WPC: Layered Bands in the Badlands

In May, Dale and I took a road trip through the Dakotas. I love visiting national parks, so of course we had to take in the Badlands in South Dakota! For the Weekly Photo Challenge, this week the theme is Layered. The Badlands is an ideal place to see layered bands of rock.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The Badlands formations are dramatic, yet more subdued in their colors than the cliffs and buttes of the Grand Canyon. What I liked about the Badlands was that, when you are some distance away, all you see is prairie grasslands; then abruptly the prairie ends and you see below you a variety of weirdly shaped formations large and small. 20170531_095900KODAK Digital Still Camera

20170531_093602And of course, there are roads and trails you can take to explore the landscape. The landscape grows more dramatic the farther in you go.KODAK Digital Still Camera

We drove the Badlands Loop Road, since we had limited time and health problems deterred me from trying any long or strenuous trails. However, I had fun using the Badlands app on my phone, and earning a bonus point for each stop we made!

KODAK Digital Still CameraKODAK Digital Still Camera

75 million years ago, there was an inland sea where the Badlands is now located.  In the Badlands of today, the bottom of that sea is a layer of sedimentary rock, grayish black in color, called Pierre shale.  This layer is full of fossils of marine animals that once lived in that ancient sea.


Fossils of marine animals


Millions of years passed. Continental plates pushed against each other, creating the Rocky Mountains. This caused the land under the sea to rise, and the water drained away. The climate at that time was warm and humid, with a subtropical rain forest covering the land. Over time, the climate got cooler and drier.  The subtropical forest gave way to savannah, then to the grassland that we see today.


In the distance, it’s easy to see where the ancient sea was.




After a heavy rainstorm, the rocks of the Badlands show bands of vivid red against the buff tones of the buttes. These reds represent fossilized soils that make up much of the Badlands rocks. However, the day we were there, no rain had fallen, so although the colors were not so vivid, the layered bands of rock that formed over time are easy to discern.20170531_093548


KODAK Digital Still Camera

This is one of my favorite pictures of the Badlands, (in spite of the color being off) because you can see how the layers are so uniformly straight across all of the different rock formations.


Many kinds of wildlife live in the Badlands: mammals such as bobcats, pronghorn and Bighorn sheep, bison, prairie dogs, and ferrets – ferrets nearly became extinct due to shrinking habitat and disease, but they are now making a comeback.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Bighorn ewe

There are prairie dog towns throughout the park, but we didn’t stop, having seen plenty of them in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and other wildlife areas in North Dakota.

However, if you enter the Badlands from the north (Hwy 14 Exit 110), the Pinnacles entrance, several miles before you get to the park, you can see the largest prairie dog in the world! (He’s on the left if you are going north, on the right, if you are going south.)





CFFC: Appropriately Apt…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week are things that begin with the letters Ap. In my archives I have photos that are appropriate and aptly suited to this challenge. I hope they meet with your approval!



On our cruise last March, our steward always left us a bowl of fruit, and sometimes a flower too!


Panama Cruise C 935

Granddaddy orangutan at San Diego Zoo


Towel gorilla!

The stewards on cruises learn the art of towel folding and leave a towel folded animal in our stateroom each afternoon. This ape was the biggest surprise!


Appliances:  Old fashioned refrigerators (Bonanzaville, West Fargo, ND)

Appetizers: (Oh, so appetizing!)


Appetizers and sides buffet at a Brazilian churrascaria (steak house), Curitiba, Brazil


April: They say that “April showers bring May flowers” but there are flowers to look forward to in April too!


April tulips and other flowers in my garden

My church’s huge rummage sale, called Second Time Around Sale, always takes place in April:



Household goods room, Second Time Around Sale 2016



APL: apparently cheating 😉  !

I end with a picture of my brother, Allen Perry Lovejoy IV. OK, using initials is cheating a little, but Allen had hoped that he and his wife would have a son that would be APL V, but they only had girls. So each of their three daughters was given a name using one of the initials (Allie, Paige, Leslie)! When we wanted to refer to that family group, we often say, “the APLs.” Our uncle was APL III, his father APL Jr. and his grandfather APL Sr.


