Aberdeen, South Dakota

To the northeast of the capital Pierre, in the flat landscape of South Dakota, lies the town of Aberdeen, which is the county seat of Brown County. The city currently has around 27,000 inhabitants, but the entire metropolitan area, which also includes the surrounding regions, has approximately 40,000 inhabitants.

According to existingcountries, Aberdeen is located in the northeastern part of the state, in the valley of the James River, which is dammed by two reservoirs near the city. The peaceful Moccasin Creek flows through the city, which then flows into the James River. The first settlers of the area were the Sioux Indians around 1700-1879. The first white settlers came to the county in the first half of the 19th century, mainly for the fur trade. They established many trading posts here, many of which were in operation until 1830. The city of Aberdeen was incorporated on 15 June 1879.

One of the most sought after places in Aberdeen is Storybook Land. It is a park with attractions, where a castle, a zoo, the Kingdom of Oz and other fairy-tale backdrops are prepared for children. The Wylie Park Recreation Area is also interesting, where you will find plenty of sports activities, as well as campsites, water slides and beaches for relaxation. Americans consider Aberdeen to be the coldest place in the world, it is always up to 10 degrees Celsius lower than in the nearby Black Hills.

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park is located in the western part of North American South Dakota. It stretches along the White River for about 160 km and offers a truly unique landscape that is difficult to drive through. This inhospitable corner of the earth covers a wild surface and, moreover, there is a lack of water. The environment looks out of this world. Parts of the prairie here have been modeled by water and wind erosion into the most bizarre shapes. This gave rise to hills and mountains that resemble cones filled with sand. In addition, they are horizontally striped thanks to the sediments that settled on them.

In ancient times, about 80 million years ago, this area was filled by a sea that stretched from north to south, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. As the sea receded, it left behind layers of various sediments such as clay, sand, gravel or clay. Subsequently, Tertiary volcanic activity joined the process, and after it the White River, together with frost and wind, completed the work.

Exposed layers and river deposits are today a paradise for geologists and paleontologists, who constantly find fossils of prehistoric animals here. In the 1970s, the American professor O. Ch. Marsch discovered a number of sites in which he collected many fossils, according to which he was able to follow the development of individual animal and plant species, especially horses. In the past, this unique region was surrounded by an endless prairie, where herds of bison and pronghorn roamed, and colonies of poodles lived here.

However, with the arrival of white settlers, the landscape changed to farmland with fields of grain, fields surrounded by barbed wire and asphalt highways. At the same time, even two hundred years ago, about 60 million bison roamed here, which were the main source of food for the prairie Indians. With the arrival of the Spaniards, horses also arrived here, which were soon tamed by the local Indians and became for them a necessary means of transport and help in hunting. The white hunters who came to these parts hunted the bison mainly for their valuable hides and soon almost exterminated them.

The Americans exterminated the bison purposefully, with the intention of driving out the native Indian tribes who depended on them for life. The Indians, who called this semi-desert area “Mako”, were thus forced to go to reservations. The then President Theodore Roosevelt himself commented on this act that never before had so many large wild animals of one species been killed in such a short time.

The Indians inhabited this inhospitable land for more than 1000 years, but the whites could not get used to the conditions here. Back in 1823, two men from the American fur company died of thirst here. Currently, the landscape has already been affected by tourism, and therefore it has greatly adapted to humans. You can reach viewpoints, refreshments, or you can even camp in some places along the high-quality roads. In 1939, a national monument was established in these places, and in 1978, a national park. Thanks to the protection of the area, herds of bison and other wild animals roam here again.

Aberdeen, South Dakota