Sunday, August 5, 2012

Petrified Forest in TR National Park

This morning we drove back east a few miles to check out the Painted Canyon Overlook just off I-94. That was a good decision because the scenes were phenomenal! What you see is still a part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Little Missouri National Grasslands. There are some trails out of here, but we took these from the Overlook.

Walking on the path that runs along the Overlook I saw these berry bushes again. Whenever I see them, I wonder what they are...anyone know?

From there we got back on I-94 and drove west of town to an exit that takes you to the dirt/gravel roads that pass through private land leading to a walk-through gate into the Petrified Forest area of TR National Park. The park paper said that a three mile hike is necessary to see it but we decided to check it out anyway; I knew I couldn't hike that far on such varied terrain!

While still hiking in, I stopped to take this next photo because our car is parked way back to the left somewhere.

In this next photo, the trail we hiked to this point is shown curving away to the right and down.

Today we could identify this blue colored rock as Bentonite Clay which we learned about at the Visitor Center yesterday. This has caused serious problems for hikers and riders in wet conditions because it swells and absorbs several times its weight in water, making it extremely slick.

Lucky for me, after walking about a half mile, uphill, in the sun, on a narrow, rocky, rutted trail (giggle...just thought I'd give you an idea about how much fun I am to hike with!) I saw these large pieces of petrified wood. Three miles they said, harrumph. Of course these few pieces do not a Forest make, but it was enough for me!

And here was the piece d'resistance...let's just call it Bev's Petrified Throne!...giggle

That's all I needed to make the decision that I had hiked in as far as I was going. So I stayed here, relaxing on my throne, while Rich went on and hiked about another mile. Bye sweetie!

I took a few photos of the scene around me and then a friendly couple came along and we visited until Rich returned.

Here are a couple more scenes on our hike back to the car.

And our drive back to the highway.

In town we had a late lunch at a local saloon where Fleischkuechle (pronounced flesh-keek-luh), bread dough filled with seasoned meat and deep-fried, was on the menu. As I often do, that's what I ordered just because I had never heard of it before. I consider that part of my community service, trying unique foods for you. I've tried it. You don't need to. You are welcome. Seriously.

After lunch we drove up to Sully's Creek Campground. This is the first campground we've ever seen with a horse corral, complete with wheelbarrow and shovel, at each campsite.

On our way back down into town, we had what will probably be our final view of the Little Missouri River.

Tomorrow morning we continue west into Montana for a couple days of laundry, shopping, cleaning, and other miscellaneous chores that come due after being on the road for a couple weeks. We've had a great time in North Dakota and been surprised at many of the beautiful things/places we've experienced.

Lovin' Life ~~ Movin' West 

1 comment:

  1. The berries you wondered about are called "bullberries" here in ND, at least by the Native people. If you pick them after first frost they are really sweet, otherwise they are tart, but good.


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