September 23rd, 2021

A beautiful morning in TNRP

I got up this morning and had a coffee and some breakfast after an OK night sleep. I was still a little frustrated with the campsite situation but I had another night in a different spot that was actually a campsite for tonight.

The last few days I’ve been having some dripping water coming out of the water tank side of the trailer. I was a bit concerned since the water tank inside sits on the floor so if there was a leak in the tank it was really be hard on all of the flooring.

When I stuck my head underneath there to have a better look I could hear the water tapping on metal which led me to believe that it was the inlet that was leaking and dripping water on the metal fender inside.

This morning I investigated further and much to my relief that’s what it was – just the hose clamp was not tight on the filler tube. I guess when I replaced the collar for the fill tube on the outside of the trailer I had forgotten to tighten the hose clamp all the way. I had never had any problems with leaks until now. So I dug out my tool kit and tightened the screw on the clamp so it is no longer leaking. It was a real relief to find out that was what the problem was and nothing bigger.

I decided to head to the northern unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and see if there was a site open there. That “campsite” last night was just such a letdown I decided to go explore.

It’s about an hour away so it’s close enough I could go back to the other site if I wanted or needed to. Yeah, it would be some backtracking but that’s OK.

However, as I drove up north on US 85, I decided that I won’t backtrack. Basically that would be three wasted hours of travel plus I will spend more in gas driving back-and-forth and back then I would just staying north and forgoing the camping fee. I really hope to find a spot when I get there. They are all first come first serve sites there so you can’t make a reservation. If there’s nothing available there I will just go on which would not be a bad thing since it would shorten tomorrow’s drive.

What a major score! I actually had several sites to choose from here in the north part of the park so I snagged one right next to the Missouri river!

I remember really liking the South Unit when I was there nine years ago but I like this part of the park even more. There’s a lot to see here and it’s absolutely, incredibly beautiful. The trees are changing so that adds even more to the scenery.

Luckily I got here in the middle of the day and I have time to explore. My reservation for tomorrow night is too late to cancel so I can’t stay an extra day. But that’s OK as I wasn’t expecting to get to this part of the park so early in the day or even have a place to stay. Tomorrow I have about an eight hour drive so I won’t be able to sleep too late.

The road goes 14 miles back into the park. I did the entire drive and there were some stunning views.

At the end is a viewpoint for Oxbow Overlook.

I decided to go for a hike down the hillside there. Once I got got the bottom and reflected on my choice, I decided to go back up the hill. I ended up going down a pretty steep hill that I had to ascend to get back. I mean it was steep – probably a 30% grade, which means every 100 feet in distance it drops 30 feet. At one point I had to stop when I realized my heart rate was, shall we say, on the “elevated” side. I felt fine but I really don’t need to be doing that nonsense. It felt great to come back up that hill and not feel too horrible.

I didn’t think about it until I was two beverages in, but next visit I’ll catch the sunset there. I get it’s amazing. It was getting overcast like it was going to rain plus it would have not been worth the trip if had thought about it anyway. But, as I got back from a 45-minute walk, I looked west and saw this:

Anyway I turned around and got back to the truck. It’s really nice to have the trailer unhitched for a while. It is not difficult to tow but it’s nice to not have to worry about tight spots. Sometimes parking can be hard enough for a car let alone a truck and trailer.

I believe these are wild turkeys
And here’s a deer and a buffalo getting a nightcap at the local watering hole, The Gravel Bar

It’s kinda funny. I think the campground is in two different time zones. On my walk it showed Mountain Time time, and just now I looked and I’m in Central Time.

I think it’s about time for a shower. Until we meet again tomorrow!

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