Getting a Healthy Reward

Oh February, you are such a fickle month.  But, thanks for the good days you give us and the noticeably more day light hours with slightly warmer temps. And we’re getting restless to be outside.

castle rock and Magpie Road

Magpie Road curves past Castle Rock before dropping down in to the valley below.


So, that makes it a good time to reward ourselves with a few hours of an easy hike in the Badlands.

The reward is health, both mental and physical.  And we got what we wanted.

We knew we had done a good job of getting out bodies out of the sedentary desk mode we’ve been in.  It felt good to exercise the muscles.

a reward of a short hike

Sloping trails can be slippery, so we descend carefully. When they are dry, we’ll be in shape, and then we’ll head to the tops of those hills. We’ve been there before and have been rewarded with grand vistas.

Mentally, we were rejuvenated. Driving on a familiar rode our spirits perk up when we pass the familiar landmark of Castle Rock.


Once we got out on the trail, we felt at home.


The fresh air and sunshine, along with the exercise drop kicked the depression that often sets in by winter’s end.



grand canyon of the Badlands snowy road


The Visual Reward

reward sunset crowns the hills gold


Visually, we were rewarded when the clouds moved on and the sun gave us a wave good bye.  It crowned the hills and left us with golden memories.  The moment doesn’t last long in reality, but in our memory banks, and of course in our photos, we grab that moment and hold on to it.  We know the next time we come back, the color, the skies, the light will be different.




So, this moment is a gift.  For me, that reminds me to do that which I have trouble doing: live in the moment…even if it reminds me of the days of the Wild West when this region was barely known.

Hike Magpie Creek Valley

From the hills above it, Castle Rock doesn’t seem so big.


Even when its cold, you can strap on snowshoes or cross country skis and enjoy nature like few people ever see it.  

The goal of Beautiful Badlands ND is to give you incentive and destinations to brighten your adventures.  The weather doesn’t have to be perfect for you to break free, escape from your day to day.