|Though seemingly inhospitable at first, the Badlands has supported life for 11,000 years. Years ago the earth's climate was warmer than it is now-where was Al Gore then? The Badlands were actually the bottom of the sea. As a matter of fact, this sea spanned from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and Wyoming to Iowa. The land mass was the climate of a rain forest. It is logical when the animals died they sank to the bottom of the sea fossilizing over time. Imagine how excited we were to come upon a dig in progress! Working for NPS, these young men are pursuing their doctorate! One was from King George Co Va and the other from Iowa. Generously and pleasantly they showed us exactly what to look for and at. The 64,000 acres of the Badlands is an area of extremes, contrasts, and color schemes. In some views it looks like copious amounts of sand castles interspersed with the green prairie grasses of the National Grasslands. The sunsets, moon rises, and the sky itself are larger than life. NPS ranger/astronomer, Larry Smith, was excellent. His evening presentation was far superior to any other seen thus far. At this point he is seasonal, living on a boat in the winter months with his wife on the Texas coast. He included a power point presentation, three mounted high powered binoculars, a super sonic telescope, and a hand held green laser light which reached the heavens. This translation made it easy and interesting to see stars, nebulae, the Milky Way, and the moon. Watch the night sky, free of light pollution, for numerous satellites intersecting the darkness. Tomorrow we'll find some "juice" from these parts. Sometimes I wonder where I have been in space and time! The Cold War created the need for US preparedness for retaliation in the event of a missile strike against us. Wow, what an operation! There are currently numerous underground missile sites in Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska, etc on stand-by alert. These sites are manned by two man teams with unwavering resolve. Do the research. You will be enlightened. Saturday...two lazy retirees stopped early in the day entering the Great Lakes region of South Dakota. The campsite is located on the Missouri River near Pierre(state capitol). Through afternoon sluggishness I was determined to complete this entry. Spring road repairs in these weather extremes makes for torn up roads. Dust control(water spraying) makes nice mud. Corky is stroking out over the splatters on the truck and RV. Along as it isn't inside, I'm OK.