I visited the Badlands National Monument in July 1973 and was struck by the stark beauty of the place. So much so that I decided I need to see the Badlands from the air. We paid for an aerial view via a helicopter ride with cameras in full force shooting Kodachrome slides and Super 8 film. What an amazing ride in the Bell 47G-2 helicopter, flying into the canyons and then darting up flying just over the tops of the formations.
The Badlands are located in southwestern South Dakota. The entire area had once been a great sea that receded, and then erosion began to take place. For thousands of years Native Americans called this area home. In more recent times the sad stories of how this awe-inspiring area was lost to a once great nation of people is truly something that is hard to comprehend. While I was there captivated by the scenery, it wasn't all that long ago that others had lived their entire lives here and saw much more than the rugged beauty of the peaks.
When we first arrived at the monument we took a picture of the sign. The concrete base of the sign remains today, but the sign has changed. Once a nation monument it is now a national park. Below is a picture of the sign that we took in July 1973.
Below is that same sign from the air taken from our Bell helicopter.
More aerial views of the Badlands.