This morning we packed our lunches and drove the 35 miles or so to
Our first stop was at a visitor center overlooking the Painted Canyon. Breath-taking!
We wanted to see two things, bison and wild horses. Were we ever lucky today! First we saw these fellows off in the distance.
Can you make out the black spots? Bison! We saw several more in the next few miles. But then we saw this beauty up close and almost too personal. He could not have been more than 30 feet from the roadway.
All together we counted 18 bison along our route.
Now for the horses. We counted 59 but not real sure if we got them all. Some were at a distance and it the herd.
Others were up close:
REAL CLOSE! Looking out our truck window...
And of course we saw the ever present uncountable Prairie Dogs.
And walking across a field and in front of us, a lone Pronghorn Antelope.
We got out twice for trail walks. One trail was 8/10's of a mile. It was easy enough. The other trail, not so much. And it was only 1/10th of a mile. This is the view.
And this is looking down the path to our truck.
Back at the entrance gate, we stopped at the Visitor Center. Behind the center is the Maltese Cross cabin that Theodore Roosevelt had built for his visits here where he could relax and decompress. It was here he came following the death of his wife from complications of delivering his daughter and the death of his mother on the same day.
Some furnishings in the cabin are original, as is this desk while the future President wrote, read and studied.
Ah yes, one more "animal" we saw up close. Just as the Ranger started her talk about the cabin, this fellow slithered between the Ranger and where the rest of us were standing. A Bull Snake.
Upon leaving the Park, we spent some time in the town of Medora which is at the entrance to the South Unit of the Park. Medora looks like an old west town but is chock full of gift shops, restaurants, and other touristy stuff. I was wanting ice cream and Leonard NEVER says no to ice cream.
Then we went in the
This museum is about the North Dakota cowboy = ranchers, rodeo performers, etc. Not a lot of familiar names but two we found interesting. In the museum is the gun Tom Selleck used on his old TV show Magnum, PI.
As I was briefly scanning various biographies, for some reason I read one about a rancher with the last name of Bell.
Over 45 years ago my Mom and Dad bought a cabin in north central PA. The cabin is up in the mountains with a shallow river running in front. The river is Mix Run. About 1/2 up the dirt road in front of the cabin is the birth place of Tom Mix. About a mile in the other direction is the Mix family cemetery. The cabin which my parents bought way back then is now owned by my sister, brother and me. That cabin is the school house Tom Mix went to. The name of the settlement is Mix Run, the nearest town about 4 miles down the mountain is Driftwood, PA. Thus, the interest in this long ago cowboy star!