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There are a number of marked trails in the Badlands, but you can go anywhere at all if you like. It's a completely open park because the natural erosion processes are more destructive than anything you're likely to do walking or climbing. We did both even though it makes me crazy to see Victoria clamber along next to a precipitous ravine. We went to a talk at night about the history of the area and then took a guided night hike that was supposed to be a star talk but turned into a bedtime story reading instead due to clouds. The story was Thurber's Many Moons and the reader did a fine job. On the way back we saw a tarantula. That night we heard the coyotes and the next day we saw deer, antelope, and bighorn sheep. I thought camping in the park would be pretty quiet, but there was a lot of highway noise--I guess there's nothing much to absorb it. It wasn't awful, but I was surprised to hear as much of it as I did.

The next morning we went on a geology talk/hike and that was fun, too. Then we packed up went to the sod house thing near the park entrance, then drove the loop out of the park, which puts you near Wall. We went to Wall Drug and stayed a while even though Brian was tired of it the second he saw it. This place makes no attempt to hide its purpose: to lure tourists inside to stay and spend money. So? I had brought a fistful of quarters to make the bunnies dance and the gorilla play the piano and so forth. I also got some sunglasses for Victoria, and these were a big hit. We listened to the cowboy band and tried to hear the dinosaur roar but Victoria freaked and we had to leave that one early.

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koralleen
koralleen

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