July 20-22 Friday – Sunday: We arrived in Medora on Sunday afternoon and set up at Boots Cabins and Campground just a couple miles from the south entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. With our gravel site and no neighbors we took the opportunity to give our poor dusty RV a much needed wash. It looked so much better!
Saturday morning we went into the park early around 6:00 a.m. We drove the 36 mile loop road getting out at overlooks and took three of the short (one mile or less) hikes. A mixture of grass lands and and a whole lot of Badlands, the park has many vistas of rock walls, rock hills, rock mounds and rock lined valleys with streams or rivers thrown in for good measure. The rocks are layers of color and again our pictures don’t fully capture their rugged beauty. It was nice to be early, very few people about and cooler temps for walking. Our hikes took us up and down many steps and inclines and rewarded us with great panoramic views of the park.
We saw many bison, sometime just sauntering down the middle of the road. They seem to have a real attitude and give you a slow eye as in “I can go wherever I want as slow as I want, and you are going to just wait until I am done!” There were loads of prairie dogs, wild horses and coyote stalking the prairie dogs. We didn’t see any elk even though the park is known for having lots of them.
By late morning as we left the park the temps had risen to pretty dang hot. We looked around the some of the stores and a museum in Medora. Medora is a tourist destination town fashioned after the old west cow towns. We talked a bit with artisan demonstrating and exhibiting his turned wood items. Very interesting for John as he took that on as a hobby for awhile, making among other things- turkey calls, bowls and pens. I was tempted to talk John into buying tickets for the country musical at the theater (one of Medora’s big attractions) but an evening back at camp sounded very inviting too. We had lunch at the Cowboy Cafe. I had a buffalo burger and we headed back to our camp.
We left in the morning driving east, knowing that we left a whole lot to see and explore on a return trip as we had only accessed the south end of the park.