Hungry for adventure, I pointed my car east on Saturday. The sky was bruised and swollen, like America last week. My destination? The Badlands.
Tara had to go into work for a few hours and had chores to do after, so it was just me. Quite literally; I had the entire 242,756 acres practically to myself – a sharp contrast to the tourist hordes that descend upon the park in the summer months.
The temperature hovered around 30º, but there was little wind and I was dressed for the weather, so it wasn’t too bad. It felt like winter, even if it didn’t look like it given the lack of snow that normally blankets the park this time of year. I’m happy to report I found the adventure I craved. There was wildlife galore, including white prairie dogs. I never even know they came in those colors until yesterday.
I even ventured out for a hike on a new-to-me trail…one that I am vowing to return to in warmer months.
I don’t think I’ve ever visited the Badlands when the weather was gloomy. Normally we wait for clear skies, and while the rock formations are striking against a blue backdrop, the colors still pop beneath a blanket of gray.
In a past life, I would venture to the ocean during those periods when my soul was in need of soothing. These days, I find solace on the prairie — about as far from the sea as one can get.
I arrived home a little before 4:00, the somber sky growing incrementally darker as the invisible sun coasted to the horizon.
And felt brighter than ever.