Badlands. Mountains. Montana. Made it!!

I know, I know, it’s been a while! Sorry- been so busy traveling and writing and working… I have neglected my own little blog-world. A lot has happened, and I take photos for short stories, and now I am overwhelmed with what I should cover. I tend to write loooooong posts, but I feel the need to keep them shorter. Therefore, I will write today quickly (I will try) about going to see the Badlands in North Dakota, which was on my way.

I made it from Wisconsin, where I have new lifelong friends (another post coming soon on this one) that took FABULOUS care of me, to the Badlands, where the landscape FINALLY got interesting. (It’s actually Theodore Roosevelt National Park.) Not that the scenery was horrible in North Dakota, but it stayed flat and farmland for a very long way and I was over it.

The Badlands came out of NOWHERE as I came over a hill. Suddenly the landscape took a dramatic turn for the better, offering a small Grand Canyon type of theme.

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Looks like a small, green Grand Canyon?

The sun cast interesting shadows on the nooks and crevices that the dry dirt was molded into by years of water carving it away. I had stopped at the scenic lookout right off the interstate, and I was invited to hear a ranger talk on the geology of the area, and I accepted. The poor guy- he was a student and it was his second time ‘performing’. He did Ok, but was very apologetic about everything. I let him know he did great and it would get easier.

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From there, I went to the park itself and drove the entire length of the park, which took me about 2 hours. The first thing I saw right away was a field of Prairie dogs. They are SO CUTE! They remind me of Meerkats, standing tall at the entrance of their little homes in the ground.

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They were not pleased at my getting OUT OF THE VEHICLE to take closer photos. They chipped and chipped away until I relented and got back in the truck, leaving them be. I’m guessing not many people actually get out of their vehicle.

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Prairie dogs are great, but I was rewarded in full when I came around a corner and right in front of me were two wild horses. They were so beautiful, so CLOSE and content to let me watch them graze.

The stallion
The stallion, viewed from the truck

His mare

Then there was this guy- (Not the only one, but this photo was pretty good, so he wins the blog ‘star’ Bison of the Day)

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That was awesome, an extreme close-up of wild horses, and a few Bison. However, the highlight was the scene from the top of the hill which came right around the corner from this. I spotted a horse high on the top of a bluff. Just one. Then, more came over the hill behind him. Then there was an entire band of horses!

The lead mare starting down the hill...
The lead mare starting down the hill…

They paused there for just a short bit, then the lead mare took over and started down the steep slope, and they followed in pretty much a straight formation behind her. They came down and literally straight towards me. (Very cool)

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Heeeeeeeere, horsey, horsey, horsey, horsey!

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Passing right behind the RV
So you can see how close they came to the RV.
So you can see how close they came to the RV.

They crossed right beside my truck and RV, and I took pictures the whole way. SOMEHOW I did not get very good ones that really represented what I saw. This is disappointing to say the least. I am usually pretty good at capturing what I want.

There was another band I watched for a bit, and this one little foal was scratching it’s hind end or belly on some brush. You can see that he was enjoying it by looking at his upper lip. See how it’s a little off to the side? They extend their top lip sort of ‘long’ and they wiggle it side to side when something feels good.

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See the lip?

It was a very nice ‘vacation’ from the flat North Dakota drive, and afterwards, we carried onto the interstate heading west once again.

I made it to Montana at Broken Leg Ranch in Bigfork the day before yesterday on 6/10.

(www.brokenlegranchmt.com ) -Check it out. Seriously. Look at the GYM!!!

I was welcomed by Karen and David Lail, who own the property and graciously offered to let me stay in exchange for helping around the ranch. It is a VRBO rental with a main house and I believe three cabins that may be rented during the season.

It’s a 40 acre STUNNING property with a meadow right in the center of it, and I am so blessed to be here! We are surrounded by mountains and the Swan river is right around the corner. There are hiking trails all around the area, which I discovered today. There are Turkeys Deer, Bear, Quail, and more ON the property. I have not seen the bear yet, but I am looking forward to it! It’s like a wildlife sanctuary! So, I am at home, of course.

My main work here so far has been weeding in the (incredible) organic garden. I am TOTALLY at home weeding. It is just very soothing and its great to connect with the earth in such a primal manner.

That’s it so far, I have more stories that I will post and they will hopefully be shorter funny little clips!

Thank you for following me on this journey!           ….wait, something is missing. No dog photos??? I’ll fix THAT!

Gizmo says “You were going to publish a post with out ME??? Pffffffft.”

You were going to submit a post without ME in it? Pfffft.

Until next time….


10 thoughts on “Badlands. Mountains. Montana. Made it!!

  1. GREAT post, Kelly! I can’t believe those horses came RIGHT TOWARD YOU down that slope! Beautiful pics of that!! It’s as if they were waiting for you before coming down. I’m enjoying the heck out of this! You’re right…you ARE in your element!

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  2. Beautiful words Kelly… we were sitting right beside you and enjoying your journey through your eyes 🙂

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      1. You enjoyed it for us 🙂
        But we would of loved to see it in real 🙂
        Like I said before, its amazing that you showed up at the perfect time to see and enjoy them after traveling so far 🙂
        Serendipity at its best for sure 🙂

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  3. Wow – how amazing that you saw all those horses! That is one thing that we haven’t seen even in all the time we’ve spent out west. Glad you are having such a great time – it’s fun to read along!

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    1. No way! Man, the horses were abundant- I even saw a group just chilling by a fence in the nat park while I was on the interstate! However they are accustomed to humans… I think it would be even more special to see WILD wild horses that would take off at the sight of a human. I just wonder if their behavior is modified living in the park. Still, when they came down that hill straight to me, too cool!
      Thank you for following us! I love reading your comments!

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