If not for a random encounter with another couple in Bismarck during the Independence Day celebration at the state capitol, my wife and I would have missed out on Theodore Roosevelt National Park. They didn’t have to try hard to convince us to go. The park had the natural beauty and the wildlife that we wanted to see. I loved the geologic formations of the badlands.
Last year my wife and I had a somewhat close encounter with a pair of bison at Old Faithful. That experience had us wanting to see more of the creatures this year. We did. There were about 300 bison in the section of the park that we visited. We saw cars along the side of the road before we saw the animals. It was apparent that the people ahead of us had not watched the news or read the park’s warnings:
Bison are wild animals and can be dangerous if provoked. They can run up to 35 miles per hour and spin around faster than a horse. Always view them at a distance and give them the right-of-way if encountered on a trail or the road. When bison are in the road, be patient, stay in your vehicle, and observe them quietly. On trails, make a big detour around them, move slowly, and avoid making loud noises. Keep dogs under control at all times; wild animals are often nervous when dogs are nearby and bison may charge if dogs are too noisy or too close. If a bison raises its tail, especially if the tail is straight up in the air, a charge may be imminent.
When we left the park, we were ready for lunch. The city of Medora is just outside the park and home to several restaurants, including Maltese Burger, where I enjoyed a buffalo burger that was so good, I had to send a cell phone picture of it to my kids.