"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Our Last State to Visit, North Dakota!

Medora, North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

We were finally able to visit the only state in the lower 48 we had not been to, North Dakota.  Had we went in our first year, we'd have been to all states last year.  It's freezing cold, but we're happy to be here finally!
Some random airplane type stuff on the side of the road.
My brother and sister-in-law had to leave us in Arizona to return to Placerville, CA because a bad storm had brought down a huge old oak tree which fell on their barn and totaled it.  Well, they finally got things cleaned up and a new, smaller barn/shed put up and they are back on the road.  They left CA and met up with us here in North Dakota at a small city park in Bowman with free camping.  We just spent the night then headed up to Roosevelt National Park the next day.  Wow were they surprised at the cold temps since they left California where it was sunny and warm.  Not anymore.  Cold, snowy, windy and stormy the entire way across Utah and Wyoming to get here.
Just before arriving at the TRNP we stopped at a scenic overlook of the end of the Badlands.  Wow!  This was just a little taste of what was to come.  Very colorful bluffs sprung up from the surrounding flat green grass prairies.

We took a temp spot until we could move the next day to a shared spot with my brother. $14 to camp, no utilities but there was a place to fill up fresh water with when you arrived.
We set up and went in to town the next day to walk around and get something to eat.  It was before Memorial Day so most things were still closed.
The ice cream shop was getting ready to close so we figured we'd have our dessert first.
Then we went across the street for some wings and a drink.
On Saturday before we headed out to drive the South Part of the park we stopped in the Visitor Center for maps and suggestions. The North and South sections of the park are not connected so we decided to do the South portion today and the North tomorrow.
A petrified Bald Cypress Tree Stump that is 53 to 65 million years old.  Looked like it was freshly cut.
Outside is Roosevelts cabin that was moved to this spot.

Very sad story to this part of his life.  None of us knew about it.  Very interesting.
It's a nice drive trip through the park with pullouts as you go.  There are many trails you can hike in the park as well.  Below is some info on what causes the colorful bands in the hills.

When Bentonite gets wet, don't walk on it! Ask my brother how he knows.  It's very slippery and will leave the bottom of your boots with about 2 inches of thick gooey stuff that is hard to get off.
Some of the wildflowers are starting to pop up.

The concretions (stone balls) are pretty cool to see.

It's amazing to see them just sticking out here and there as the softer stuff washes away.

There are bands of harder rock that make layers and tables.

The muddy Little Missouri River runs through the park.

We ooed and ahhed at the colorful cliffs.  There were many buffalo roaming around and wild horses.

Looking down at the river from one of the higher parts of the park.  We did several small hikes as we drove through.

Amazing that like an iceberg, most of the plant is below ground to help it survive the elements.
The prairie region of the US is much larger than I thought.

Big boys!

A memorial to a very unlucky fellow.
After we got back my brother and I took the dogs out for a walk through the area around our camp and down to the river. 
Ruger and Hurley cooling off.
We had seen a couple of the wild horses in this area.  The dogs played a bit in the river and then we saw this majestic stallion.  What beautiful coloring!
While he seemed very curious and kept walking closer, he also did not seem to want us around.  We moved slowly away keeping a close eye on him and staying near brush or trees for some safety.
Back at camp we relaxed a bit then headed into Medora for dinner and a walk about town.  You can see how these two sites back up pretty close to each other.

We had been craving a nice steak dinner and we really enjoyed it.  Mine was buffalo.
The town is cute and very small.  Love these tiny libraries. Mainly seasonal folks running the shops.  Some were open but some were still closed.
We came back to this museum later on when it was open.

Lots of blooms going on!  And the allergies too.
Steve, Teddy and Steve.
Across front the front of the park is what's left of an slaughterhouse.  The cattle were brought here, iced down and loaded right up onto railcars.  All that is left are some building remnants, chimney, old parts and some track.

While we were looking at the track, there was a very upset Momma Killdeer that did her best broken wing act to lure us away from her nest.
Ahh, here's why.
Next up we drive to the North portion of Roosevelt National Park.


  1. Dessert first, great idea to me. What a beautiful stallion. We've had a momma Killdeer acting out around us a few times.

    1. He sure was gorgeous! We weren't so sure if he was just curious or being aggressive as he kept running up to us so we just kept backing up!

  2. We really like TRNP. We have been there many times since it is so close to where we used to live.It is only a summer town though so you probably didn't get a chance to do the pitchfork fondue. If you ever get a chance for that, do it. It is amazing.

    1. WHAT? We missed the fondue?! Yes, it appeared we missed things by a week. That's ok as it was quieter.

  3. Those are some cool formations in that park! Looking forward to seeing what the other part of the park has.

    1. We liked the Badlands in SD better, but this area was very pretty too.

  4. Great formations. Who knew ND was so green.

    1. Sure once all that snow melts you can actually see it!

  5. Congratulations on your last state! Even though we hit the road about the same time you have covered a lot more states than us. I still have the biggest fish though.....just say'in!

    1. Oh I'm not so sure of the biggest fish, Jim! Wait until the post coming up from MT!


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