Sunflowers for Miles, Rebar Buffalo and Wild Horses

August 1-7, 2018 – This week took us 910 miles across two great states from Fargo, North Dakota to Shelby, Montana. We’ve not traveled across these states before and were quite shocked at how high the temperatures were. It was 98 degrees the first two days in The Badlands of North Dakota. The humidity was very low making it slightly less uncomfortable than it sounds but 98 is just plain hot!

All nights this week were spent dry camping. Four nights were spent at Theodore Roosevelt National Park campgrounds with three nights in the South Unit at Cottonwood Campground and one night at Juniper Campground in the North Unit. Both campgrounds offer first come/first serve sites and were full by mid-afternoon. The remaining three nights were spent at a Boondockers Welcome host site, a casino and a Shopko Hometown store. 

 

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

Sure didn’t have to tell us twice to not cross the field as we have no interest in tangling with a bison. Sign found at the Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, North Dakota. 

This amazing bison statue lives at the North Dakota State Capitol grounds in Bismarck and is made from steel rebar. Incredible work!

The North Dakota State Capitol building in Bismarck. The 21 story tower is the tallest habitable building in the state. The flowers on the grounds in front of the building spell out North Dakota utilizing red petunias. 

A Mastodon skeleton on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Mueseum in Bismarck. The museum, also known as the “Smithsonian on the Plains”, is the largest in North Dakota and features exhibits ranging from 600 million years ago to today. It’s located next to the state capitol and offers free admission and parking. A great stop!

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Stopped at the last Menards we will see for a number of months. Now we will have to find other stores to “Save Big Money” at. 

North Dakota farmers planted approximately 450,000 acres of sunflowers this year. That’s a lot of yellow flowers! We saw dozens of fields but we were never in the right direction to have the flowers facing us. They were still very pretty!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, North Dakota. Beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife to see there. 

A Bison taking an early morning stroll down the road in Teddy Roosevelt National Park. We also saw wild horses, deer, rabbits, prairie dogs and one pronghorn along the driving loop in the South Unit of the park.

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Band of wild horses enjoying a sunny afternoon at the South Unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park.

Beautiful!

The Medora Musical at the open-air Burning Hills Amphitheater near Medora, North Dakota. The 2.5 hour show runs daily from June 1 until Labor Day and is dedicated to the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the old west and the beauty of the North Dakota Badlands. The musical came highly recommended to us and it certainly did not disappoint. Adult tickets range in price from $36.95 – $40.95 per person. 

This fellow was lying in the grass adjacent to the entrance road at Teddy Roosevelt National Park. He didn’t seem to mind the steady stream of vehicles going in and out of the park. 

Camping site in the Juniper Campground at the North Unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park. 

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One can see for miles at the North Unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park. Amazing!

Cannonball concretions found along Scenic Drive near Juniper Campground in the North Unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park. The round concretions were formed from cementation of sand and silt by calcite and can reach up to 9.8 feet in diameter.

Evening at the North Unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. These three Bison were part of a group of 100+ grazing on the grasslands. 

Our first night in Montana was spent at the Silver Wolf Casino in Wolf Point. The casino is located across the street from railroad tracks that had trains running on them every ten minutes until late evening. 

Welcome to Malta, Montana. The town developed from the placement of the St Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba railway (later known as the Great Northern Railway) in 1887. A post office was established in 1890 with the town name being derived by a spin of the globe by a Great Northern official whose finger landed on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Interestingly, the town of Glasgow 70 miles to the east of Malta received it’s name in the same fashion. 

Round bales and trains. This photo summarizes our trip across Highway 2 through eastern Montana. We were amazed at the size of the hay and grain fields and the length and number of trains. 

What a great week! Stay tuned for next week as we visit Glacier National Park in Montana. See you then!

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