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