Hiker’s Paradise

Harsh country, yet incredibly beautiful. These are the badlands of the North Dakota’s Little Missouri National Grassland; my first visit to America’s largest National Grassland.

Wandering across the grassy slope in the photo below, I spied three rocky peaks poking above the ridgeline. I decided to hike to the summit on the left…

Like so many other slices of North American wilderness that I’ve been fortunate enough to explore, roaming through this area is a sublime experience. Nothing is more rewarding to me than the opportunity to revel in the silence and solitude of the natural world.

You can follow this Vimeo link to watch a slow rotation atop the butte and enjoy the sweeping view of this amazing landscape. (Video duration is 40 seconds.)

Over one million acres of wild beauty…hiking opportunities to last a lifetime. I’m sure that I’ll return to LMNG again and again.

Great Dreams from Heaven

A wonderful spot for standing still and listening to the wind. The title above comes from an old tune recorded by, among others, guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Speaking of, here’s a Vimeo link to a video that I recorded a short distance from this spot while driving northward, if you’d care to see more of this marvelous terrain. (Video duration: 2:43)

Little Missouri National Grassland, North Dakota

Old Steel

Tired steel. I’m older than the hunk of steel on the left, and I’m tired as well. This trip’s tally of 5,797 miles has been exceeded on three prior occasions, but it seems that this year’s journey took a heavier toll on the Pontiac, and on me; too many long days of driving from Hotel A to Hotel B. I need to formulate a different approach for 2019…spend more days in a central location and branch out on shorter excursions from there. We’ll see what happens.

Dust. Dust, dust and more dust, in record quantities…on me, on the car and on everything in the car. Yesterday, I spent several hours decommissioning the Pontiac for winter storage…removing everything, dusting it off, washing the inside and outside of the vehicle, lubricating the locks and latches. There are plenty of repairs and maintenance tasks ahead to fill the winter months.

Grass. I enjoyed traveling through a whopping nine (out of twenty) National Grasslands last month: Buffalo Gap, Cimarron, Comanche, Grand River, Kiowa, Little Missouri, Oglala, Rita Blanca and Thunder Basin. (Would’ve hit Pawnee once again had a snow storm not forced a detour.) All of that dust came from those many miles of gravel roads in the grasslands. I didn’t keep score, but I’m certain that the Pontiac set a record this year for miles driven on gravel…my best estimate is in the range of 500 to 600 miles.

Statistic: The Pontiac odometer now stands at 331,245.3 miles.