Serendipity is attached to my nomadic travels when I discover the incredible beauty of hundreds of bison, several dozen feral horses, along with hundreds of prairie dogs wandering the grassy landscape of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park was established to protect bison, deer, and feral horses, among other animals.
The south end of the park boarder’s the town of Medora ND with a direct exit from interstate-94 to the Painted Canyon Visitor Center.
The town projects a quaint, and simplistic feeling, with its 110 inhabitants as of the 2010 census. However, during the summer tourist season, the town grows to about 3-4 hundred more temporary residents to support the summer businesses.
On my first visit to the park, I was fascinated with hundreds of prairie dogs holes that dotted the landscape at pullovers along the roadway.
The vistas are sweeping as far as the eye can see as your travel along the roadway, you can encounter two or three hundred head of bison wandering along the praire, pavement, and sauntering through the campgrounds.
My favorite surprise was the wandering group of feral horses, I kept encountering at particular locations within the park and hiking trails. I met a park visitor who told me of a business in Medora called Chasing horses and of the owner who provides tours and has captured thousands of photos of the wild horses inside of the park.
In the town of Medora, I met the owners Chris and Gary Kman of Chasing Horsesa retail store in Medora that celebrates the herd of wild horses and other wildlife living free in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Every photo inside their store was captured by Chris, and she currently provides tours for anyone who wants to see the wild horses.
Chris and Gary Kman have a Chasing Horses facebook site with photos she continues to capture within the park. They are a lovely couple and I look forward to meeting and talking with them again.
The town of Medora is filled with many exciting activities for all like the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum, along with western-themed museums, restaurants, and theatrical shows.
Most of my meals outside of the park was consumed at the Boots, Bar and Grill, and one morning, I enter around 9:00 am and notice two bicycles parked outside. Inside seated at one of the tables is Doug Doerr, who I knew from the Montclair Community of Northern VA and we both served as Boy Scout leaders in the area.
It was a grand reunion as we caught up on our families, friends, retirement and our travels over the past 10-plus years. Seeing Doug and his Virginia Military Institute, alumni Mark who shared the road on their bicycle tour from St. Charles Mo to the mouth of the Columbia River. Their bicycle travels along the route originated by the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804 -1806, has inspired me to possibly do something similar in 2020. 🙂
As I prepared to leave, Theodore Roosevelt NP, I stopped and thought of how I was nomadically traveling across North Dakota with the idea of spending a couple of hours or at most one night in the campground, when ten-days later, I’m finally on my way to westwards Glacier National Park.