Smog filled the horizon as far as the eye could see. The sun lit up the haze basking the land in an orange glow. Forest fires were exploding across the west coast as well as the rocky mountains, blowing smoke as far as Minnesota with South Dakota sitting in the middle of its path. I had jumped back on the road a couple of days previously, headed to see the Cascades before winters grasp tightened on the north. Luckily, I was passing Badlands National Park and even though I had been there multiple times, I always jump at the opportunity to drive through. One of the best decisions I make every year is getting a National Parks Pass ($80) which makes it free to drive through any park, offering spectacular detours close to many highways. This time, I was headed west past the park which offered me a new opportunity to see the park from a different perspective.