You know, when I can get a good camp with water and an outhouse (that stretches my tanks) I just fail to summon the gumption to go find a boondock somewhere else. That's one nice thing about hitting a lot of these places in the off season... the corporation has gone home and the forest service or the park service are doing their job for once...
which is curious... because when the Forest Service/Park service charge their $10 bucks... they get the whole $10... when a concessionaire charges you $18 or more... the Forest Service/Park Service gets about .90 cents... (my understanding is they get 'bout 4-5% of revenue) hmmmmm... what beaurocrat schemed up that sweet and profitable deal for the parks and forest lands? ah well... what does a pus gut mountain cowboy know huh?
So... on to the Dakota Bad Lands...
First thing next morning... just before the sun broke over the trees I heard a rustlin' and thumpin' outside... Knowing it wasn't December it couldn't be a lil' fat man and some mutant reindeer...
I opened the door having a strong need to go utilize those facilities I was payin' my five bucks for ;)
Buuuuuuut.... I decided the waiting line was a little much so I used what I have on the rig.
One of the buggers was standing at the foot of the rigs stairs when I swung the door. Thought she might even climb in for a minute.
I won't complain. Actually I kinda like it. Something you ain't gonna see in Toledo! and it lets me know that though people continue to spread across the face of the globe unrestrained... there are a few empty places left where a fella's soul can breathe.
|*For $5 and plenty of space? I'll take it!*|
We spent two nights in this camp. And even when moving that's the way I've come to go. Move one day or two... and then set up for a couple. It's a nice easy pace. No need to rush when you've got nowhere to be and all day to get there!
One of the critters we'd hope to put eyes on were the wild horses that make a residence in the park. There's supposed to be 137 of 'em in several bands. We luckily stumbled upon one of 'em up close that first morning...
|*The gray in back is the Stud*|
|*The Gray Stud*|
|*The Little Missouri*|
One thing that always cracks me up is the number of people who stop in the middle of the road to watch... prairie dogs... ha ha ha... I mean... for me it'd be like driving down a street in the bronx and stopping traffic 'cause a norway rat was shuffling through somebodies trash! ;)
It just goes to show that folks all have different interests I suppose. To each his own... but... I don't think that dog was happy with me takin' his picture... sounded like prairie dog cussin' to me.
A short clip of that cussing dog... For all you prairie rat lovers ;)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is in two units; There's a South unit and North unit. After two nights down south we bumped the fifty miles or so on up to the North section. Another $5 camp and lots of room.
|*North Dakota Bad Lands don't look bad to me!*|
The Bad Lands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park are rough country. But for a fella like me, they provide the space where the BS of Soh-sigh-uh-tee fades away for a spell... and an old buster can just... breathe... This is a hard country but it's real.
There's a serenity and purity here that's hard to explain or define.
You either "get it" ... or you don't.