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The Badlands were probably my favorite spot on our 5,000 mile, 9-day road trip (with all six kids, yes). The wow factor is every bit as great as that of the Grand Canyon (which I’ve also seen firsthand) but you just don’t see pictures of the Badlands like you do the Grand Canyon. So when I say WOW, I mean WOW. Sadly, we had no idea what awaited us and only had an hour or so to visit before night fell, but we were treated to an an amazing sunset over this landscape that is nothing short of alien…and stunningly beautiful.

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The first views of Badlands National Park…thousands of acres of prairie.

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Our first view of the canyons and craters of the Badlands. Everyone was absolutely stunned to see this landscape.

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This picture was taken just a few feet from the last one. The views were just amazing.

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A couple things to see here. First, these guys owned the road and we were in THEIR way, thankyouverymuch. Second, look how the Badlands just go on FOREVER. (Tens of thousands of acres). And finally, see how those little nubby posts are all that stand between the road (which is gravel) and what I assure you is a very, very steep edge? Um, yeah.

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They would NOT move. We went through them at an idle, and they were close enough to touch through the open windows. (Not that we did, mind you).

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The drop is on one side of the road, and this is the other. Endless prairie.

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These are my lovely children…standing on the edge of a cliff. ERMAGERD.

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This is easily one of my favorites from the whole trip. That’s my husband on a bluff overlooking the Badlands.

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Is this not gorgeous bathed by the light of a sinking sun?

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Thar be a bison in the Badlands.

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This could not be more gorgeous. 

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Growing dusk…and the haze you see is dust from a wind that started kicking like crazy when the sun went down.

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Sunset over the Badlands

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A bison grazing in the Badlands

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Unless you’re really tall (say, better than seven feet or so) that hump is probably higher than your head.

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The view in every direction was absolutely breathtaking.

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One last look at the prairies of Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

Next we hit the road for historic Deadwood, SD…site of the funniest moment of the whole trip. (I might not win any parenting awards, but I STILL get tears in my eyes from the memory). Next time I have an open day on my blog we’ll visit there. Meanwhile, if you’ve missed any pics, you’ll find them here: