My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Bad - Missed the North Dakota Badlands

I usually plan - or at least leave time for - at least one adventure a day. I think if you don't live your  journey, your destination is not as big a payback.

But I was trying to make sure I got back to Bozeman in time to run some errands like getting my hair cut and buying some new fleece outerwear to replace my twenty year old pants and jacket that are beginning to fall apart. So I didn't pay much attention to what was available to be seen in North Dakota and mostly planned to only stop at a library and try to get more pictures edited and get blogs ready for the hiatus while I'm camping in Yellowstone.

So imagine my amazement when I saw badlands and then came up to a rest stop at the edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and found there ARE more badlands to be seen. And many of the hills are on fire because brush fires have ignited veins of lignite within the hills and they are baking the hills until they turn red.

Another geological force at work here is slumping.  House-sized pieces of the hill fall off and then take years to slide down and be dissolved by rain. In fact a major slump has closed part of one of the scenic roads in the park while the slump is removed.

And there is a major petrified forest within the confines of the park.  But it would have taken me forty minutes to drive to it and then about three hours to hike through it without a camera.  With a camera, I might still be there. So I decided to just put this on my bucket list for next year.  Tent camping is only $7 per night with the Golden Age Pass. The Little Missouri River runs through all three units.

Here are a few pictures to give you a little teaser. For more information, explore this site. 

This park also has lots of information and artifacts from Theodore Roosevelt for you history buffs. You'll have to check to see which of the visitor centers has his material.

On the personal front, I'll be hiking with two friends in Yellowstone National Park when this publishes. Can't wait. I do need a little rest from these vacations, but I'll be ready to start them up again in November.