Posted by: Kirsten | Friday, 15 August 2008

Move Over Texas… Meet the Big Bovines of North Dakota

Dont think DEET will keep this guy away!

Don't think DEET will keep this guy away!

Everything is supposed to be BIG in Texas, right? Well, they obviously haven’t been to North Dakota where the bovines come in two sizes: Extra Large and Super-Sized! On August 1st and 2nd we camped at Theodore Roosevelt National Park where the bison roam free (along with LOTS of other interesting critters). The bison are even free to roam about your campground site if they so choose! Last time I was at this park in 1999, I saw several of them doing just that — milling about, walking past tents and picnic tables like they owned the place (yeah, well, they DO own the place). This time around, while we weren’t treated with the lovely smell of buffalo-breath on our wake-up call, they were still hanging around not too far off from where we pitched the tent. We could hear them grunting and booing (that’s buffalo for “mooing”) all night. Check out this big boy in the photo who was about to plop over and roll in the dirt for his morning bug protection.

New Salem Sue, watching over North Dakota

New Salem Sue, watching over North Dakota

And if you think that guy is big… we drove our rental car from Bismarck toward TRNP the day before and spied what has to be the heaviest holstein in the universe, right there along I-94. Well, this one is made out of fiberglass, but it’s still a sight to behold, makes for a fun foto opp, and there’s a great view from the promontory where “New Salem Sue” stands for all to see from miles away.

We had a great trip to North Dakota and I’ll be writing more over the weekend about our visit to the North Dakota Heritage Center, our horseback ride at TRNP, our week of digging up dinosaurs, and our exciting drive back to Bismarck trying our best to avoid suicidal teenage pheasants.  Stay tuned!

Parke Diem!
— Jon

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