When we looked outside Monday morning, we saw something we hadn't seen for some time: blue skies. The rain had washed much of the smoke out of the air.
We had a late afternoon appointment over in Dickinson (the larger town to the east) to get our Jeep's oil changed, but that left us with plenty of time to make the 50 mile drive up to the North Unit of the park. We had read that it was well worth the trip, because of the extraordinary scenery and the lack of people!
We learned the badlands were more rugged there than in the South Unit because the glaciers reached the North Unit but not the South.
Here are a few of the pictures we took driving the park road:
This rock below was about four feet tall, and our first reaction was that it looked like Thor's bowling ball. Maybe he dropped it last night?
In fact it is a natural rock formation called a cementation where new minerals stick the grains of sand together. Most are very round and some are as small as marbles, while others are very large boulders. Probably no gods were involved.
The park road is fourteen miles one way. When we got to the end we traded places so Craig could look and shoot pictures while I drove. Although the days have been hot, the night temperatures are rarely warm in the Dakotas. I noticed a few first signs of fall.
This is a good thing, maybe the parks won't be so crowded!