Oh, how photos do not capture the Badlands! And my ancient phone’s even less so. I’d been wanting to go there for years and was excited to finally get the chance to drive through.

While I’d love to go there in summer and camp, in winter, the silence was overwhelming. The Badlands stretch on for miles in every direction after you drive in, and when you stop and step out, the wind tugs at your skin and the chilly air begs you to rush back inside. The land around me inspired me to run and run and run, though I knew I’d never feel as though I had made it anywhere.

The formations are history in front of you, large rock spires and formations with various colours and layers of various types of sediment, a geologist’s dream. They remind me of a child’s lego dreams combined with a seismograph and enlarged, or the odd doodle at a grandiose scale. The numerous shapes and sizes on the stones that go on forever are absolutely incredible.

The silence is nothing I’d ever experienced, with the wind and the odd rabbit bounding the only disturbances to utter silence. No leaves whisper here; no branches crack; no water falls.

And it’s magical.