The Badlands And Three Cameras
This past October I drove out to the Badlands with my wife to cross off one of the items on my bucket list, the Badlands of South Dakota. As National Parks go, its really a very easy park to navigate. There are not a lot of hiking trails, but the ones that do exist are pretty good. There's a 29 mile long access road from the east entrance to the west. South of the east entrance lies the only accomodations found within the park, Cedar Pass Lodge, and they are well worth booking, as they have completely redone the cabins you would stay in. Not much to offer in dining, but the one restaurant inside the park is decent enough and has some nice views from the front of the restaurant. Nice gift shop attached too. If you are looking for a colorful honky tonk bar grill you are in luck, just south of the cabins is Interior, SD, population 64, and they have the one s bar grills that stays open year round. My wife has been encouraging me to get out and shoot more often. She was a fellow shooter on this trip, and we had a blast checking out the park. On this trip I brought three different systems with me. My Pentax 645Z for landscapes, the new Nikon D850 for wildlife (not much) and long compressed landscape shots, along with my Olympus Pen F for an easy carry all camera for heading into restaurants and our side trip to Rapid City, SD. I brought three lense for the Pentax, the digital 55mm 2.8 FA, the new digital 35mm 3.5 FA, and an old manual 150mm 3.5 film era lens that cost me $100. The Nikon had the 70-200mm with 1.7x convertor, and I brought a 50mm 1.8 for the hell of it. The Olympus just had the 17mm 1.7 and the 75mm 1.8. A Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead and tripod rounded out the gear. I brought two bags, one for the Pentax and another for the other two cameras. We went at the end of October, before the accomodations in the park closed, and really one of the best times to visit. Few people and great weather. We did do the obligatory stop at Wall Drug, out side of the west entrance on our way to Rapid City. On your way to the park you will see multiple billboards for Wall Drug. Rapid City and the Black Hills is another story, but if your planning a trip to the Badlands, it is very easy to add Rapid City and the Black Hills to your itinerary. All of the cameras preformed brilliantly, and on one day we had an overcast drizzle that had not impact on the cameras or our enjoyment inside the park. The Olympus came out in Rapid City as my walk about camera, and the Pentax and Nikon were kept nearby for all possible opportunities while driving around. As with all of our national parks, The Badlands were well worth the visit. Highly recommend.