Today took Julie and I across a good portion of North Dakota. We started our day at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I first visited this park at the end of last July on my way home from Oregon. We started first at Painted Canyon, which is also a rest area stop on the interstate. We were going to start at the main entrance for the South Unit (this park is split into North Unit, South Unit, and Painted Canyon) and became thoroughly confused when the road was blocked off and there were mounds of dirt right in the entrance area. There was no signage noting that there was an alternate entrance. Then, I had the idea to go out to Painted Canyon first and to ask one of the park rangers what was going on with the South Unit. Thankfully, we were given directions to an alternate entrance and were able to enjoy the South Unit fully.
The Little Missouri River flows next to and through the park and is currently above flood stage. North Dakota has received massive amounts of snow and rain the past several months and there is flooding and evidence of mud slides all throughout the park.
Overall, I adore this park. There’s gorgeous scenery and it’s quite green (even when I visited at the height of summer last year) throughout. Plus, you get to drive in and amongst the Badlands.
We had fun seeing a vast amount of wildlife this morning. We saw wild horses, tons of prairie dogs, and we witnessed our first bison herd traffic jam.
Tomorrow is the final leg of our trip and we’ll be ending at home. Yay! I think Julie and I are both excited to not sit in the car for hours while staring at pastures and black angus cattle.
I leave you with a poem that is from a bookmark Julie bought today. It reminds me that experiencing time in nature has so many effects of the rest of your daily life.
Advice from the Night Sky by: Ilan Shamir
See the big picture
Be a star
Keep looking up
Don’t be afraid of the dark
Stay full of wonder
Expand your horizons
Turn off the lights