Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So-so tips and Badlands beauty

Nickel coffee? Expect to get what you pay for. Photo by Debi Lander.
Best pies, said several, and 5-cent coffee, so we stopped en route to the Badlands. Let's just say we'd both had better, especially the coffee which Debi said bore no relation to the real thing.

"Home made ice cream," proclaimed the Wall Drugs billboards, so we stopped here, too. Not.

Badlands. Photo by Debi Lander.
What was spectacular and better than anyone led us to believe were the Badlands.

They may be bad but they are also  beautiful. Photo by Debi Lander.
Wow. Incredible colors and fantastic shapes pop right out of the rolling prairies. Takes your breath away and drives photographers nuts trying to decide where to point the camera. It's all good.

The panorama changes with each hour. Photo by Debi Lander.
Good, too, is the park infrastructure. Raised walkways wind from scenic vista parking lots into the formations which is a very good thing considering the rattlesnake population that calls this place home.

An excellent visitors center is midway into the park as is the Cedar Pass Lodge Cafe  just down the road where the Fat Tire beer was cold and the bison burger and Indian taco salad (served on fry bread) ranked among our favorite meals so far.

Dangerously beautiful if you venture off trail - rattlesnake heaven.  Photo by Debi Lander.
The orange flag - dangerously hot - was flying for anyone too numb to feel the three-digit temps so we are piled into our large, ranchy rooms at the America's Best Value Inn in Wall, waiting for the "magic moments" of light and cooler temps.

You're driving through rolling prairie one minute then boom! There they are. Photo by Debi Lander.
We'll also stay till it's dark enough to see the stars pop and to try driving by starlight which the natives swear you can do.

No Brad Pitt look-a-likes yet.

Afterthought: Don't count on seeing scads of stars when there's a half or bigger moon. 

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