Tales From the Wilderness

Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota was one of our early hiking experiences. We drove to Medora in early autumn. When we arrived at the National Park, we were exhausted from our long drive, so we parked our van and slept for a couple of hours. When we woke, I sat up, looked out the window and there was a buffalo standing next to our vehicle, looking IN the window.

Once we entered the park, we found a campsite, that’s right, we camped in a tent! We camped in the south unit of Roosevelt National Park. Approximately an hour drive from the south unit, there is a north unit. We hiked the entire north unit, which was a little unnerving because there is so much wildlife. I hear so much about wildlife in their natural habitat and – WOW – Roosevelt National Park is loaded with wildlife in their natural habitat. We saw buffalo, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and my personal favorite – the wild horses. When we were there, they were led by a chestnut stallion. Anyway, Rick and I both thought the north unit was more picturesque.

The first morning we woke up to 29 degrees! Rick got the campfire started, to warm up and to cook breakfast. I jumped in our van and started it so I could get warm! While I was in my sleeping bag, I was toasty, but once I exited my sleeping bag, it was CHILLY!

The second morning we woke up to 38 degrees. Believe me there is a big difference! 38 degrees feels like a walk on a sandy beach compared to 29 degrees!

One night I woke up and I heard an owl hooting. I thought he was going to keep me awake all night, however, he actually had a lulling effect and I was soon sleeping soundly.

One night I heard a family of coyotes near our tent. The pups were a playful bunch. I could hear their puppy barks, yips and growls.

The entire time I was at Roosevelt Park I wanted to see a buck in the wild. I told Rick, we need to watch for a buck. We stumbled upon a area in the park that was a small meadow. There were three deer munching on the plant life and one of those deer was a buck! I was so excited. I was bouncing up and down, pointing out the window. Rick turned his gaze to the buck and said, “That’s not a buck, that’s a mule deer buck!” Well, I like that. ha! I said to him, “A buck is a buck and that is a buck!” So, I saw my buck.

We had so much fun at Roosevelt National Park. It’s a great place to hike and I don’t think it’s a difficult hike. If you enjoy hiking, I’d recommend it!

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