Recon day hike TRNP north unit

11:28 a.m. on September 15, 2012 (EDT)
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After moving up to North Dakota Ive learned there aint much up here for good hiking, atleast not very close. Most everything is private owned farmland or ranches. I decided it was time to head down to Theodore Roosevelt NP and do a little reconnaissance.

TRNP is part of the Badlands and has the Little Missouri River running thru it. Its broken into 2 sections, North Unit and South Unit. I went to North this time, planning on the South next.

After a stop at the Ranger Station for some info and literature I decide to check out the Caprock-Coulee Trail. Its a loop thats aprx. 4 miles long,  starts low, follows a Coulee (long narrow valley) to the top of the ridges, across the top for a little, then back down.

Was a nice day with temps expecting to be in the mid 70's when I hit the trail


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going up the coulee is an easy walk, you hardly notice the elevation climb.


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Erosion on the sand and clay kinda reminds me of the painted desert


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While going thru a stand of trees


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I saw several of them covered with what looked like webbing, I didnt think this was the work of spiders, but I could be wrong. (again)  Anybody got some insight on this?


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Got to the top of the ridge for some incredible views, wish my camera did them justice.


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across the top its easy going


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I headed off trail trying to find the Bison that are supposed to be around, didnt see any Bison but it wasnt wasted time thats for sure. Was beautiful!


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headed down this coulee to a nice spot for lunch


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this stuff looks like it would be soft sand or dirt, but its hard as concrete


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after lunch headed back up to the top of the ridge to get these nice shots of a bend in the Little Missouri before heading back down


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Was a great day in a new area that Im looking forward to exploring more.

 

 

 

 

 

1:25 p.m. on September 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Nice TR and photos!

The webbing is tent caterpillars. In the eastern US they are often on cherry trees, don't know about ND.

My wife, daughter, and I stayed a couple of nights in TRNP South unit when we were driving cross country last winter. I had a nice long morning run through the badlands and really enjoyed the trails and scenery. Prairie dog towns, petrified wood, small coal seams some of which had burned and cooked the clay layers above. Good stuff.

1:39 p.m. on September 15, 2012 (EDT)
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BigRed said:

Nice TR and photos!

The webbing is tent caterpillars. In the eastern US they are often on cherry trees, don't know about ND.

My pap and I use to burn them out of the trees when I was a kid. They can be quite the nuisance.

 

azrhino said:

After moving up to North Dakota Ive learned there aint much up here for good hiking, atleast not very close.

Nice looking tr. I know ya say there isn't much out that way. I kinda beg to differ in a sense.

I have learned over time that when one lives in the area that they hike one has a tendency to overlook just how lucky they really are.  

Take me for instance. 

I have had many folks tell me that that I am lucky that I have the trails I do out this way...

In my mind I am thinking "I guess" but this is solely because it is in my backyard. I mean I see trips like the one here and I am drooling on my keyboard.

Why? 

Because I am not familiar with that area or that type of terrain. 

I think sometimes we have a tendency to overlook what we have at our disposal as far as areas go to just get away from it all. 

But when I sit back and look at the overall scope of things I have to acknowledge the fact that I am truly blessed for the areas I have regardless of how many times I have traveled them or how familiar I am with them. 

There is always something new to see around that next corner. Regardless of how many times we have traveled there....

Sometimes one just has to slow down a bit and take notice. 

Nice tr rhino. 

Very nice indeed. ;)

6:02 p.m. on September 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanx BigRed, I knew it couldnt have been spiders but never thought caterpillars. Thats wild!

Im looking forward to check'n out the south unit. Everyone says its nicer then the north, maybe its the grass is greener thing? I dont know, but plan on judging it for myself.

I hear ya Rick, I got to the point I was taking for granted whatI had in Arizona. Its hard to beat the access to open country down there. Its pretty much....ya wanta go over there? Okay have at it, no trail needed, no permit, no permission, (no water :p ) lots and lots of open country free to roam. 

Up here, theres lots and lots of open country, and I do mean LOTS! Problem is its all privatly owned and covered with NO TRESSPASS signs. I have found some areas where you can hunt their property but its small sections not nearly large enough to go packing in. I guess you could if ya wanted to just get away out of sight of your vehicle. Believe me Im just about stir crazy enough to do it!

I'm not crying the blues here, lol! There are areas, Im just gonna have to drive and adapt to them.

Anyways,  The TRNP is a beautiful park that I'll most def be going back to. Right now its very dry, not much water once away from the Little Mo. Ranger was saying ya cant depend on the Springs this time of year.

They even recomend not depending on the river because it has such a high sediment content that plugs filters almost instantly. I didnt check that out for myself but plan on it in the future.

6:23 p.m. on September 15, 2012 (EDT)
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azrhino said:

it has such a high sediment content that plugs filters almost instantly.

 Try a coffee filter over the end of the inlet. 

5:59 a.m. on September 16, 2012 (EDT)
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thats what I was thinking. was also gonna try to fill a bottle and see how long it takes to settle. Theres gotta be away

12:45 a.m. on September 18, 2012 (EDT)
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AZ,

Great to see another report from you; seems like it's been a while.  Nice pictures and looks like an enjoyable trip into the heart of your new home.  I met a Lakota indian recently (of the Sioux nation, some of the last acquaintances of General Custer) from out that way--proud people (and good reason to be, considering the pictures you took of that beautiful landscape).  I look forward to your trip to the South unit!

8:41 a.m. on September 18, 2012 (EDT)
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Very cool Rob! I'll echo Bunion, it's good to see you posting reports!

6:11 a.m. on September 19, 2012 (EDT)
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THANX Guys,

Yes its been awhile since Ive been on here much. Been a working fool since I got up here. Thats a good thing tho. Im hoping to slow down a bit come spring time so I can take more time to enjoy whats around here.

That was the first chance I had to actually get out and do some hiking, man was that good for the head!  

11:11 p.m. on September 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick has a good point.  Although I would never say that I don't have any place decent to hike with Sequoia/Kings Canyon in visual range of my house, there are places here on the valley floor that I tend to overlook.  But I checked one out recently and it turned out to be a really nice spot.

What I like about your trip report is that it shows a place I have never seen and may never be able to visit.  It's different from what I usually see, and I like that.

December 22, 2014
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