Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cottonwood Campground weeks 3 & 4

We had another camp host start right before Labor Day weekend, his wife came this week. With two hosts we’re doing 5 days on, 5 days off; before we were at 5 days on, 2 days off. The Medora Musical ended on the 9th and the majority of the stores close also. The campground has still gets close to full with maybe a few tent sites left.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Last weekend there was supposed to be hot air balloons flying in Medora, but it was too windy for them to fly. This weekend is an Astronomy Festival with speakers at the amphitheater and then telescope viewing at Pleasant Valley Ranch. Well, we’ve got 100% chance of rain Friday, and 90% Saturday. We’ve been in the upper 80’s and 90’s most of this month. How’s this for a temperature change?!

The trees are changing color fast; you can see the difference from one day to the next. There’s been a few days of haze and smoke from the fires in Canada and Montana.

We’ve been enjoying the bison, horses and turkeys walking through the campground and in front of our coach. People get so excited to see them. One of the rangers had to tell a guy to get further away from a bison he was taking pictures of.    

Monday, September 4, 2017

Cottonwood Campground, TRNP–week 2

What a busy two weeks we’ve had so far. We had busy weekends at the other parks, but not consistent like this. We’ve been full every night since we’ve been here. They said it’ll slow down after Labor Day with schools starting by then. But the Medora Musical goes until September 9th, so there will be people just driving through. The campground is open year around, but the water is shut off October 1st. 

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Some history of Theodore Roosevelt National Park - Within a short time after the death of Theodore Roosevelt on January 6, 1919, there were proposals to establish a memorial in his honor. Options including a state part, national grasslands, national memorial, and many more and finally on April 25, 1947, after several compromises, President Truman signed the bill that created Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. This included lands that roughly make up the South Unit and the Elkhorn Ranch today. The North Unit was added to the memorial park on June 12, 1948. Additional boundary revisions were made in later years.

As a memorial park, it was the only one of its kind in the National Park System. Eventually, in addition to a connection with a president, the land was recognized for its diverse cultural and natural resources. On November 10, 1978, the area was given national park status when President Carter signed Public Law 95-625 that changed the memorial park to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This same law placed 29,920 acres of the park under the National Wilderness Preservation System.

We have deer, bison and horses go through the campground.

Friday, August 25, 2017

On to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Cottonwood Campground, Medora, ND

After leaving Beaver Creek Recreation Area near Linton, we spent one night at Sweet Briar Recreation Area by New Salem. We usually stay here at least one night when we’re in North Dakota; it’s generally quiet and peaceful.

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.  

On Sunday we met my dad, brother & sister-in-law, and nephew’s family for lunch at Pizza Ranch. It’s one of my dad’s favorite places and he would go there twice a week when he was still home and able to drive. Now at the retirement home, he doesn’t get out much. One reason we tried for our new camp host job is that it’s closer to Dickinson and I’ll be able to visit him on our days off hopefully.

There are two campgrounds in the National Park; Cottonwood in the South Unit and Juniper in the North Unit. We started at Cottonwood as camp hosts on Sunday. We update the daily roster, assist campers in finding a spot, answering questions, etc. No real physical work, but we have been busy all day. There’s a lot of paperwork involved. The park has filled up every day about 3:00, and there’s people trying to find a place to stay until 10:00 at night! A lot of people drive through the park and campground and we answer lots of questions. We drove in to Medora yesterday (it’s 5 miles from the campground) to familiarize ourselves again with the town and find out what’s changed since we’ve been here last. Then we drove the 36 mile Scenic Loop Drive and saw bison, wild horses and prairie dogs. Most people ask where to see the animals and they’re usually on this loop road.   

On Monday for the solar eclipse, we had about 85% coverage here. One of the rangers gave us a pair of the solar eclipse glasses; it was interesting to watch. We tried to take a picture through a small hole on to paper, and also took a picture of the sun through some leaves that left a crescent look on the pavement. They had a special event at the Visitor Center.

I will add more pictures next week.