Cycling the park is the best way to view the badlands and take a close peek at the stunning, monumental bison. He was gone, they fought for it and he is back, not as before of course but the species is saved. Theodore Roosevelt must have been a genius. He fought for the conservation of the American landscape and the small mammals and songbirds that lived in it. At first sight, this part of the country is barren and inhospitable. It is a rugged land that still manages to be a home to a great variety of creatures and plants. The future President stumbled upon this area and fell in love with it. He built a humble cabin and when he witnesses the destruction of some big game species and the grasslands he planned a way to protect it. When things get taken away from you if you put your mind to it you might find a way to take them back. He found one and in the long run it proved to be financially and culturally rewarding for his government and for the future of this country.
There is something ancient about the bison. It must be the setting or the dramatic history of its survival swaying me but observing the animal graze through the land is a spellbinding experience. He is the king of the prairie. He moves quietly through the grassland, composed, controlled. There is something self-assured, calm, almost regal about his movements. His imposing frame would make him appear a savage and fierce predator. But the bison owns this land not out of violence but out of respect and enjoyment. Thank you Teddy.
This place is amazing and having been able to cycle here in almost complete solitude is not just a privilege but a gift that has been given to me. Yet another small achievement on this long journey.
Today we passed the 20 thousand dollars mark and I am so grateful for your support. All the money goes to leukemia research and I cannot help thinking that other patients will be able to survive and hopefully live a normal life. This is one of the ways to fight back for the things that get taken away from you.
The sun shines through the Bunkbed hotel room window in the morning
Entering the park. I left all my gear in the hotel and I can finally ride free of weight and time or mileage-related stress.
The view of the Badlands
This one taken while cycling.
The road through the park
Out of five, prairie dogs are the only black-tailed prairie dogs species left
No caption needed I suppose!
Riding by one of the buttes of the park