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 Theodore Roosevelt 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.

For more pictures, please click here. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beaver Creek Recreation Area–last weekend

This weekend is our last one here at Beaver Creek Recreation Area. We will be moving on next weekend to a new job. We’ve had rain off and on again this week and, luckily, no severe storms or hail.

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

We had five campers this weekend who came in on Thursday instead of their scheduled day of Friday. Friday we let the ranger know they were a day early and he checked to see if they have paid for the extra night. They didn’t, so he went to collect. How many people did this all summer when there were no camp hosts? Don’t people care?  I guess that goes along with garbage in fire pits and dog poop left and leaving fires burning.  Sad smile

Some history of the area - the earliest residents in the region were members of the Arikara Tribe. Later the Sioux, Mandan and Hidatsa Tribes also lived along the river. In September 1804 the famous explorers Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Clark explored the area on their way up the Missouri River.

The Beaver Creek Recreation Area is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Oahe Dam and Lake. The Oahe Dam was built between 1948 and 1961 along the Missouri River, just north of Pierre, SD. It is one of the world’s largest earth-rolled dams, at a cost of $340 million. The fourth largest artificial reservoir in the US, which stretches 231 miles up the course of the Missouri to Bismarck, ND.  Lake Oahe has a maximum depth of 205 feet and shoreline length of 2250 feet.