David Johnson's Travel Blog
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07/17  A short unremarkable day
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"Do not feed the prairie dogs"

2010-07-07

Cows are branded here. And tagged. And fenced in. The brands that I've seen are for the most part odd symbols that I can't commit to text. I guess that just like all the good URLs, all the good cattle brands were registered years ago.

I ate breakfast in Medora and then waited around for an hour for the bicycle shop to open. I needed to buy a new tire because my rear tire had pretty well worn out after 2000 miles.
Medora is a cowboy tourist town inhabited by nomadic old people.

Medora plugs right into southern unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and that's where I headed. As far as I can tell, Theodore Roosevelt has two major things going for it: cool landscapes and prairie dogs. Lots and lots of prairie dogs. I don't even know what they eat, but there are signs warning you not to feed them.

I biked north along the scenic loop until I switched over to River Road which led me out of the park and into the vastness of the Badlands. Originally I was planning on taking a 40 mile route through this area, but the huge hill climbs quickly changed my mind. So I made my way east onto slightly more level terrain. Somewhere along the way two guys pull up in a big pickup and ask if I had seen any prairie dogs. I was a bit incredulous, but directed them back the way I had come. Thinking back, I wonder if maybe they didn't have the prairie dogs' best interest in mind.

Eventually I made it to Highway 85 which was plagued by oil trucks and (apparently) freight going between Canada and Mexico. It had a decent shoulder when it wasn't completely chewed up. It was not fun.

Against my better judgment I ended up camping at the city park in Grassy Butte. This is my first time since the first night if my first big bike trip staying at a park. I decided to stay here mostly so I could poach the town bar's wifi in the morning. I am being kept company by Colt, one of several free ranging town dogs.

good morning cows


oil rig


on the way into Medora


another scenic shot


through the Badlands


Little Missouri River


yet another scenic shot


big snake


Little Missouri National Grasslands

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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