Monday, December 14, 2015

Badlands of Makoshika

As we began our drive home from Yellowstone, I was looking at our iPhone and trying to figure out where the locations were that were shown in the new "Welcome to Montana" signs.  If you haven't seen them, Montana has new signs featuring some beautiful photography that welcome travelers to the state.  I was unable to find a listing of locations featured on the signs, so I looked at our atlas to see if there were any parks near where we had seen the welcome sign when we entered Montana a week earlier.  Indeed, near Glendive there was a state park called Makoshika State Park.  A quick Google search revealed images that led me to believe this state park could have easily been where the photo was taken that was shown on the sign.

We were a couple of hours away from the park, so we decided that we would stop there on our way through Glendive.  It would make a good place to stop and stretch our legs in the middle of our long drive. After reading a bit more about the park, I learned that it was Montana's largest state park and featured badlands formations as well as the fossil remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and more!  Unfortunately, the visitor center was closed as was most of the road into the park.  We were, however, able to take a short hike into one of the badlands areas.  That is where I made the photo shown here. I also learned that the name Makoshika is a variant spelling of a Lakota phrase meaning "bad land" or "bad earth".  It looks like a cool place to do some further exploration and a convenient place to stop and camp on a future trip traveling to Yellowstone!

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