Lambert here. Yves had asked me to put up a quick post on yesterday’s Keystone XL truck stoppage in the Lakota Nation. But Ohio said everything a lot better than I could have. I’ll add some linky goodness at the end (including some Lakota contact info).
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Not the Sissy Spacek movie.
They’re called that for a reason. Summer or winter, they’re a bad place to be. The climate is unpredictable and extreme, as in -40°F to 116°F, and you can look forward to the thunderstorms and blizzards.
Steep slopes, loose dry soil, slick clay, and deep sand. Lots of fossils, so people who hate the idea of evolution must also hate the place. The Lakota knew they were looking at fossils, that the area must have been underwater at some time and the petrified bones and turtle shells they found belonged to species that no longer existed.
I’ve been to the Badlands. Once during one of those childhood excursions where your dad decides you just have to drive two thousand miles in a week. The station wagon was a lovely dental gold color, unbearably hot in the summer. There was a pop-up camper and we camped. I remember mosquitos the size of sheep near the lakes of Minnesota. There were little boxes of cereal for breakfast and my mom had a red plaid thermos full of coffee.
The second time was in winter. My seven siblings and I were crammed into a different station wagon, but Rose had the same plaid thermos. I was five. I have never been so cold.
I remember the wind. There’s that old saying: An ill wind blows no good. Well, a South Dakota wind blows right into you and takes your breath with it. Especially in winter.