I recently hiked and sketched in the Badlands near Dubois, WY. All of the wondrous towers, hoo doos, and sculpted formations were inspiring to capture on paper but far beyond my ability to do so. The vastness of the land, combined with the rich colors, shapes, and textures of sedimentary rock is almost overwhelming on a visual scale, so I eventually settled on a small formation to sketch, where I could sit in the shade of a cottonwood tree, out of the scorching heat of the day. Pen and ink allowed me to get the details of the structure quicker, and then a light watercolor wash implied the many eons of layered rock. The name "Badlands" was originally given to the semiarid area in South Dakota near the Black Hills, and called "les mauvaises terres a traverser" by the French because it was so difficult to cross. The true artists here are wind, rain, and flash floods--the medium is erosion. My sketch in the journal is a meager attempt at capturing its true beauty and mystery, but when I look at it and the entire aroma of the day there comes pouring in.