Tuesday, October 1, 2013

West of the Mississippi: North Dakota

Did I mention the weather? It is lovely every day except for rain early in morning north of Lake Huron. With the shorter days of fall, it's a great help to the traveler to have bright evenings. I feel grateful.
Today I cross North Dakota. The changes this day are the most dramatic...from the flat midwest at elevation 845' at Grand Forks, up the imperceptible slope all day to the bumpy and carved front of the Rockies to 2267' at Medora. Tomorrow will be more dramatic yet.

This grain elevator town is Lakota. Near here I meet a woman working 
at a very basic gas station. 
She and her boyfriend live in a town up the road and own a little land outside town, where they plan to move. They are raising young beef stock right now and will increase the herd as they can. 
Never lived anywhere else and don't plan to. 
You could make a good life here.

The lake rose dramatically a decade ago
due to increased rains. There is no natural outlet.
Folks are working on a fix.
It is an environmental and economic disaster except for the fishing industry.
AmTrak stops here.

 The Little Missouri. 
I am in Lewis and Clark country now.

North Dakota badlands

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitor Center is closed by the shut-down. 
This is Tuesday, the first day. Maybe they will figure it out quickly?! Hope springs eternal.

 Theodore Roosevelt National Park at Medora
Except for the Visitor Center, the park is more or less open and I take an hour's drive into it before settling for the night. Wildife in the badlands of North Dakota is diverse;
this park is a treasure.

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular shots, particularly the wildlife!

    Lewis and Clark country.... I'd love to get back out there again.