January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Friday, June 22, 2012

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Dickinson,  ND

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!

 A few miles up the road we got to the Fee Station.  We showed them our America the Beautiful Senior Pass and started the 36 mile loop drive.

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.

 The part that was interesting was that the cowboy star Tom Mix always had Mr. Bell train and tend to his horses.   For those who do not know who Tom Mix was Google him.  Why was this interesting to me?

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!


MargieAnne said...

What a lovely connection. Imagine having a holiday spot famous in cowboy movie history.

Your travels are so interesting but not so much the snake, harmless or otherwise. *smiles*


Paul and Marsha Weaver...OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Prairie Dogs are my favorite. You two sure saw the wildlife. Glad those horses didn't do any damage to the car.

What a wonderful day. Glad you had great weather.

Rick Doyle said...

Hey, I do remember Tom Mix. That was an interesting connection and story, thanks for sharing.

What beautiful countryside and it was nice to see those Bison up close I'm sure.

JOJO said...

Great pictures, I would love to see a bison up that close. Horses are always great to see roaming free.

thanks for sharing.

Jerry / Carol said...

The Dakotas are on my bucket list. Certainly different from the Blue Ridge Mountains where we are but just as amazing. And Bison - that would be so cool to get a photo of one of those creatures.
Great photos and looks like you had a fun adventure.

Happytrails said...

Boy those horses got really up close and personal. When we were at Yellowstone we had some bison to come right up to the car, we could hear them breathing. Really cool, kinda scary at the time. We sat very still and he kept walking. :-)
We love this area of the country!! You guys enjoy!