Gear up because we’re rolling.
Can we say we’ve “done” Wisconsin?
Can we say we’ve kayaked a small portion of the Wisconsin coast?
Can we say we’ve “done” Minnesota?
Can we say we camped at a brewery in Minnesota?
Using our Harvest Host membership, we were able to camp at Outstate Brewing Company. About half way there, we stopped in Brainerd (yep, real name…ya brain nerd) and had a Maid-Rite sandwich……..
A Maid-Rite sandwich.
It’s ground beef, on a sandwich bun with pickles, onions, and mustard.
Oh you mean a hamburger?
Nope. Not a burger patty.
Just ground beef!
Think sloppy joe,
but no sloppy.
Make it, let me know what you think.
….Anyways, let’s keep rolling.
We made it to our Harvest Host mid-afternoon. I walked in to a busy brewery to let someone know I was there to check-in. Someone quickly helped me and handed me a Welcome to Fergus Falls Magazine and directions on where to park.
We spent the night listening to fantastic music by singer-songwriter Kyle Colby.
Singing covers of songs by George Strait, The Fray, Death Cab for Cutie and music of his own,
it really was the icing on the cake of the whole evening.
We sat there for hours.
I think we got there around 6, music started at 7, we ordered fried walleye tacos from the food truck at 8 and walked the whole 50 yards home at 11.
That’s the kind of night I do this trip for.
We were so excited to be there and had such a good time that neither one of us took a single picture.
Not the site, not the brewery, not incredible beer list, nothing.
We woke up the next morning, grabbed some advil, and hit the road.
NORTH DAKOTA, HERE WE GO!!
Click it or ticket people, let’s go for a ride..
Off to a GREAT start,
we saw the world’s largest buffalo!
and for perspective from the car…
just a little bit further down the road you pass Salem Sue, the world’s larges Holstein cow!
and then… after lots and lots of land…
We finally had a new normal.
Another 5 hour trip later, we made it to Medora Campground, just at the base of the South Unit Entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
That night, we got settled into our site and went for a bike ride around town. It was a little touristy, sure, but it was just the peace of mind we were looking for.
While riding around, we noticed both wild horses and people at the top of the nearby hills.
Seeing the large group of wild horses on the hillside made me so excited I could barely go to sleep that night.
We got up the next morning and drove the 2 minutes around the corner to the entrance, a line of cars already forming at the turn in.
We showed the ranger our Annual Park pass and the adventure began.
You know you’re really in the park once you cross over the interstate and drive over the cattle guard.
AS SOON AS WE GOT IN THE PARK,
we entered this majestic scene.
We immediately pulled over and I was in awe.
It really was kind of unbelievable that this was the first thing we saw once we got in the park.
All day long we saw wild horses, buffalo, prairie dogs and even a pronghorn, which is similar to an antelope or deer! You have to keep your eyes peeled as you look across the hillsides because you never know what you’re going to see!
Just about halfway into the park, we stopped for a quick hike to get a view of Wind Canyon.
We got back on the road and drove the rest of the 24 miles into the 36 mile loop before having to turn around. The road was closed to vehicles from the Badlands Overlook to the end of the loop. That was okay with us though, because we couldn’t get enough of seeing the wildlife.
We went back home for lunch and to get some work done (making this blog special counts as work, right?).
We heard that wildlife comes out even more in the evening so we were eager to get back into the park for sunset.
This was my second chance to capture things I hadn’t on our trip earlier in the day.
First up- allllll the prairie dog holes
And a prairie dog barking…
Wildlife wasn’t absolutely abundant for our sunset drive, but we did get one really close encounter with a buffalo and some wild horses. There was even a pony :’-)
We made it to the Badlands Overlook at the very end of the road, just as the sun was setting.
The next day we drove about an hour from camp to the North Unit entrance of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
We read mixed reviews about whether or not to do this portion of the park.
Some people said don’t waste your time, others said they saw more buffalo in the North than the South.
Ultimately, we figured we had ample amount of time to explore and would be the final judges ourselves.
When we stopped at the visitor center for some post cards, the ranger we spoke to described the differences perfectly.
The North Unit was landscape, the South Unit was wildlife.
Whereas the South Unit was a 36 mile loop, the North Unit was a 14 mile out and back road.
We rode for MILES without seeing wildlife. I can remember saying, “just oneeee buffalo…heeeere buffalo, buffalo….”
Finally, we saw this trio.
and then a solo.
there was hope.
We stopped at the River Bend Overlook…
The whole drive really was beautiful, there was no denying that.
There’s something about being able to see for miles and miles…
We were on the stretch of the road out of the park when we ran into this guy. We watched him get a good scratch and then be on his way up the road. Absolutely fascinating…
AND THENNN, even closer to the gate, we saw these 2 big ol’ longhorns! I told Devon I had seen one earlier and he didn’t believe me!
We drove the hour home, of course, went bike riding, and made some of the best fried chicken tacos ever.
Another good day in the books.
If we weren’t out looking for buffalo and other incredible wildlife, we were riding our bikes around Medora.
It felt like we were living in an old Western town movie set.
And even more so, it felt like we were kids again.
but then again, maybe we still are?
Next thing to add to the “When We Come Back” list, dinner and a show at Pitchfork Steak Fondue and the Medora Musical.
Teddy, we love the park, sir.