Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last day in Baudette, MN

We are in the afternoon of our 3rd full day here and will be leaving tomorrow for Bemidji, MN, where we will be for a week.  Our stay here has been comprised mostly of exploring the area in the jeep as you cannot get out of the jeep without being accosted by hundreds of flying insects of various species, many of which bite!  It has been a very wet year for this part of the country and all the lakes and ponds around are filled to overflowing....hence more mosquitoes.  It rains quite a bit and the weather can change in the blink of an eye, a new experience for us;)  Oh, and did I mention the humidity??

We are just about a half mile from the Canadian border so yesterday we spent the day in Canada exploring the north shore of the Lake of the Woods which is shared by both countries.  Our campground is on the south shore of the same lake.

The small town of  Williams nearby is know for Lady Slipper orchids which grow wild in the area.
We did come across some and it was interesting to see orchids growing in clumps in the fields like they do:

 Our closest town is Baudette and it boasts being the Walleye capital of the world.  Fishing is huge in this area of the country and you hear fishing stories everywhere you go.

 We were told about Nestor Falls in Ontario and decided to make it our destination for our day trip into Canada.

Nestor Falls

 We pulled off the road to watch a flock of white pelicans for a while, nice to get a few closeups

 I found the "crowned" highway signs to be interesting:)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lake of the Woods Campground, Baudette, MN

Well our plan to spend time in the North Unit, Roosevelt NP, fell through due to logistics.  We stayed at Little Missouri State Park which is about 30 miles from Roosevelt NP thinking we would spend a day exploring the park and a day exploring Roosevelt NP.  Turns out that in order to actually get to the NP from where we were, we would have had to drive 60 miles one way! ;)  So we decided to just enjoy the state park as we had already done the south unit of Roosevelt NP.

The park borders some of the badlands and our view from Paradise was awesome!  We did hike both days we were there but not near as far as we would have liked due to the mosquitoes!!!  They ate me up and I can see this is going to be quite a challenge as we will be in mosquito country for quite some time.

After spending last night in Cando, ND, in a county park, we drove today to Baudette, MN, where we will be for the next 4 nights.  Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain most of the time and the mosquitoes I mentioned earlier followed me here!  We may do most of our exploring by Jeep!

our view

you can see Paradise across the canyon on the right, we pretty much had the area to ourselves

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt NP, Loop Drive

Theodore Roosevelt NP is divided into a south and north unit.  We have spent a couple full days in the south and will be heading for the north unit today for another couple of days.

We spent a day doing the parks loop drive and stopping at the lookouts and little trails along the way.  It is a lovely place.  Postcard perfect wherever you look.  We saw a lot of wildlife.  It is going to be strange when we don't see Pronghorn every day!   The birds are singing their hearts out now and I so wish I could get pics of more of them!

Mountain Bluebird

Spotted Towhee
 The park has a herd of wild horses and we spotted them twice, this group close to the road.

Pronghorn amongst the prairie dogs
 Standing on a bluff overlooking the Little Missouri River, we saw a large herd of bison in the distance:

Little Missouri River
 The river goes right through the park and certainly adds to the lovely scenery:

this moth probably won't make it through the night, but still beautiful

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt NP, Medora, ND

We spent the morning hiking in Theodore Roosevelt NP on the Petrified Forest Trl.  Who knew this park has the 3rd largest concentration of petrified wood in the US!

We had a great time despite our plan to do the loop trail changing due to a herd of bison spread across our path.  We had to go back to the beginning and head the opposite direction and made it 2 out and backs instead of 1 loop.  This was the first time we hiked where the bison were actually roaming and it was awesome!  We have now seen over 2 thousand bison in our South and North Dakota travels....very cool!

A lot of the petrified tree trunks sit on pedestals as the dirt erodes from around them

Look at the petrified trunk to the left of the bison on the left.  That and those in the background give an idea of the size.  This area was a tropical rain forest millions of years ago.
The petrified wood dots the landscape looking like it's been intentionally placed

this little guy looks like he is wearing a hood!

US Army Corp of Engineers Park, Iowa City, IA

Mike and I love it when we can find a COE park because they are always on water and our last stop at Coralville Lake was no exception.  A bi...