“When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.”Now truth be told, we did not have high hopes for this park. It was simply a good place to stop and rest after 4 days on the road. We figured that there must be a reason that this is the least visited National Park in the United States. So here is the review. It is a nice place to visit if you are passing through. It is not a destination onto itself.
Much lake Badlands National Park, it is a driving park that does not require much hiking to really get the feel for the place. We have learned from experience that best time to head out and explore is usually either dusk or dawn for the best chance to experience the local wildlife. So we started the 24 mile loop through the park at about 7 PM. It was not long before we encountered our first Bison of the trip. Shortly thereafter we came across a heard of elk, wild horses, and about 3.2 million prairie dogs. The wildlife loop was really terrific. At one point the skies turned black and I thought that we may be treated to a nice thunderstorm on the range, but it was not to be. I have a thing for storms and the idea of a powerful thunderstorm rolling across the plains into our view really excites me. Of course a tornado would be better, but we missed the season for that. lol The rest of the day was spent fixing things that had broke or needed updating. I recently tore out the two old school tube TV’s and upgraded to flat screens. Some adjustment was needed to say the least! There was another 2 hour mishap today, but I am sworn to secrecy until the trip is over to discuss it!!! sorry.
Oh Yeah. I forgot to tell you about the bike riders for Peace, Love, Justice, Jazz, Beer, and Afghan Orphans!! So, I see this old motorhome across the way from us with NY plates. Of course I need to go say hello.
Sitting on a picnic table at the site were some 60 something hippies paired with some 40 something Yuppies. Weird combo to be sure, but even that much more interesting and attractive. I walked over and introduced myself and quickly learned that this RV was the lead chase vehicle for a team of riders who were pedaling from California to New York to raise money for their charity. Wow! How cool is that! I instinctively inquired about the charity and this is where things got interesting. One said something about Jazz. The Other one spoke of Beer and the third spoke of orphans in Afghanistan. I was not about to be hung up on details, so I questioned none of it. I simply asked how do they do the long, hot hours on a bicycle. There answer was simply fantastic. They said that if it is too hot , too cold, or they are too tired, they simply radio the chase vehicle to pick them up and they go to the nearest microbrewery that they can find on google maps. Same for steep hills, rain, or anything else that provides any mild discomfort. I thought to myself the following. “Now these are some bikers that I could get along with”. We spent the next few hours enjoying a few nice India Pale Ale’s and went our separate directions in the morning. For those of you who would like to donate to Peace, Justice, Beer, or Afghan orphans. Please visit.