Jan and I went through Badlands after we were married in 1971.  At the time, it was a monument.  I went up to see Wind Cave and decided to pay another visit to Badlands.  This entailed a flight to Rapid City, SD and driving down through Wind Cave NP, where I saw the cave, small, but very interesting.  There are a lot more caves in the national parks than Carlsbad Caverns and Mammoth Cave!

I stayed in Hot Springs, fortunately having missed by one day a group of desperadoes who drove through here on their way to shutting down nearby Chadron, NE!   They were fortunately caught.

The next morning, I day hiked about 15 miles through the park east of the cave.  There were lovely views of the plains from the Black Hills.  I saw and heard numerous elk and even had one bound right out in front of me! 

The following morning, I went over to Badlands and hiked about 10 miles in the backcountry, seeing Big Horn sheep and getting to the car about five minutes before it really dumped!

One animal note:  I am a cat person.  I didn’t start out that way, but cats seemed to have their own ideas.  We have several.  My wife saves them, and they adopt me.  Well, there were two kittens at the hotel I was staying at who were obviously feral.  I bought some food for them and the next day paid a visit to the vet/animal control.  They were trapped, which brought the cops to the hotel to question me.  The kittens were taken to the local humane society/shelter, which I supported with a check.  I try to do that in every nearby town where there is a national park I visit.  I can’t save the world, but maybe I can help part of it!

Wind Cave NP pictures:

The cave itself and surrounding trails/views:





Badlands pictures:


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