Thursday, August 26, 2010

Badlands of North Dakota

I originally had the misconception that the rim rocks were only unique to the Billing's area. In actuality we have continued to see those sandstone rock structures wherever we have been touring this past week. We thought we were traveling through farm land the other day when all of a sudden, coming around a curve in the road, we saw the rims standing up starkly against the sky off the side of the road. This was as we were entering Pictograph Cave State Park. I have a picture of that scene below. I think the one spire of rock standing by itself in the front of the other rims is what some call a hoodoo. Don't hold me to any of this misinformation!
Yesterday we drove northeast out of  Montana into North Dakota. In that area we found the land dotted with those rock structures. They may be heavily concentrated in one area, and then again we may drive along through miles of grasslands. The rims may look like small bumps on the landscape or they may be massive columns of rock structures standing in rows disappearing off into the horizon. They may be one plateau with many layers of rock. They may be cone shaped, or a pyramid. In another area they looked exactly like camel humps. So how can they be rim anything, I thought a rim was the edge of something. I turned to Wikipedia, well aware that it certainly is not the final authority on any subject. It defined  rim rock as " sheer rock wall at the upper edge of a plateau, canyon, or geological up-shift, maybe the rock formation or the rock itself. That did not help me at all, maybe I should just enjoy the sight of them for whatever they are. And then there is the term "badlands", which I guess refers to those same rocks when they are badly eroded away and lack any vegetation on them. Guess I better quit on this while I am ahead...Before I end this I need to get back to some road names which have intrigued me lately. In Canada one road's name is "Quick Road East". In Montana a road is called "Farewell" and yesterday, heading out of Billings, we saw "Bad Route Road". Wouldn't you love to know where those roads led? Maybe in my next life I will travel down those roads!

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