still had 42 miles to go before we could rest.

Amber Waves of GrainWhat kept us from falling asleep after lunch was a grasshopper parade through the frontage roads we biked on. They danced in the road everywhere, hitting our wheels (crunch), our spooks, and sometimes our helmets. I had a few clinging to my bike rack and panniers, hitchhiking for a while to escape the mayham of the rest of their clan. It did wake us up, and so did the beautiful scenery.

America the Beautiful kept on running through my mind all afternoon as we went by amber fields of grain. I leave you with the rest of the lyrics.

America, The Beautiful Lyrics
by Katharine Lee Bates – 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!s

From the website:

One thought on “The Badlands: Bad or Strange?

  1. Chris Brown

    WOW! That anthem certainly does describe those pictures that you are sharing! You are in my thoughts and prayers daily, my friends. Be safe and continue to enjoy this God-given opportunity together. Love, Chris

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