Spring break at Badlands National Park… More food for the soul!

by | Mar 29, 2013

Big Badlands Overlook by Photographer Rikk Flohr, 2008 Artist in Residence
© 2008 Rikk Flohr

Judy & Steve in Badlands


The Artist in Residence program at Badlands National Park was founded in 1996 and is open to all professional artists. Writers, composers and all visual and performing artists are invited to interpret this wind-swept environment through their work. The program provides time for artists to get away from everyday responsibilities to focus on their surroundings and their medium.

Badlands National Park  Quote from this website…

Good Times at the Badlands

“People are drawn to the rugged beauty of the Badlands. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today.”


There is no better “food for the soul” then driving into the Badlands National Park on an early spring afternoon as we did yesterday.  The scenery is breathtaking and takes your mind to a beautiful spiritual level far away from the day to day human challenges we endure.  Judy and I took the alternate I90 route to Wall, SD through the Badlands and soaked up the warmer weather and amazing sites, including grazing bighorn sheep.  The history of this place is amazing.  Once completely covered with water and sea life…a climate similar to Florida with ancient mammals and palm trees everywhere.  All this changed over time as the climate became cooler and erosion created the spectacle we see today.

Ted Hustead and the “original” Wall Drug Store

We stopped for the night in the destination town of Wall, SD where Wall Drugs http://www.walldrug.com/ became famous.  We had enough time to go by the old historic town and hang out at Wall Drugs for awhile, a must see tourist attraction.  Wall Drug opened in 1931 during the depression as an ice store, and now it is famous worldwide and represents a must see historic site.   The business is also an example of the great entrepreneurship of Ted Hustead and his wife Dorothy.

Today we head west to see Mt. Rushmore http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm as we make our way back to Depoe Bay, Oregon.  We can so enjoy our trip back home now knowing our granddaughter Jordan is doing great recovering from a successful heart procedure just two weeks ago today.  We are blessed on this Good Friday and celebrate our faith during this Easter weekend…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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