We stayed one night in the Badlands at the KOA. After our Notch Trail adventure, we ate what the KOA called "Indian Tacos" (fried bread, like naan but fried and puffy, with taco toppings) at the general store and had to high-tail it back to the tent when when what looked an awful lot like tornado weather rolled in. We didn't make it back to the tent before what I can only call a dust cloud hit us. I tried to find a similar picture online, but I couldn't find one quite like what we experienced, probably because you can't take a photo during that without ruining your camera. The picture above is a picture of the same phenomenon but from a distance. We were at the leading edge of a storm that was moving at 70 mph.
The wind blew so hard into the walls of the tent that it kept knocking the kids over. That and the fact that having them outdoors in that kind of wind is dangerous meant that they had to retreat to the car. The rain hit a minute later. Unfortunately the wind was so strong that it was lifting the tent up by the stakes and lifting one end of the rainfly several feet into the air letting all that driving rain into the mesh-topped tent. There was no way to stake the center of that edge of the rainfly. The tent really needed to be oriented a different way but we couldn't move it at that stage. The tent was full of all of our sleeping bags and mats for the trip and it was all in danger of getting soaked on the first night. My poor husband, who had staked the tent according to the "best practice" suggested in the manual after spending 30 minutes studying their staking diagrams stood outside in the storm for a full hour holding down the center of the rainfly. I sat inside the tent so that it wouldn't blow away with him trailing along behind like a windsock hanging from the rainfly.
The next morning we packed up camp and took an early morning wildlife drive before leaving the park.
We saw several prairie dog towns. We also saw bighorn sheep for the only time on our trip (despite looking for them at Yellowstone).
We saw a coyote. We can see those at home too, but it was neat to see one out in this environment. The boys say that the best part is that it pooped in front of us and used his back paws to throw dirt over it just like our dog Truman.
The roadsigns sure were different on this trip.
That sign should have said "Beware of Bison Poop." We didn't see any bison but it was hard to avoid stepping in the buffalo chips left behind.
Me Too loves being out on an adventure with binoculars. He surpassed me and become the family's official "best wildlife spotter" on this trip.
And, this is what happens when Mom and Kal-El turn back on the hike early and Dad is in charge. Me too is NOT afraid of heights.