Thursday, September 8, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Oh my gracious... this park!!!!!!!

You know you should really heed the warnings when they post Bison warnings in the bathrooms!
We had the best day oohing and aahing at the amazing views and looking for wildlife.  We did see Bison, Wild Horses, Wild Turkey,  Prairie Dogs, and we think we saw a coyote.   The prairie dog towns were awesome!  They are soooo loud and funny to watch - we could've spent hours watching them (well actually I think we did if you combined all the time we watched).  We hiked and loved the views!  And the best was driving through the herds of Bison!!!!!!

If a photograph says it all... here you go!

I just wish the pictures did it justice.  Even the girls were pretty astonished at the view and how amazing it was.

The girls worked hard for their 2nd Junior Ranger badge!
 This cabin was designed by Theodore Roosevelt.  Roosevelt came here to grieve after the loss of his wife and mother (6 hrs apart on the same day).  He fell in love with the land and learned to work hard.  He says his time in this area is what made him the president he became.  Such an interesting character!  The Ranger who led our tour was really great to give us a rounded view of Roosevelt - of why he was loved and why a lot of people didn't like him.  He also gave us a good lens to look at his presidency - the amazing champion of the National Park System... and the first major example of "federal over-reach" and "seizing" land for the Park system.  Honestly - I'd never thought about the other side of the coin.  I'm just thankful that he had a vision for preserving our heritage and natural resources..... even more so after having been here!

As soon as we headed into the park we came upon our first prairie dog town.  The girls even got out to watch them a bit.  They were so adorable.  In the picture you can see one sneaking up behind them.

 Then off for more wildlife spotting....
 our first buffalo!

 We took several hikes - this one went right through a prairie dog town - that was fun!

 We were so excited to hike out to a good vantage point and we saw a herd of buffalo off in the distant field!!!!  Success!  We saw our herd of buffalo for the day.  We were a bit sad because we really wanted to see them up close - but at least we saw some.
 And then we got back in the car and rounded the next curve and came upon this....

 These guys just plopped down in the middle of a prairie dog town we were checking out....

 Once they got near us, we did practice buffalo safety and check them out from the inside of our car.  This was our "Buffalo Selfie".... you can see how excited the girls were!

 Once we made the loop - which is about 36 miles - only took us about 5 1/2 hours (that included a picnic lunch, hikes, and stopping for all the wildlife).  We made it back to the ranger station with 30 minutes to spare to finish our Jr. Ranger book and get our official badges!

It was a great park and a great day.  You know it was a good trip when your youngest one says, "I can't wait to come back here again!"  And your oldest one says, "One day I'm going to bring my kids here!"   Makes a mommy's heart burst with joy!

Then it was time to hit the road..... get a little closer to our western most stop!

Welcome to Montana.... where the speed limit is 80!

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Awesome Pics I can only image how beautiful it is in person.