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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt National Park–North Unit

This morning, we headed out on a 65 mile or so drive to the entrance of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park._MG_0859

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.

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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!

Cannonball Concretions

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.

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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.  Crying face

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I just don’t think pictures can do justice to the views we encountered today.  It was simply glorious.

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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. 

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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.

_MG_0853At 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.

Lunch time view of the Bentonite Clay

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.

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                                                                              THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

26 comments:

  1. Great post Judy. Your pictures are fabulous and definitely do justice to the magnificent scenery! Thanks for the shout out. The Little Missouri looks like it has more water in it than it did when we were there. Wonder if it has been raining a lot. The fracking is the reason for all the traffic between the N and S Units of the park. Such a shame. Glad the Bison held you up. Aren't they great??

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  2. What a nice tour and gorgeous pictures Judy. Are the cannonball rocks smooth? So glad Kurt had the chance to see the bison. I remember my first time to see them...we were at Custer State Park in SD.

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  3. Been watching The Roosevelts on OPB the last 4 days!!! He did so much for us in preserving the Federal lands.. so far reaching and so very glad these places are here for us still and for the future!! Beautiful pictures!!

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  4. Such beautiful scenery and you did a great job capturing it. Love the closeup of the bison, absolutely gorgeous!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  5. Love TR! It is nice to enjoy some vistas without someone leaning over your shoulder. Glad you got your stamp. BTW, great buffalo photos. Really extraordinary full-on facial shot.

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  6. great pics (as usual). if you say they dont do the scenery justice can only imagine how mind blowig it must be.

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  7. I've never been to this park. It's beautiful!

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  8. Beautiful views, and you found Buffalo! Wonderful photos:)

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  9. Outstanding views. The cannonball concretions are very cool. I also worry about the long term effects of fracking on these beautiful places.

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  10. Wonderful tour. I marvel at the cannonballs also. I also wonder so many times at how God thought of all this. How did He know just where to put such beauty.

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  11. I loved the North Unit and would hate to have to choose a favorite view, but there is something about seeing bison up close and personal that has remained with me to this day. I'm very sad about what the oil industry is doing to this area.

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  12. It is impossible to see everything in our amazing world and so difficult to see our abilities to move about in the world diminish as we age. I grieve each loss as I yet embrace all that yet remains. Buffalo any day make it a wonderful day. There is so much to see and experience we should not be at a loss for experiences to choose.Enjoy!

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  13. Such huge beautiful animals - I really enjoyed your photos. Especially the closeup. Of course the scenery is also gorgeous, but I always like the animals better. Great post. :)

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  14. Awesome! Love the buffalo pics!

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  15. We love that area...Those badlands and the striations in the rock ..if they could only talk...Soooo much history there! I envy you that view...and I LOVE anything Teddy Roosevelt..He was a real dandy in his day!! You and Nurse Rachet have fun!

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  16. I knew when you showed the bison pictures that his rear end would be your parting shot. I have never been there. Its beautiful!

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  17. I find the concretions amazing, too. We saw them for the first time in the Arctic this year ... perfect little (well, not really little) spheres; and how they form is simply one of mother nature's remarkable achievements.

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  18. Gorgeous pictures of a beautiful place. Brought back good memories of several drives and hikes in both units that I got to do last year. We did get to visit the Visitor Center and watch the movie. AND we got to tour Teddy Roosevelt's cabin right behind it.

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  19. A wonderful life experience for Kurt, seeing the bison. Did he get a chance to get a whiff of their distinct odor (stink)? He'll never forget that! :c)

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  20. Great photos as usual, we never made it to the North Unit.

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  21. I know you are so right that the pics can never do justice to the majesty. . .love the cannonballs. . .and feel total disgust with those who find the need to deface things. . .ugh!

    Seeing animals in the wild never gets old, does it?

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  22. Guess Jimmy and I somehow missed visiting this National Park, and your beautiful pictures make us want to go there soon! Cannonballs, huh? Looks like a fascinating place to spend a few days. Cool beans... thanx!

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  23. Beautiful place! Now I wish we would have gone there instead of the south unit.

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  24. We went to this park when I was a kid. I remember thinking it was one of my favorites of that trip. Glad you got to see it. I highly recommend traveling through the park system off season...it's remarkable how much more fun it is! Just add another sweater and you're good to go!

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  25. Love your picture of the River Bend Overlook.

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  26. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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