"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Own The Road

I left Park Rapids this morning at 6:15 am. I drove for 14 hours, 859 miles, and I made it to Gardiner, MT. Originally my plans were to go to Livingston but since the weather was nice and I was running on a major Mt. Dew buzz I decided to continue on to Gardiner. Perfect driving conditions all the way here, very few travelers on the road. Only some rain and wind in Glendive, MT but it was all good.

Minnesota: Within 1 mile from the house I had to brake for deer and wild turkeys in the road.

North Dakota: Though I have seen him a few times, White Cloud, the white bison in Jamestown, seemed to be hiding. My first stop for gas was in New Salem, which boasts that it has the Biggest Holstein Cow in the world. It is a huge cow. My next stop was the Painted Desert overlook in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I saw some bison, two herds of wild horses and some prairie dogs. I took my first pictures with my new camera.

Montana: 50 miles east of Billings I got my first glimpse of mountains, all covered with snow at their peaks. Gorgeous! I also noticed that all those lucky Billings residents are getting a new Cabelas, which was not open for me to stop into, which is probably a good thing---a really good thing. The further west I went the more I became surrounded by snowy mountains. And the wildlife! I saw antelope, HUGE herds of mule deer, elk and right across the Yellowstone River in Gardiner I had my first Yellowstone bison glimpse. Right in the middle of Gardiner I had to come to a complete stop as a group of mule deer slowly sauntered across the road while a group of elk grazed on the shrubs of a nearby hotel.

I am less than a mile from the north entrance to Yellowstone. But tonight it is all about relaxing and charging my cell phone and camera batteries.