48 Hours On The Road

And we were off. Eager to get West, we drove the night through Minnesota, resting here and there. As daylight broke, we entered a golden North Dakota. On the Western end of North Dakota lay our first stop, Theodore Roosevelt National Park (NP).

Established in 1947 but not presented NP status until 1978, the park offered a lush canyon in the North Dakota plains carved by the Little Missouri River, a tributary of the Missouri River. The painted hills and high cliffs, shaped by wind rushing through the canyon and seasonal runoff, were dotted with sprawling prairie dog towns, that had expanded into a metropolis, and bison staking claim to the remnants of their once great expanse of land. The bison exhibited a defiant demeanor that told they weren't going to be pushed from their home once more. The Little Missouri National Grassland encompasses the NP and yields beautiful green grasses, characterizing assumptions of the Great Plains. Camping next to the Little Missouri River was a great stop, to say the least.

Just south of the park is the quaint little wild west town of Medora. It has all the modern flavors of tourism in this day and age, but on the other hand it is not too overbearing and still exudes a charm. Albeit this charm might have come from the combination of a 90 degree day and an enticing little summer pool that we could not avoid. With a dip in the local watering hole, in the company of local summer camp kids, the Medora City Pool allowed a welcome respite from the heat.

Although captivated by the painted badlands and emerald plains of Theodore Roosevelt NP, the mountains were calling and our road continued west to the Rockies.


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