North Dakota - Fall 2014 travel blog

The Little Missouri at the North park

The Little Missouri continueing north

Some of the color of the North Park

This is an example of the view from top of the ridge

A look East from the ridge

Our lunch view

Another view for lunch

aThe Little Missouri winding through the badlands

The Little Missouri

The vast Grasslands of North Dakota

The ble sky over the grasslands

Tuesday, the 23rd, we took off for the day to visit the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt Badlands National Park. So glad we decided to also see this section of the park. We drove 15 miles on I-94 to Belfield, ND and took Hwy 85 north toward Williston. What we didn't know at the time was this was the main road to all the oilfield drilling and expansion in North Dakota. The trucks, equipment, supplies, temporary RV parks and housing were everywhere. More pickups than I have ever seen in one area. Watford City and Williston had tripled in population since the boom of 2010. We were quite astonished by all the activity, drilling, pumping and hauling of oil. The thing that affected me most was the fact that they have nothing to do with the natural gas that is almost always found when drilling for oil. So they burn it off. What a waste of a non-renewable natural resource besides the fact that they say it adds so much pollution into the air. The hunt for oil has done so much damage to our world. I am happy for the economy of North Dakota, but for the western part of the state this has created great problems. The towns in the area can't hire people to run their infrastructure as everyone wants the money in the oilfield jobs to name just one of the many problems. So sad! Enough of the oil industry.

Onto the National Park. When entering this park we dropped into the northern part of the Badlands and then back up onto a grassy plateau with many overlooks. Such an impressive park and so glad we visited both entrances. At the last overlook, Oxbow Overlook, up on the plateau, we looked out over the Badlands and the Little Missouri River. We had the overlook to ourselves and decided to have lunch up there. We sat on the tailgate of the pickup and enjoyed the beautiful day. About the time we got done eating, a car drove up right behind us and discovered they were from Longview, Washington. Nice visit with other Washingtonians! We let them have the overlook to themselves and drove back towards home. We needed to go grocery shopping so drove into Dickinson. This small "little" town was booming with construction and traffic everywhere. Grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations all crowded with oilfield workers. You could tell who they were by the dirt on their "pickups". Quite the experience. We were glad to get back to quiet Medora. Upon returning, we discovered our friends, Tim & Barb Aldrich from Camas, WA had stopped overnight in the park we were at to visit. We can't seem to get together at home so we do it several thousand miles from home. We had a wonderful time, catching up.

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