Allen visiting Carol and "Rub" Cuniberti in California, March 2015

Allen Perry Lovejoy IV



CFFC: Jews on the Prairie

Reading the book North Dakota Curious, I was intrigued by the references to two Jewish cemeteries in North Dakota. Jewish pioneer settlements were mainly in two rural areas of North Dakota: Wishek/Ashley in the southeast produced two relatively famous (or infamous?) people – Ted Mann  (founder of Mann theater chain) and David Berman (notorious gangster in the Twin Cities). Sophie Trupin wrote a book called Dakota Diaspora that tells the history of these Jewish immigrants.  I had wanted to go there, but it turned out to be out of our way as we decided to head north the day we left Fargo.

The other area that Jewish immigrants settled in North Dakota was in the Devils Lake area. A group of these settlers established their homesteads about 40 miles northeast of Devils Lake, near a tiny town called Edmore. We decided to drive out to look for the Sons of Jacob cemetery. We drove along deserted country roads, past farm fields and machinery and the road seemed to stretch on forever. I gave up hope of finding this remote cemetery that was obviously not well-marked.  We reached the town of Edmore, where Dale made inquiries. A man outside the only store in town seemed to know where it was. He gave us more specific directions – about 11 miles west, we would see a sign alongside the road pointing the way to the Sons of Jacob Cemetery.

Miraculously, we found it! I could see why we missed the sign the first time – it was not very big and was not where our guide book said it was. We turned onto the rutted country road that seemed to lead straight into a field of crops. Instead, on a hill to our right, we saw the cemetery.

Getting out of the car, it was extremely windy, as most of North Dakota seems to be, especially on the prairie. And these settlers undoubtedly shared a lot in common with the Ingalls family of the Little House on the Prairie series.

The small, well-kept cemetery may be remote but it is obviously well looked after. It is surrounded by a wire fence and at the entrance is a gate with a sign that welcomes visitors and invites them to sign the guest book, which we did.



The tombstones were scattered across a recently mown lawn.




The most poignant were the graves of children. I left a stone on each of their graves.





Some graves were too old and weathered to read.


Dale and I looked out at the landscape beyond the cemetery and tried to imagine what life had been like for the people here. Instead of farmland, most likely there were fields of waving prairie grasses which would have been the view that these immigrants would have seen from their modest homesteads.
And the sky – a wide open sky, that looks so much more vast here on the prairie than back home in suburbia.20170524_170930
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Tombstones or Cemeteries













One Word Sunday Challenge: Upright in North Dakota

Debbie Smyth at Travel with Intent has a Sunday One Word Challenge and this week the word is uprightThis is my first time participating in this challenge!

In May, we took a trip to North Dakota, South Dakota, and a little piece of eastern Wyoming.  Our third day in North Dakota, we drove up to the International Peace Garden at the Canadian border. It was a windy, cold day and the place was deserted – the official opening of the tourist season was a week later, Memorial Day weekend. The only employees there were a few gardeners and a U.S. Customs official. Actually there was no one there to check our passports going into Canada and we had only to fill out a small envelope with $20 as admission to the place. It was on the honor system. We saw the border checkpoint U.S. Customs official on our way out, who checked our passports and was very friendly.

Photos below: View of the park from the north; the 9/11 monument, with pieces of metal from the Twin Towers.

There is a spot where you can put one foot in Canada and one foot in the United States. Looking at the map, there was supposed to be a Peace Tower comprised of four tall concrete towers. Was I going crazy or was it not there?? We later found out it had been torn down recently because its foundation was unstable. They hadn’t issued new maps without it yet.

We visited the things that were open or accessible – the Peace Chapel, the 9/11 Memorial and the Peace Poles.



I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t see more, but I was tired due to what I thought was bronchitis and Dale didn’t want to walk the extra way to see the greenhouses.

