Dakota Day

North Dakota Badlands!

Within minutes of leaving our hotel in Montana we were in North Dakota and seeing jagged spiked peaks and striped cliff walls.  We were in the Badlands of North Dakota.  We took exit 24 to go to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  After a brief orientation at the visitors’ center we headed out for the 35 mile loop through the park.
Almost immediately, we came upon on prairie dog town.  (Have I told you how much Mona loves prairie dogs?)  We stopped for awhile to enjoy their antics and then moved on to see some nearby buffalo.  We watched the buffalo for a few minutes and then headed out on our true quest….wild horses.

They’ve gotta be out there somewhere!

We drive slowly through the park…our eyes peeled for horses.  Sadly, none to see, but lots of beautiful scenery!  Erosion has done it’s job here, as it did in the South Dakota badlands, and many beautiful rock formations are at every turn.

We drove down a rough dirt road…..hoping to see horses…none.  But did see where lightning had hit a coal seam, burning out the coal and dropping the remaining surface at least twenty feet.  That’s called a coal slump and I’m hoping that will be my first Earthcache!

Wild Horses!

We leave the dirt road and are now back on the main loop.  Suddenly, Mona shouts, “A horse!!!!”  Sure enough in the distance we see a black horse!  Driving a little closer we see two horses!  Two wild horses!  Both are black and one has a white face.  We are entranced.  We keep looking at the horses through the binoculars and taking pictures.

Finally, we tear ourselves away and continue our drive through the park.  Lots and lots of incredible scenery, prairie dogs (Have I told you Mona loves them!?!?) and a large herd of buffalo.  We see one more wild horse who is visiting horses in a paddock….I guess he was telling them how good life is on the other side of the fence!

We had never heard of Theodore Roosevelt National Park before this trip.  Now, we’re ready for a return visit!

Red hits a milestone!

Our next several hours are spent driving across North Dakota.  The scenery slowly transforms from wild and woolly badlands to tame fields of wheat and corn.  However, many of the fields are marked with stoney protuberances, reminding us of the badlands that lie just beneath the surface, just waiting for a little wind and a little rain so they can emerge and show their stuff!

We do get to see some other great stuff along the way, including the world’s largest Holstein and the world’s largest buffalo.  Must see sights on the way to Fargo!

Finally, we reach today’s destination, Fargo, North Dakota!  With a population of 105,000, this is North Dakota’s largest city.

We’re going to fit in here just fine!

Our first stop is the F-M (Fargo/Moorhead) Visitor Center.  We’ve heard that they have the actual wood chipper used in the movie “Fargo”.  You betcha, it’s there!  We don our wool hats and pose for pictures….we’re now on the Woodchippers Web Page!  Ya, ya!  You Betcha!
We’re feelin’ a mite peckish so off we go to a local eatery, Lucky 13’s Pub.  There is a wait for a table so we sit at the bar and order a glass of wine.  There are used bingo cards on the table so we ask what’s going on.  It’s bingo night…$1 a card.  We’ve never played Bingo for money, but what the heck!  About ten cards later I yell “Bingo!”  I just won enough money to pay for our entire evening.  I don’t want to leave!!!!  (You betcha!)

Just one more game.  Pla-eeze!

Just one more game. Pla-eeze!

But leave we must.  We gather our loot and head for our hotel at Mainstay Suites.  This inexpensive place is very cool and our room has a king size bed, a TV area and a full kitchen.  Suite!

We’ve loved our Dakota Day and hate to see it end.  But the road is calling our name….well it sounds like our names, could be just road noise.  Tomorrow we hit our last two states of our trip and we get to visit some old friends.  Can’t wait!

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