In the early 1900s, Wilson Burns set up his sheep operation near the outlet of the basin the beginnings of which you see here. The nearby Hamm's Draw near the outlet provided a source of water for the homesteaders in the area. Managing to hold on for the early years of the 20th century, most homesteaders were driven out of the area by the drought associated with the Dustbowl era.
Erosion is the defining feature of the landscape here. The Badlands Wall represents the leading edge of erosion into a formation of sand, clay, silt and ash deposited over 24 million years ago during a dry period of the earth's climate. The ash and clay in the soil and the rapid erosion since the end of the dry period prevent most plants from taking hold - hence the name, badlands. Only a thin layer of grass supporting soil keep the upland prairies from rapidly slipping away.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.