Normally, my first stop would have been at the visitors center to watch any movie they had and get my Passport Book stamped. However, the VC building has now been condemned, and you have to drive five of the fourteen miles into the park to pay or show your old fart’s pass. We did that, and the present visitor’s center really had nothing to offer. It’s just one little room with a ranger that gives you a map. I did get my book stamped though.
We took a tool around the campground, and I think I could only get my rig into one or two of the sites were I to come here. Like many National Parks, they weren’t built to accommodate big rigs. If you’ve read Sherry’s posts on this park, she goes into much greater detail than I will. The cannonball concretions were amazing to me, and reminded me of huge brown chicken eggs. One thing I didn’t like was the graffiti that was etched into one of the cannonballs…”F___ You!” Disgusting!
How these cannonballs are formed and emerge out of the mountainsides through erosion is mind blowing. What an interesting geological happening. Sure wish Sue Malone was here with me to marvel and explain things further.
The scenic Little Missouri River flows through the park, and we stopped at the River Bend Overlook to enjoy it. I made it down to the overlook shelter and back up, but it made me a little sad. Not too long ago, this would have been a piece of cake for me, but not anymore. The ravages of time have certainly taken a toll on my hiking abilities.
I just don’t think pictures can do justice to the views we encountered today. It was simply glorious.
Kurt was really hoping to see Bison in the wild for the first time in his life, and we hit the jackpot. Once we got up into the grasslands section of the drive, there they were.
We had our own little bison jam. It’s so nice to be visiting this park in the off season. We could really enjoy what we were seeing without being overrun with other visitors. I’m sure we’ll see plenty of bison in Yellowstone, but this was a more intimate encounter today.
At mile post 14, you have one last view of the Little Missouri River before having to backtrack out of the park. This view was the favorite of the ranger that we talked to, but I think I prefer river bend overlook to observe the beauty and ruggedness of this landscape.
On the way back out of the park, we chose the Bentonitic Clay Overlook to have our lunch. Bentonitic clay is the grey/blue striations in the rock layers. We just set ourselves right down on the parking curbs and munched away with this gorgeous view.
We took US Highway 85 to and from the North Unit of the park, and I just couldn’t believe the amount of big truck traffic on this highway. One can only wonder about the impact of all this oil business stuff on our most wild places.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy