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My Visit to Enchanted Highway, Theodore Roosevelt NP


Drove 77 miles in 3-1/2hours.

Hot-86 but breezy

The 32 miles of route 8 between Regent, ND, and I-94 is called The Enchanted Highway. Along the way, there are seven sculptures which are the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures. They were built by a local artist, and are constantly being changed and added to. He had no art or welding experience, just decided to make these sculptures which depict the history and culture of North Dakota. There’s a phone number to call and listen to a description of each one. They were definitely bigger than I thought and really interesting.

They are: The World’s Largest Tin Family-Man is 45’, the woman is 43’, the boy is 24. He plans on adding a daughter and a dog

Teddy Rides Again-51’-Roosevelt on a horse with a wagon in front

Pheasants on the Prairie-They are 45’, 43’ and 24’

Fishermen’s Dream-70’trout, assorted other fish. The builder’s father’s actual boat is perched near the trout.

Grasshoppers In the Field-40’ Grasshopper with smaller ones.

Deer Crossing-Two deer jumping a fence, buck is 70’, doe is 50’

Geese in Flight-110’ in diameter made of 5 miles of oil wells, tanks and pipes

We’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to go to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND. Been there before, loved it, one of our favorite places. Or continue west and go into Montana. Last night we decided to skip Medora and go to Montana. Had reservations at a campground and a solid plan.

Until we spoke to a couple at one of the sculptures who had just come from Medora and loved it. Made a few phone calls and changed everything. The campground in Medora was checking people out (it’s Sunday) and asked us not to come in ‘til noon. So we stopped at the Painted Canyon Visitor Center of the Roosevelt NP for lunch and a view. Checked into the campground (we were here in July 2012 and we got the same site as we had then), set up, and drove to the National Park.

Some of the roads are closed but you can drive 24 miles up and then the same 24 miles down. The first thing we saw were the wild horses, descendants of the Rough Riders’ horses, standing in the middle of the prairie dog town. Prairie dogs were mostly underground, it’s too hot for them, but some would pop their heads up now and then and chitter at us. A little way us a herd of bison was crossing the road, one huge one definitely the boss.

A few lone bison along the way and then another herd up a bit. More prairie dog towns all the way up, and they started to come out as it got cooler. Back down, the views even better than on the way up, another herd of bison crossing the road and then some more coming over a hill. We watched a man on a trail in the distance being followed by one, the bison sped up and so did the man. He probably didn’t know he could run that fast.

Another herd of horses on a hill on the way down. Drove through the town of Medora on the way back to the campground, much busier and touristy than we remembered. Way too many people milling around the shops and attractions. Off to Montana tomorrow, maybe.

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