Mako sica is Lakota for Bad Lands. The French called it, "les mauvaises terres a traverser." Essentially meaning the same, a bad land to cross. The impression is that you've have journeyed to another planet. But there is a raw beauty there. A leftover bottom land from the shallow sea which once covered the earth from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada and from western Iowa to western Wyoming. You notice a lot things in the Badlands. The colors, the terrain, the erosion. But most of all you notice the silence. If not for approaching cars, I would not have seen anything move save a bird or two. Follow me to the place known as mako sica.

Welcome to the Badlands National Park

A panorama of the South Dakota Badlands (scroll right, if your browser doesn't show it all)

This is what I saw as I approached the entrance

Peaks like these are plentiful

This is the other side

More peaks

This could be Jupiter or Mars



There is some green

A hole in a wall

Part of the panorama

And another

The third

These are buttes

A large butte

And a small one

From a high vantage point

Those are people on top

A pyramid peak

A castle peak

The colors were spectacular

Another distance shot

Buttes and peaks and valleys

Vertical erosion lines


I saw George peeking around the corner

From a distance

A closer look

This is as close as I got


The Chief Crazy Horse Monument

A closer look
The Memorial to Chief Crazy Horse is a private endeavor. It is not affliated in any way with the National Parks system. In fact the sculptor twice refused Federal grants of millions so the project would remain of the people. The first blast, which removed 10 tons of stone, was done in 1948. The sculptor was Korczak Ziolkowski. He died in 1982, but knew the project would be too large for one man's lifetime. He and his wife, Ruth, prepared three books of detailed plans so the project would continue by his family. The statue depicts Crazy Horse on his horse pointing to the Black Hills. His answer to a white man's question, "Where are your lands now?" was, "My lands are where my dead lie buried."
The face of Crazy Horse was unveiled June 3, 1998 on the fiftieth anniversary of the first blast. Each year during the first week in June visitors are allowed to hike up to the face, which stands nine stories high.

Music is
An Original composition by Bruce DeBoer

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