June 9th ~ South Dakota ~
Designated a National Monument in 1939, it is a relatively young National Park, getting that status in 1978. Drawing around a million visitors a year, the parks 244,000 acres is home to bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets.
The striking geological deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds and there is now a fossil research lab at the Ben Reifel Visitors Center.
“No words of mine can describe these Bad Lands. One set of buttes, with cones and minarets, gives place in the next mile to natural freaks of different variety never dreamed of by mortal man…The painter’s whole palette is on one bluff.” ~ Frederick Remington, American Landscape Painter and Explorer
Some pictures of mother and son enjoying some special moments together.
Shortly before we left Illinois, we found out that Shirley can still touch her toes. Sooooo, I decided to take a picture of her at each of the National Parks that we stop at doing just that. She is putting me to shame 🙂
A tourist trap, but an iconic one none-the-less. The town of Wall was founded by the Chicago/Northwestern Railroad in 1907, it has a current population of 876. What floored me was the number of people who stop here – an estimated 2 million annual visitors every year – TWICE as many as those who visit Badlands National Park!!!
A little known fact is that Wall Drug has over 300 original oil paintings in the Western art Gallery Dining Rooms. This acquisition represents one of the best private collections of original Western and Illustration Art in the country.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for Shirley’s willingness to try things that are new or may be uncomfortable for her. Being a “flatlander” from Illinois, mountain roads with sharp curves and sudden drop offs can be intimidating. She is doing a great job of going with the flow and I am very proud of her.