So many highlights from our vacation but I am going to hold off on some of my favorites until I am able to work through my images and develop more back story to go with them. Instead, I will start with a short stop we made at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. We were there all of three hours but managed to see quite a bit during that time. The Badlands are nice but once you have traveled in Utah and Wyoming you quickly realize that the cool eroded hills of the Badlands aren’t particularly unique. What is interesting about the Badlands is that much of the sedimentary rock there is quite young and some layers contains large numbers of mammalian fossils. Many of these fossils are found below thick ash layers in late Eocene-aged sediments (34 to 39 million years). These grey layers are exposed through much of the park and easily accessible. Three years ago on a quick trip through the areas I found an eroded skull and multiple teeth in just 20 minutes of hunting. I took my kids back to the same area of the park where they were able to locate several pieces of jawbones with teeth and many pieces of bone. We did not collect these since this is a National Park but it was a nice start to our vacation which would include many other fossils-collecting sites. Below are some photos of the badlands area including our fossil discoveries.