Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park was the reason we drove all the way through North Dakota.  A long time I have wanted to drop in on Teddy, but North Dakota has always been so far off my route. I knew this may be the last opportunity (at least for many years) so noting was going to stop us from this truly “west” National Park. So much so that the park is in three sections spread out over 40 miles as the crow flies. The largest section – the one we were camped just outside boundary – has a 38 miles scenic driving loop that brought us through and over much of the badlands inside the park, and back to the Little Missouri River where it all began. Along the way more than a few prairie dogs, a few buffalo, and a small gathering of wild horses kept us company. We also made the 25 mile gravel-road drive to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit of the park, scouting a few campgrounds along the way – including where we ended up staying – and hoping to see Teddy’s Ranch from his day. As it turned out, nothing is left standing of the ranch today, not that there is any warning of that by the NPS. Just a short trail through some of the badlands to the River and back is all that there was for us to do after the nearly hour and a half drive out there. And of course, I collected a few ticks along the walk just for fun.

In the end we opted out of doing the hours of driving to go out to the North Unit, instead using up our final full day in the area doing – literally – nothing all day. It is rare that we go a “do nothing day” and it was needed.

By the time we left North Dakota, the summer heat was in full force. During our week’s stay here, we had only a single day that got into the 90’s (too hot to be boondocking), and all next week was to be in the high 90’s and 100’s. The timing was good since we were moving to an RV park in South Dakota to get Kerri’s residency done. At least we would have the air conditioner there.

Since I forgot to bring my phone with me this day, all photos taken by Kerri.

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