Badlands at Sunset

Whenever Uncle Scott comes to visit, the girls and I do our best to monopolize his time. It didn’t take much convincing to get him to do a Badlands trip with us, and we just managed to squeeze it in on Sunday evening. What a gorgeous evening for it!
IMG_9311IMG_9273Hwy. 44 from Rapid City to Interior is a beautiful drive in and of itself, with distant views of the Badlands, and glimpses of homesteads and ranches still weathering the climate of the region and thriving amid scrubby grass and hardly a stick of timber. As the Badlands drew near, we were greeted by cheery signs like this one:
IMG_8032We ate at the lodge restaurant near the intersection of the Interior and Badlands Loop roads, a popular spot. By the time we got back on the road, we were nearing the photographic golden hour. The Badlands were glowing in the sinking sun, and our leisurely drive became more eager.
IMG_9324IMG_9314IMG_9306Gazing over the racing landscape, it was like being on another planet, swallowed in the vastness and openness and awesome fierceness of that strange and wonderful place. Amazing how such hostility and such beauty can meet in such magnificence.
IMG_9351IMG_9370The sun set in a blaze of glory over the jagged ridges. The song of the coyotes rang softly in the valleys, and big horned sheep scrambled on the shadowed slopes. Nighthawks dipped and dived, and then the sun was gone and dusk crept in. Harney Peak, miles and miles away, rose out of the prairie like a sentinel, keeping watch over everything within its gaze. I love that mountain.
IMG_9399We drove home in the dark, the stars shining brighter and brighter as the sky grew blacker and blacker. What a beautiful evening, enjoying the wonders of God’s Creation, the glories of the Heavens, and the joy of fellowship and family.

Laura Elizabeth