Wednesday, September 29, 2010

4th of July, Arnegaad, ND

While staying at Theodore Roosevelt National Park we discovered there was to be a 4th of July celebration in the town of Arnegaard. Joanne Jones thought it would be a great idea for the WINs to participate in the parade. She contacted the appropriate people and got it all arranged. Good going Joanne. By the time the parade started to we had 1 car pulling a teardrop trailer, 5 jeeps, a pickup with an ATV and kayak, a motorcycle and a motorhome pulling a pickup with an ATV for a total of 9 vehicles, plus about 40 individuals participating from the group. Here are just a few of the highlights.
Staging before the parade began.

We had our bagpiper to serenade us down the parade route. In fact, Bob was the only music in the parade. There were no marching bands or anything, except our bagpiper.

Here we come down the parade route. Although this was a pretty good size parade, I think we still were about 1/3 of it.

I hopped a ride while waving my American flag.

Diane paddled down the parade route on top of John Clairmont's jeep.

Carolyn rode the ATV being towed behind the motorhome.

And yes, there really were others besides us in the parade.

The horse drawn carriages.

I think this was to show there Viking heritage.

And after the parade the town provided free bbq plates. The beef was all donated by a local rancher and I have to say it was some of the best bbq I have ever had.

We were afraid they might run out with so many to feed, but they didn't.

And every kind of home made pie you could imagine and then some.

After dinner they honored all the veterans.

We were proud to have representatives too.

But my favorite was the tractor pulls at the end of the day. Hey Brad, isn't that a bit small for you?

Several of us actually signed up for the tractor pull races.

I couldn't reach the pedals. "Can't I ride the smaller one?"

Three of us ladies had a good time pedaling.

The announcer made a big deal about the almost 82 year old visitor who entered the contest.

Only 2 men signed up.

But the WINs did pretty good, Janet and John both placed 3rd and won $5 each. We told them they had to treat the rest of us for being their cheering section.

So they did, down at the local pub. What a glorious day!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park-North Unit

When I left Bismarck, ND, I headed to Theodore Rooselvelt National Park. When I was there 2 years ago I stayed in the south unit, so I was excited to be going to the north unit. We camped there about 10 days, staying through the 4th of July weekend. Here are a few of the highlights.

Along the way we spotted this cow. New Salem's claim to fame is have the largest cow in the world.

And here was a wonderful metal sculpture alongside the highway. For those so inclined you could take a side trip of about 60 miles south and see a lot more of these metal sculptures. We weren't inclined. Maybe next time.

Finally, we arrived. This was on the loop in the park. We had lots of encounters with wildlife.

This biker couldn't decide whether he wanted to ride through the herd or not.

She was very curious about us.

And this one was just trying to get across the road. Just a bull snake thankfully, not a rattler.

I don't think this antelope even knew he was poising for a kodak moment.

And the buffalo got up close and friendly several times. Too close as far as I'm concerned.

Lots of opportunities for hiking.

It started as a nice, easy hike.

But somewhere along the way we had to climb.

But what a view upon reaching the top.

There were lots of wildflowers, even this blooming cactus.

These bugs really liked these flowers.

We did find some interesting land features on our way down.

We also had opportunities for biking. This day, after a 4 mile morning walk, someone said, "Hey we're going to the TOP of the loop and biking back DOWN. It's only about 10 miles. Come on." So we joined them.

We found out quickly it wasn't all downhill.

In fact, there was a lot of uphill. But it was still fun. In fact, it was so much fun, many did it again the next day.

We wanted to go see Elkhorn Ranch, the ranch of Theodore Roosevelt. Today there is nothing left but fields and signs indicating where buildings used to be. On the way we found an oil field aptly named. This entire area sits on top of the Bakken Oil Field, which was discovered in 1951, but was not found to be technically feasible to recover oil until about 2000. The current annual production is estimated to be about 300,000 millions barrels a year.

We also found this old school house. We stopped here to have lunch.

Someone realized the door was not locked so we checked it out. It looks like it is used for a hunters cabin. On the blackboard were notes from various years on what the season was like. There were even notes from people talking about when they attended school in this building back in the 1940s.

We even found the bounty. The freezer was running and full of venison and other wild game. But having no way to cook it, we went back outside and had our cold sandwiches.

Finally we arrived. Being that we were on the wrong side of the river, we could only gaze on what was once Teddy Roosevelt's getaway, Elkhart Ranch. When the river is down they say you can drive or walk across, but with all the rain this summer, the river was not down. So we gazed. It was a great view.

On our way back to camp we stopped at Grassy Butte. It is now a small museum.

There it is. Notice what looks like a church in the background? Not. It is now a private residence. The post office is now located in the little general store/gas station. The town now consists of a bar, a church, a cemetary and half a dozen houses.

Tobacco Garden Recreation Area. This is where Meriweather Lewis was accidentally shot by one of his crew. We hiked out to the edge overlooking the river.

That sounds like it would have hurt!

After enjoying the view for a while, we returned to Tobacco Garden Resort where we were meeting some others for dinner and evening entertainment.

Give us any excuse at all and we will dance.

And dance.

And we ended the evening with a beautiful sunset.