By the time we arrived in Bismarck that night, I was feeling better and the next morning we took in the North Dakota Capitol building.  Unlike most capitols I’ve seen, the capitol in Bismarck is not a domed building. Built in 1934 in Art Deco style, it is in fact a 15-story building, rather ordinary looking, but it’s the tallest building in Bismarck!


Inside we saw the North Dakota Hall of Fame (I recognized a few individuals, but not the majority) in the main hallway off the entrance, pictures of the first capitol (it didn’t have a dome either) which burned down in 1930, and we rode up the elevator to the Skydeck,  where we had panoramic views of the city.

The photos below show the Capitol’s Hall of Fame and two well-known North Dakotans, the writer Louise Erdrich and actress Angie Dickinson.





CFFC: Where’s the Fire??

On our recent trip to North and South Dakota, our first stop was in Fargo.  There is an open-air museum in West Fargo called “Bonanzaville” where, after touring the indoor part of the museum with an eclectic mix of historical objects, you can wander down streets lined with historic buildings meant to resemble a frontier town.  The larger buildings are small museums in themselves, and one of them had old-fashioned tractors and trucks, including fire trucks. Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is about fire trucks and anything that has to do with fire fighting.

I will be posting more on Fargo and Bonanzaville in a future post. 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

These fire trucks are from the early 20th century, but when I was teaching, I wrote a “Readers’ Theatre” play for my students to perform about the Great Chicago Fire, which took place Oct. 8-10, 1871.  One of the props was my tracing of a picture of a fire truck typical of the 1860s-1870s, driven by horses. I put the original picture, which I had downloaded from the Internet, on a transparency for a overhead projector; then I blew up the size of the image and traced the picture on a poster board. The end result looked like this:

fire truck 1871

When the Great Chicago Fire broke out on October 8, 1871, a message was sent out to neighboring communities to send any firefighting personnel and equipment that could be spared. Help came from as far away as Kenosha and Milwaukee. Significantly sized communities that are now suburbs of Chicago, such as Evanston, were the first to send help. Firefighters made a human chain to throw buckets of water onto the fire – the buckets full of water were passed down the line and returned the same way.  It is no wonder that the fire raged for three days!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire Trucks,etc.

CFFC: Bumper sticker memories

When we were visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I happened to see this car pulling out of its space in the parking lot of the visitors’ center. It belonged to a young couple that we had casually talked to in the visitors’ center, so I asked if I could take a picture. I joked that since they are from Kansas – such a flat, boring state – I understand why they go on so many trips. They laughed in agreement. Their bumper stickers from many different states show the joy they have in traveling.  It seems one of them, at least, lives or lived in Illinois.


This Mercedes from Tennessee, however – well, it’s really been around – as far south in the hemisphere as Patagonia and now almost as far north as it can be, in Skagway, Alaska where I took this picture!  I could tell it’s seen better days, but its owner has no thought of selling it! He (or she) would lose a lot of bumper sticker memories if (s)he did!This car has been around!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things with Motors for House or Garage



WPC: Transient

The sky is constantly changing as clouds move across it, rain falls from it, the sun rises and sets, and sometimes rainbows form. Rainbows are special because they are transient, especially double rainbows!

On our Dakotas trip in May,, Dale and I were returning to South Dakota after making a side trip to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Right after we finished a picnic dinner outside the park, it began to rain. We drove through several miles of rain, but then the clouds parted and the low late afternoon sun returned, forming rainbows and as an added treat, a gorgeous sunset!


Weekly Photo Challenge, 6/21/17

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to North and South Dakota. Way up in the northern part of North Dakota, near the Canadian border, is the area known as the Turtle Mountains. So naturally, the tiny towns in the area have erected sculptures with the turtle theme:


KODAK Digital Still Camera

This turtle on a snowmobile stands in a park behind the Super 8 Motel in Bottineau, North Dakota.



Not to be outdone, the nearby town of Dunseith has its own take on the turtle theme, made exclusively of tire rims. It has the advantage that people are allowed to climb on it.

The true oddball, though, was this giant prairie dog north of the Badlands on Highway 240, south of I-90:



Random statue of a giant prairie dog that has seen better days!

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge, 6/4/17