Petrified!

Back in 2016 we visited the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota for the first time. We wanted to hike a few of the many trails, but I’d fallen coming out of the RV and twisted my ankle pretty badly, so hiking was out of the question.

So in September 2017, chased out of the Hell’s Canyon area by increasing wildfire smoke, we drove back to North Dakota. This time, we were determined to hike.

The Petrified Forest Trail had haunted me the most over the previous year, so we hit that one first. It wound up…

…over stunning, rounded hills…

…and across a long stretch of grassland…

…where we came out on an overlook, the petrified forest below us:

The petrified trees were fascinating…

…and we could only hope that the smashed ones ended up that way through natural causes, rather than vandalism (this trail is off the beaten path):

The petrified forest was interesting, but the ground beneath us was amazing. What caused these iron-colored dots on the ground?

Did anything live in these holes that peppered the trail?

Of course, some things didn’t need explaining:

The buffalo had been through here!

Painted Ladies were everywhere…

…as were these other, yet-to-be-identified, winged insects:

“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” So said Aristotle — and who are we to argue? The proof is all around us!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Animals, Hiking, Insects, National Parks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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