Wiiiiild Horses

Trip Start Jun 18, 2010
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Friday, June 25, 2010

Continuing across Montana, we stopped at Pompey's Pillar, named after Sacajawea’s son and home of the only remaining physical evidence of Lewis and Clark’s epic journey across America: William Clark’s signature carved into a rock.  If someone did this today, it would be graffiti, but this particular carving has become a National Monument.  It seemed like a good idea to carve our name into the rock too, on our own (not quite so epic) journey, but many, many signs told us that alarms would go off immediately if we tried it.  

We made it to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the North Dakota badlands in the evening.  While I would call Yellowstone magnificent, I would call Theodore Roosevelt lovely.  Softly colored buttes sprinkled with trees and colorful flowers extend in all directions.  On the way to our campground, we watched a huge prairie dog town along the side of the road.  The little guys are adorable!  The town is comprised of an entire field of raised burrows, most with little dogs poking their heads up, extremely alert.  Some are eating grasses and flowers, others are running from burrow to burrow.  When we approach, some dogs send warning "chirps" while others do full-out “jump-yips” where they throw their heads back and stand on their two hind legs.  Later, we learned that some researchers think that the prairie dog language may be second to only our own in complexity.

We set up camp along the Little Missouri river and ate chicken alfredo with spaghetti (a pretty good meal for camping, I’d say).

One a drive at dusk, we saw a lot of buffalo and about 10 wild horses.  The sight of the horses was absolutely heavenly.  The horses were all different colors – black, brown, gray, and palamino – and two were colts.  Besides the movements of the horses, the hills – which were turning purple in the setting sun – were silent.  The Rolling Stone’s Wild Horses automatically came to mind…

Notable sightings:
 - Yellow-bellied marmot
 - Prairie dogs
 - Wild Horses

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