Day Two – September 11, 2012

Glad there was a heater in the camper. Got a bit cool last night. A quick thunderstorm rolled through, adding a fireworks display before falling asleep.

Woke up today and stepped outside the camper to find a herd of buffalo wandering through the campground. Last time I had buffalo wandering around where I was sleeping was… Well, we won’t talk about that.

I guess he just scratched his neck since he could not reach around to scratch his… never mind.

I was going to take a stroll across a field over to the Little Missouri River here by the campground. I went along the edge of the campsite across from mine and found a buffalo skull on the way. Had to leave it since it is illegal to take things from a National Park. That was once in a lifetime probably. I went over and watched them grazing as they watchd me back.

The herd between me and the Little Missouri River

After a quick pastry breakfast, it was off to explore. Not much here in the town of Medora. A guy I was talking to said a friend of his was paying $800/mo. for rent…until oil came to call. same house now rents for $2700. Yikes!

Took off on a drive, and ended up doing three hikes and got a few miles under my boots. Felt good to strap them on again! Ate lunch in a meadow along a buffalo path in Painted Canyon. After I ate lunch I did something I usually do not do, but I just had to do. I got out my earbuds, plugged them into the iPhone, and listened to “Echoes” by Pink Floyd as I sat there looking at this beautiful place. It has been a great day, and I got some exercise along with some nature! On the way driving the loop around the park I saw a band of wild horses. They looked rather laid back and not so wild… I may need to go back and show them how it’s done for real.

Such a serene, stark, yet beautiful place

One of the wild horses

I return to camp and see buffalo are still by the river so I go over and watch them from a safe distance behind a large, fallen cottonwood tree. The people a few sites down from mine and next to me are setting up camp. Whilst looking for firewood, the lady stumbles across the aforementioned buffalo skull. She brings it back and he hides it behind the tent. Well, that just ain’t right so took a bike ride around the campground and I got a ranger on them. Not sure what the ranger did, but what is IN the National Park STAYS in the National Park.

So now, at 5:00 P.M. as I am sitting outside at the picnic table putting more of the day into words, three lowly wild turkeys wander through my campsite. I watch them, then I resume typing and thinking of Thanksgiving dinner. Fully attentive to what I am doing I fail to see the herd of buffalo inching my way. When I finally see them they are crossing the road near my campsite. I keep an eye on them then I have to hurry to the “safety” of the camper as they walk right behind my picnic table. They run off grunting and snorting and doing a drive-by grazing.

Let’s see, got the dressing, the cranberries, the taters and gravy…

This is the table I was writing this at just moments before.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring quite yet…

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