Day 7, 4/25/18
0 miles
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND

Today was a great day. I think we're starting to get into a rhythm of travelling and living in the van; a good night's sleep to begin with. Waking refreshed, we made coffee, had a leisurely breakfast then took a ride to the visitor center.

At  the visitor center we learned that even the native Americans did not like the Badlands. The Lakota called it "mako sica" or "land bad." Named so because they could not support the cattle or crops. The badlands are at the top of the great northern prairie lands. Hills of eroding sand stone and scrub juniper, and cottonwood trees. This time of year, all the vegetation is brown!
The baby bison are born in April. Hope to catch a peek at a young one.

Ironically, it turns out that Teddy Roosevelt hired two guys from Maine (William Sewall and Wilmot Dow) to build and run Elkhorn ranch.

We took the scenic loop drive (about 32 miles) for an amazing tour of the badlands. Bison, wild horses, prairie dogs, deer and even cactus.

There's a desolate beauty to the Badlands. The butte grasses were dry, gold yellow to brown. The only green were the juniper trees.

We really enjoyed this park, and seeing so many animals up close, bison, wild horses, deer and prairie dogs!! millions of them chattering away. They have been alone here all winter, and even the birds own the place! So many migrating pairs of  all sorts. Saw only a few other campers, mostly in the big rigs. We are good with the night time temps down to 30. The last evening here, picked up a few wood ticks. Its going to be a season of them. We are glad to be traveling early and beating the crowds. The van is working out really well for us. Though I have not been sleeping very well yet. Longer days and light will improve this! And we have had just beautiful weather so far. Sun and 70 every single day and 30-32 at night. no rain in sight for the run up the Alcan on next Mon-Fri.

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