Seriously, just when I thought there would be nothing more to stop for, a new vista appeared around the corner. A few times, I didn't even bother to turn off the car, just jumped out, took some pics drank in the beauty and thought quickly how I might use what I was seeing in my art, and jumped back in the car!
At this turnout, I was particularly interested in the pyramid-like shape front and center.
I think these are from the White River Valley Overlook. For perspective, note the other tourists taking pictures.
As I moved farther west into the park, the composition of the layers changed. The pink became more pronounced and the rest very white. I'm sure I have some literature from the park that explains this but it isn't close at hand - sorry. However, this website has some general information on the geology of the Badlands.
The road took me back up onto the plains and a straight stretch where I could see cars pulled off on both sides of the road - not a scenic turnout. Could only mean one thing...wildlife! These big horn sheep were feeding near the road and ignoring the tourists trying to get a good shot. They mostly turned their behinds to us.
Again, I thought I was out of the scenic part, but suddenly I was winding down again to see colors that really grabbed me - muted muddy red and mustard yellow. I KNOW I have these colors in my batik stash! I'd come into the Yellow Mounds section of the Badlands. What a contrast the the craggy spires and buttes I'd come through. Everything here was soft and rounded. I'm not sure the colors are translating properly, but this area definitely got my creative juices going.
I was quite interested in the oval shapes along the one hillside, formed by the red eroding away and exposing that mustard yellow.
And I'd like to say that is the end of scenic Badlands. But as you can see, the road continued into those mountains where I took even more pictures. But you get the idea - this is one fantastic part of America! Artist residency anyone?