Being a fan of old western movies and novels, I had to visit The Badlands. The scenery is an impressive change after the endless flat prairies we have travelled through over recent days.
I took a hike down to the floor of the ravines and they are even more impressive up close, with wonderfully strange rock formations.
Vyv didn't want to make the hike, and was hesitant to let me go on my own, so I promised her I'd be back in 15 minutes. I ran down the slopes to the bottom and after half a mile or so I was feeling great and thinking that I was pretty fit for a guy of my age. Then, of course, came the uphill climb to get back to the top. I tried to run that too but the realisation came quickly that I wasn't as fit as I thought. The hot sun, humidity and 39°C temperature soon slowed me down. I did make it back in about 15 minutes though.
This bison watched my progress from a rise above me.
We then drove on to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (still in North Dakota) and were quite taken by the huge colonies of Prairie Dogs that live there. We must have seen thousands scampering around. They dig an underground city of interconnected tunnels to live in. You can see the many tunnel openings as pale patches of ground:
Wild horses roam the park, along with herds of bison. We had spent a couple of hours touring the park and had only seen the rear end of one bison from a distance. We had almost given up hope of seeing one up close and then, just as we were about to leave, we noticed this one resting by the side of the road: