Road Trip Roundup: Badlands

Badlands National Park was my favorite part of our road trip.

Badlands National Park

I didn’t think I’d be able to tie it into this series, though. We drove, we camped, we hiked, we took photos…but we didn’t learn any new names.

And no one’s ever been named “Badlands,” obviously.

But I searched anyway, and — surprise, surprise! — I discovered a person named Badlands: Badlands Justice Rush McNally. He was born in Dallas, Texas, in late 1991. Here’s his Facebook page, even.

I’m very curious to know the story behind his name, and whether or not he likes it.

How did the park itself come to be called “badlands”? From the National Park Service:

The Lakota people were the first to call this place “mako sica” or “land bad.” Extreme temperatures, lack of water, and the exposed rugged terrain led to this name. In the early 1900’s, French-Canadian fur trappers called it “les mauvais terres pour traverse,” or “bad lands to travel through.”

The 1928 bill originally proposing the region be turned into a park actually suggested it be called “Teton National Park,” so as to avoid the negative-sounding word “badlands.”

[What’s this road trip all about?]

3 thoughts on “Road Trip Roundup: Badlands

  1. Hello! I’m Badlands Justice Rush McNally’s aunt and I know the story behind his name!

    BJ’s (as he’s sometimes called) dad, John (who is now deceased) is the one who gave him this name. John was a Viet Nam vet and had been seriously injured in war. The doctors said he’d never be able to have any children. My sister, Charlotte married John McNally and when they conceived BJ Charlotte told John that he should be the one to choose the baby’s name – they considered him a “miracle” baby.

    John loved the Elmore Leonard movie “Desperado: Badlands Justice”. John loved the Badlands, period! He was very interested in Native American culture in the Badlands too. He actually took BJ to a Native American Naming Ceremony there when he was just a couple of years old. Thus, Badlands Justice.

    John never knew his father – he and his mother were abandoned when John was just a baby. But John was very close with a family friend – a psychologist named Rush. I cannot remember if Rush was his first name or his last. Thus, Rush after Rush.

    It’s an entertaining story. Hope you enjoyed it!

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