North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park … A New Park For Me!

Finally … arrived in North Dakota! Theodore Roosevelt National Park is my 35th national park seen in the USA! (There are 63 national parks, so more for me to visit!)

Theodore Roosevelt once commented he wanted to protect the land before it was logged, mined and with dirty water. Due to his eventual environmental action, the park becomes part of the national system. Thankfully the mission of the National Park Service is to preserve the natural and cultural resources to look the same 100 years from now. I can imagine this park looks similar to what others saw a hundred years ago, since the National Park designation prohibits mining, drilling or logging the area for it to remain unaltered for future generations to enjoy.

I visited the north unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park one day which is an hour plus north of the southern part of the park. The northern unit has a scenic road loop. I stopped numerous times at vista points and/or to see bison. Some of the bison were in the middle of the road and could not be missed! I camped a couple of nights at the south unit of the park. The second day I visited the south unit. It’s scenic road did not loop due to a washout of the road; therefore, we all drove to a turn-around point and back. It was still worth the drive, plus other roads went off this main road, such as to Buck Hill. Wow, I went up there and the wind was blowing! No one was wearing a baseball cap for long!

One interesting time while on the road: I was driving back and there were 10 cars stopped by a herd of bison in the road! On the other side of the herd were at least 10 more cars and all were at a standstill. I turned my van’s engine off since it looked like there would be no movement soon. After about 5-10 minutes a tow truck with a long flatbed came barreling past my van and the 10 cars in front of me. The bison heard that truck coming at them and did move! As a result we were also able to drive through the area. I appreciated that trucker coming through!

Besides bison, I also saw prairie dogs in their “towns”, white-tailed deer, and feral horses. The horse were literally in my campsite area! Park visitors were careful observing all wild animals, so I was happy about that and I learned buffalo are in Africa and Asia; bison are in Europe and North America. They are distinctly different animals.

Photos from the park …. And one never got tired of seeing the bison!

Bison can run 30mph and I saw them run!
From a viewpoint. Fall colors are on their way.
The horses that passed my campsite!
South slopes are dry and north slopes have vegetation.
Cannonball concretions: deposited minerals in gaps, forming these “cannonballs”.
And I waited for the bison to cross the road.

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