the black hills: having a bad time in the badlands.

We drove through the Badlands like we always do on our yearly trip to see Todd's parents in the Black Hills.

This time, though, the sky was looking a bit... ominous as we approached the entrance to the scenic loop.

A photo posted by Todd Van Voorst (@toddhenryvanvoorst) on

It hadn't started raining yet, but the clouds were making it pretty clear they were looking for a fight.  We stopped at an overlook and, ahem, gently coaxed the kids out of the car to go look at the clouds over the landscape.  Sidenote: someone needs to fire the guy who made the walking paths up there.  Imagine walking along the tops of cliffs on a sidewalk made out of oil slicks and banana peels, and you'll come close to imagining the true experience.  It's nerve wracking on a normal day, but the strong wind and eventual rain made it downright harrowing.  We held it together okay for a little while.

But the kids were getting more and more freaked out the longer we were out there.

Zoom in on that photo and you'll see what I mean.

Her face is doing something similar in Every. Single. Photo.  Poor girl. Atticus was really starting to get anxious as well, so we decided to get a family photo and then head back to the car.

It was taken just in time, too: right as we got our camera back from the kind stranger who snapped this shot, the heavens opened, and it started pouring and gusting, and the kids started screaming and sobbing, and we still had that whole slippery walkway to traverse to get back to the van.  Todd did not seem stressed.

Please keep in mind that Todd is not really shaped like this, with a marshmallow belly and fins on the backs of his legs.  The wind was just whipping his clothes in all directions. 

Once we were inside the van and dry, and everyone was calmed down, we started moving through the rest of the loop.  I was in the back feeding Rocco when Todd slammed on the brakes, which unnerved me until I saw that it was to avoid killing all these rando mountain goats.

I only know one thing about mountain goats, and that is that they always escalate a situation for no reason other than the entertainment value of it all.  Narcissists.

The rest of the drive was smooth, though I couldn't help but feel a little creeped out by the atmosphere of it all.  It was so otherworldly.

This is not a black-and-white photo.  This was what the light was like.  Doesn't it look like we were driving on the moon or something?

Well, there you have it.  Our not-exactly-near-death experience through the Badlands.  Oh, I mean, except Rocco, whose experience really did seem near-death... was mine when I saw Todd do this and my heart stopped momentarily.  Glad they made it back from the edge safely and my husband and baby aren't laying in mangled piles on the floor of a deep crevasse.  #itsthelittlethingsinlife #blessed

 Happy Monday.


todd said...

me looks like Sr. Cardgage or Leap Day William

Unknown said...

More like Hillbilly Billybob!!