11 June 2015


Turned out it was a good thing we went to Roosevelt Park yesterday after we arrived and there were some clouds drifting. This morning we woke to sunny clear skies. Without clouds landscape photos of this kind of country can be pretty much a yawn. Or so Kinsey says.

If one wants to get up with the sun around here you best be rising around 4:30am. I tried to get Kinsey up by jumping in her bed. She just grumbled so I laid my head next to her head on the pillow and we both went back to sleep.

The visitor center opens at 8:00am so we arrived promptly at eight. We still needed to get that map. We also asked about a dirt road we had seen that went off the park. We also asked about those horses and sure enough they are wild. You sure wouldn't know it to look at them. They are in excellent condition. We thought the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains were in good shape but these are in even better condition.

Wild Horse in Roosevelt National Park

By eight the sun was already high in the sky so what was beautiful last night was pretty washed out this morning and nary a cloud in the sky. We had our eye on that dirt road because we needed to stretch our legs. No hiking with dogs in the national parks.

Rambunctious Buffalo in Roosevelt National Park

About a mile up the dirt road you leave the park and are in the National Grasslands. There wasn't a tourist to be found. Yay! The road runs north toward the Elk Ranch and the North Unit along the Little Missouri River. There is a lot of private property along here so the traffic was primarily local pickup trucks. This is some pretty isolated country. Kinsey stopped to talk to a rancher parked on a side road. Turned out he was waiting for the mail which is delivered twice a week! She told him he was lucky. The USPS doesn't deliver mail to us at all. Course, the difference is we have to drive less than ten miles to get our mail. This guy would probably have to drive forty.

The Road North to the National Grasslands

The Little Missouri River

Kinsey wouldn't turn me loose for two reasons. First, as the name National Grasslands might suggest there's a lot of cattle grazing out there and well I might get myself in trouble. The other reason is ticks. Everybody seems to be having a hellacious tick season this year. I wish she get me a tick collar. We've never had them at the ranch. Anyway, we did get to stretch our legs and see some new country. We headed home for lunch.

I look like a ghoul. Kinsey messing with me.

After lunch and a nap we decided to check out Sully Creek State Park. The Haah Daah Hey trailhead was supposed to be out that way. The park itself was very nice. You can bring your horses and camp there. The trailhead was more for riders than hikers unless you wanted to jump in the river right off the bat. Reading the sign it's not all that hospitable out there. No potable water. Rattlesnakes. Quick sand. And the ever popular ticks. But, I guess cyclists like it cuz there's a big bike race that goes north out of there and into the park.

The trail also goes south because we found mini trail heads along the road. You can pick it up down by the Bully Pulpit golf course. But, it was getting late so we packed it in for the day. Not a good idea to hike out there by yourself if you're starting tired. Well, it wasn't really getting late, you know who was getting pooped.

BTW, Medora, where the Roosevelt National Park entrance is located is quite quaint. Lots of stuff goes on here in the summer months.

Medora North Dakota

If you haven't already, you can read the story of why we ventured to the Black Hills here.

Ciao for now.
Molly Montana

Kinsey Barnard

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