We left Minnesota this morning with no particular goal in mind except to get closer to Glacier National Park. But the expressway was almost empty and the speed limit was 70 and before we knew it, we were half way across North Dakota. Maybe you've noticed that you have never seen a car with a ND license plate. I was surprised to read that there are only 650,000 people in the whole state. Perhaps people are so precious, they hardly ever let them out! To boost their population, ND gives many tax benefits to full time RV-ers who register the state as their offical residence, so even that 650,000 figure is inflated.
The road felt flat, but our GPS indicated a steady climb. The look of the midwest began to disappear and the look of the west took over. We passed field after field of sunflowers; perhaps this is where all that good for your arteries oil comes from. The bobbing arm of an oil well pump broke the flat horizon line every so often. Perhaps with the high prices per barrel these days, it's worth turning them on for every drop. Halfway accross the state we crossed into the MST time zone and gained that extra hour we always wished for when we were working. With that extra hour we made it to Medora.
Medora was settled by farmers and cowboys in the late 1800's, enjoyed a brief period of prosperity, and then fell into a steep decline. Today it has 100 permanent residents. It owes its continued existance to its proximity to the interstate and Teddy Roosevelt, who regained his health and spirit of adventure hunting here in his youth. He loved the land so much he bought two ranches, which today are known as Teddy Roosevelt National Park. We are camped under towering cotton wood trees with a surprising number of other tourists. We've decided that after all the driving we will give ourselves the day off tomorrow and explore the national park and see what else Medora has to offer.