Before leaving South Dakota's Badlands, we took a walk around the area around our campground, located near the town of Interior. The White River runs for most of its length in South Dakota, where it drains to the Missouri River. The tremendous, fossil-rich badlands landscape it adjoins is often referred to as the White River Badlands.
The White River gets its name because it retains a milky hue; its clay sediments--which repel each other with a mild electrical charge--don't settle to the bottom, even when the current slows.
Just a short walk away along the virtually deserted highway was this scene. The colors of the plants and the presence of the wooden fence pieces made an interesting photograph.
This photo shows how close our campground was to the Badlands National Park.
The southeast entrance to the park is named after the town of Interior.
To say the area around Interior is sparsely populated is a definite understatement. The village itself has a population of 94, which, in one sense, is surprising.
With the frequently-visited Badlands minutes away, we expected, as a minimum, the usual array of restaurants, basic services, and the array of souvenir shops. However, the opportunity to live near "bad lands" may lack the appeal necessary to build even a modest population base.
It was late afternoon when we took this short ride around town. The grocery store (photo #4) appeared devoid of shoppers, but the Wagon Wheel (#5) appeared ready to greet diners for dinner.
The Holy Rosary Catholic Church (left) and the First Presbyterian Church (below)seemed well-maintained and serving the small community.
In contrast to the emptiness of the other areas of town, the Cowboy Corner was doing an active business.
The next day, we hitched up and headed to Sundance, WY, for a planned three-day stay.
The trip to Sundance was a relatively short one and the highways were relatively empty, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.
And in the wide open space of western South Dakota, we did not catch glimpses of scenery, but long lingering looks were constantly available.