Take the gift of a warm Sunday afternoon and get outdoors for several rewards. We did.
It was the last weekend in November and temperatures were in the 50s. Impulsive, spontaneous, we headed to the south unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Not many people visit the park outside of peak tourist season, so we pretty much had the park to ourselves.
A drive through, looking for photo opportunities took us to the end of the road where the washout has broken the scenic drive loop.
Along the way we drove parallel to a long ridge, west of Buck Hill. We knew if we wanted to get up above the hills on a quick hike to view the landscape and possibly a good sunset, we’d have to go up.
1st Reward, a Heart-pounding Workout
Following a maze of wildlife trails, we zig zagged up the hill, through the trees, and over the rocks. That was our first reward, the good workout, the speedy heart rate, and the satisfaction of a good exercise.
And we had the area to ourselves. Remote seclusion.
2nd Reward, the View
Our second reward was at the top — the huge expanse to the north, a low-lying area called the donut. It’s a low-lying area circled by hills all around. To get in or out, you have to do some hill hiking or climbing.
The sun sets early in the Badlands, about 4:00 mountain time.
So we calculated the time we had to hike, then set a timer to alert us when the time was half gone. It was time to return to the Jeep.
3rd Reward, Bison
We unpacked, unloaded, and unwound at the Jeep, then headed out of the park. On the way, a few bison were also using the road, which is always a humorous moment.
4th Reward, a Stunning sunset
The day had been mostly could, but it appeared a break in the clouds would let the setting sun give us a final canvas of God’s colors. Indeed! Before we left the park, we were treated to a fiery sunset! We shot a few stills and a video or two.
Last Reward, Food
Food always tastes better when you’ve worked up a good appetite. Normally, a hot beef sandwich is one of the best things to devour at the end of the hike. We headed to Dickinson and the Country Kitchen. At the last moment, we both settled on something to satisfy our sweet tooth. Pancakes and link sausage, waffle and patty sausage. Lots of carbs, sweetness and some protein.
Have you ever been to the oldest saloon in Medora! Meet Your Friends at the Little Missouri Saloon!
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Don’t forget to visit the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, near Watford City. It’s character is much different than the south unit, and it is home to Big Horn Sheep and Longhorn Cattle!
Watford City is the Hub of all things fun in Western North Dakota!