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  • Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Fahrenheit 109

    When I opened my eyes this morning, a great view was waiting for me without even having to turn my head. I didn't expect it, since I arrived at night and had never seen the park in the morning. That's when I saw how beautiful it can be. The low sun brought warm hues and long shadows to every rock formation jutting up from the ground below. I scanned the view tracing the horizontal bands of sedimentary strata that continues from pinnacle to pinnacle.

    I ventured a little further out to setup my next camp. I stayed in those long shadows as much as I could, but that frustratingly consistent sun rose higher and the shade receeded, leaving me to bake in the 109 degree day. Hiking out here and trying to stay cool has been as hopeless as treading water in the ocean and trying to stay dry. So I had a lazy day of reading and sunburning.

    Once the sun finally begun to set, the temperature dropped thirty degrees and the location of my second camp gave me a perfect view of the sunset. If the days were this cool, the Badlands would be paradise, but there are two more days over 104 degrees, so I think I'll get back in the car and move to the next spot on this trip. I still don't know where that will be.