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Join the discussion: On Saturday night in the Badlands the silence is deafening

Lacey McKay of Waterboro, Maine, balanced on a peak in Badlands National Park on Sept. 10, after driving 530 miles.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. — After the sun sank below the undulating ridges of this otherworldly landscape, Lacey McKay, 21, and Cailyn Forrester, 19, stood looking west, watching the darkness deepen.

It was Saturday night, but for the two road-tripping young women from Waterboro, Maine, the days had begun to blur together. They’d awakened in Wisconsin that morning, then barreled 530 miles west on Interstate 90 in their silver Toyota 4Runner, an exhausting nine-hour push that landed them in the Dakota Badlands by nightfall.

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Jenna Russell can be reached at jenna.russell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @jrussglobe. Hanna Krueger can be reached at hanna.krueger@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @hannaskrueger.