Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Not all drives are scenic

Leaving Bismarck, we decided to take a “scenic” route to our next stop and that would allow us to see some of the fracking operations and Roosevelt NP.  We ended up on ND 200 which turned out to be at the center of the fracking oil fields that we had heard so much negative news on  some of the cable channels.  About half of our time on ND 200 there was only gravel and huge ruts and grooves caused by the heavy equipment.

After touring T Roosevelt NP, we continued north to Lewis and Clark State Park, ND.  We had to pass thru Williston to get there.  As we neared the town, the roads started to get rough.  Then rougher and as we got thru town and out the other side towards the state park, the roads disappeared into a very ugly construction zone.  You had to contend not only with the construction equipment but also the heavy oil field equipment that had ruined the road in the first place.

We were beginning to understand why some folks are upset.  The heavy trucks, dirt, and construction traffic was destroying the roads, turning the countryside into old fashioned oil rush zone.  There were some beautiful ranches that were completely surrounded by areas that looked like a modern-day gold rush. The roads were so bad that a team from the caravan spent hours on the road searching for a route out of the state park that would avoid most of the hazards.  They did a pretty good job.  We only had about 8 miles of spring busting gravel road to get thru before we found actual pavement.

The pictures are not the best quality as they were shot from a moving (slowly) motorhome over some very rough non-roads.

The state park was very nice with one large loop area we all could park in.  It will be a great place to visit, if the construction process comes to an end.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

T Roosevelt National Park -North Unit

We continued north along the Lewis and Clark trail and our route took  us past the North Unit of the T Roosevelt National Park.  We visited the more popular and well known South Unit some years ago.  Like the South unit, it has a paved  scenic drive with plenty of pull offs to enjoy the natural views and wildlife.  Hiking trails allow you to get a closer look.   There are warnings concerning poisonous snakes and  potentially dangerous animals.  The buffalo can be seen in many places including right alongside your vehicle.  

We drove the entire route and stopped many times to enjoy the views and  wildlife.  It is a must see national park.