Badlands 2

On Sunday, when we we toured the Badlands, it was very hot and the altitude had begun to take a toll on me. I climbed up a small hill to take some wide-angle landscape shots, which turned out to be a lot more work than I had anticipated. I trudged up the hill’s narrow dirt path with my 10-pound tripod, and had to stop once to just breathe. Because I had been running during the summer, I thought that adding a little bit to my fitness would have helped me during vacation. But it didn’t seem to help much; yes, I had more leg muscles to help with the short climb, but there wasn’t as much air and I soon found myself panting. It wasn’t as though I gradually got tired, either: one minute I was walking and the next I was heaving for breath.

Well, I made it to the top of the hill and took some pictures. I left my hat in the car, which was a very big mistake, so I didn’t stay out too long in the sun. If you’re planning a trip to the Badlands or anywhere like it, make sure to take a hat with a wide brim and something to cover your neck, and wear a shirt that covers your shoulders.

We drove through the Badlands and stopped at the visitor center on the way out. It was too hot to linger outside for long, and we had a schedule to keep at this point, so we headed back to the Interstate and on to Rapid City, arriving in the late afternoon. It didn’t take us long to find a Starbucks, and we sat outside refreshing ourselves until someone wearing way too much perfume sat down next to our table and began oozing fragrance over us. We headed to the car to finish our drinks.

The rest of Sunday was consumed with eating, showering, and offloading pictures from our cameras’ memory cards onto our laptop computers. I didn’t have a card reader or a USB cable that would work with my SLR camera, and at that point I had already filled two of my three memory cards. The only pictures I could download were from my Nikon Coolpix, which uses an SD card. Since my laptop accepts SD cards it was easy to transfer files from that camera, but my Nikon D70 uses larger format cards. I couldn’t read them on the computer, and now I had a problem.