Monday, July 13, 2009

Wide Open Spaces

Some of the most beautiful sights in North Dakota are found in the rugged country in and around the north and south units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, known as the Badlands. Yes, I know that there are Badlands in South Dakota, too. It's confusing, but that's where the 'North' and 'South' distinctions in front of 'Dakota' are necessary. Here are some examples from a hike called the Summit Trail near the North Unit.

Seriously bad land. Odd considering the previous day's weather.

Wild echinacea, other area flora include yarrow and clover.

You can see a yak if you squint really hard.

No caption needed, just check it out full-sized.

What was the previous day's weather? Well, I'm glad you asked. In Williston the heavens bombed down inch-an-hour rain in golf ball-sized drops. In Dickinson (southern ND, but not far from the North Unit), an F3 tornado touched down and sent some houses to Oz. The damage estimate was $20 million and quite a few lives spun around with the storm. In addition, the main power transmission line was damaged and another storm (which is in the forecast) could rob the entire city of power. The days after the storm in Williston were over 90°. This is the land of extreme weather.

Raining so hard it's reminding me to take a shower.

Cats, dogs and talk show hosts.

The hike was super nice. I don't know why they picked the name 'Summit,' but we did change elevation to the tune of 1200 feet or so. The highest point was around 2600' if memory holds. I guess you don't have to be up high to be at the summit, just higher than whatever's around. People like to say that in ND you can stand on your hat and see Canada. Few hills, fewer trees. It's almost true, depending on where you stand.

Next on the trip, I continue my journey east. I'm spending the night in Beulah, ND tonight. Tomorrow, I hope to make it to Pine River, MN to see my aunt Bonnie. Earlier tonight I got a tour of the power plant where my friend works. Pictures forthcoming. Oh yeah and one short post that makes me so happy it gets its own blog even though it's only a couple sentences.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is the best photography on your blog so far. I can't even pick a favorite.

    ReplyDelete