They weren’t kidding when the gave Montana that nickname! It is an absolutely beautiful state to drive through and not just the sky is big! The mountains are big, the sky is big, the lakes are big, the animals are big…you get the picture. But not to ignore the two other states I visited over the past few days, I must say that western North Dakota and Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, are just as awe-inspiring in their beauty.
I went on a horseback ride in Medora, ND, which is in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and the day couldn’t have been better. The majority of my time spent in North Dakota it was raining, fortunately not that day. I was kinda hesitant about taking an hour-long horseback ride because I wasn’t sure how my hip would feel after but you only live once and I would regret it if I didn’t do it. I’m so glad I did it!! I did need a little help getting up on the horse, I couldn’t push off hard enough with the right leg to get enough leverage to throw my leg over, but I got up there. My horse, Lefty, was 28-years-old and occasionally had some trouble with stiffness, I can empathize with that…LOL.
I began my trek across Montana after that. My first stop was Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument to see where Custer’s Last Stand took place. It is a HUGE battlefield full of hills and ravines, and littered with gravestones of the soldiers who lost their lives in that battle. It was amazing to see the area, you could almost picture what happened on those fateful days in June of 1876.
From there I headed to Yellowstone National Park. I made sure to take an entire day and devote it to driving through the park because I didn’t want to be rushed. I’m so glad I did that!! It was another beautiful day, I really lucked out with the weather. There were herds of Buffalo, random Elk walking around populated areas, a wolf, waterfalls, erupting geysers, beautiful mountain scenery, lakes…you name it and it was there. I drove around and felt like my head was on a swivel…look left, look right, pay attention to the road, wait was that an animal… It was a great day. I got to see Old Faithful erupt, which, let’s face it, is the main reason people want to go to Yellowstone, right. LOL!
As I was leaving the park, there was a herd of Elk in Mammoth. Everyone was stopping and/or pulling over to take pictures of these Elk. There were signs posted all over stating “Please Do Not Approach the Elk”. Well, after taking some pictures at a safe distance I decide that I’m gonna approach a sleeping Elk to get a close up shot because I can take the pic then back up before she wakes. That plan was going perfectly until a park ranger yelled at me to not get so close to the Elk, then she woke up. I looked at the ranger, the Elk looked at me, I looked at the Elk, she put her head down and went back to sleep, I began to breathe again. I don’t care that I got yelled at, I got an awesome picture!
And while I ended my day on what may seem like a bad note, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience. I saw some fantasmagorically beautiful scenery and no park ranger can take that away from me!