Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lewis n Clark slept near here...

The wind died off as we headed west on Hwy 5, out of Mohall, ND and spent a bit of time in Des Lasc National Wildlife Refuge.  I learned they opened up one of the scenic drives along the Des Lacs lakes only 2 weeks each year and I hit it just right.  

the reason they open it is so everyone can come and view the fall foliage!

the wind picked back up so birds were staying down mostly but flushing when I got close...

Saw plenty of Gr Blue Herons, and  Gr. Egrets, Canada Geese, D. C. Cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls, Ruddy Duck, Ring Necked Duck, Mallard, Northern Shovelers, but nothing new to me.  

The scenery was brilliant!

Nearby was the town of Kenmare and in the town park spotted this Danish styled windmill it was built in 1902  and was used to grind grain! 

this north-western region of ND has vast grain fields and has been a mainstay of the economy for centuries.

here's a few of the old buildings I admired as I continued to travel west on Hwy 5 almost to the MT line in fact only 5 or so miles from it..

I'm headed to the State Historic Site called Writing Rock.  

I was thrilled to find a Vesper Sparrow along the roadside here. 

Someone went to a lot of trouble to paint lovely murals on the large rocks by the this one

I wish I had been paying closer attention cause I believe I passed a few by but realized it too late to turn around.  I saw the writing rock on Ancient Aliens! It is believed these 2 granite rock petroglyphs could be 1,000 yrs old. 

the glyph depicts what looks like a Thunderbird...

and there is a second stone with similar carvings, it was originally 200 ft away but was moved beside the larger one and they now rest inside a stone house for protection. 

some people say the rocks are a hoax, and the people on the Ancient Aliens TV Show said they are probably carved by natives who had encounters with space aliens and the pictures depict a craft of some kind,  I think they are old rocks carved by Native Americans. 

It was a cool spot to see...then I turned South and spent 2 days at Lewis and Clark State Park.  A very nice park by the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea .  Lewis and Clark camped near here and this is on the Lewis and Clark Trail. 

Plenty of sites were available as the park was in it's off season.  

All the sites were level, had a table and electric, the bath house had hot showers and was clean, but not heated brrrr. I ended up staying here 2 days because I had to get a , tire, wheel alignment, and  an oil change.  I drove down to Williston for that, and to get breakfast in one of their hip coffee shops.  Williston has that feel of  "Western"  its a really nice downtown area, but again the nearby oil fields have ruined the beauty of the area I really hope they can get them out of there soon.  

the Sakakawea Lake with the ND Badlands behind it.  I got up early and Casey and I did some sight seeing around the park in between our appointments to get the van serviced.   

one of the short hikes we took, one thing I enjoyed is they mowed a wide path in the prairie grass to make walking easier.  This is the tent campers area right by the water, they have cabins to rent also..

I enjoyed watching the Western Grebes down by the marina and boat launch area...

And green pheasant in the grass by the campground...can you find 3 in this shot?

then the beautiful male came right out in the open...

this is the national bird of Japan so of course they were introduced into NA for hunting and feather for hats! Normally we see the ringed neck but this one has no rings!

 these are white tailed deer...they sure can run fast!

the view by the water is amazing...and so are the trees and shrubs

how about this wooden arch? Pretty cool...

the TREES were in great fall color. 

I would def recommend this park if you have a boat, even better, you can cruise the river.  

From here I was not far from Theodore Roosevelt National Park and my next planned stop. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. Love all the birds and the fall colors. The camp ground was really nice and looks like you had it all to yourself. Do you carry a small electric heater? if you do take it in the shower room with you makes a world of difference. What coloring on the pheasant! how gorgeous. Keep taking those pictures I'm having a great trip.

    1. You are brilliant! I have both an electric and a Mr Buddy! Why did I not think of that? Im glad you are enjoying the photos...I sure do enjoy taking them!

  2. Again great pictures. I love place names and often wonder how they came about. Some are names of places here in the UK and there is a Kenmare in Southern Ireland, I've stayed there. Pheasants over here are notoriously dumb birds as they are mainly bred for shooting and so seldom survive beyond a year or two so they dont learn survival techniques or awareness of other dangers. I think the rock carvings are done by Native Americans.

    1. I feel for the pheasants being so big and easy to spot, and I know they not only hunt them but the Grouse also. And about the names We are a country made up mostly of European Immigrants and in these plains areas they def brought a bit of home with them as they named these areas.

  3. Williston is where I went in North Dakota this summer! Drove over from Culbertson, MT, and went back the same way. I stopped at a park but there was a thunderstorm going on and birds were hard to come by. Beautiful shots of the landscapes!

    1. I remember that!! Did you think I gave it a bad rap or it is about what I called it, a Western town with too much Oil? I hope they can make that pipeline horror go away.

  4. Such beautiful pictures....such a beautiful area. How cool that you got there at just the right time for that Autumn foliage loop to be open! Serendipity. Other people probably plan a year in advance to be there. That was a great campground... loved all the birds and deer. I had to look hard to see the two lady pheasants, but did find them. I didn't realize there were different ones besides the ring necked. I know pheasant hunting is huge pastime in South Dakota and probably North too. (((Sad face).

    1. The female is much luckier than the male in the camo department...when I saw the ones with no rings my Nat Geo Birds of NA, said its a Green but there no extra check box for it...I have not finished putting my birds in ebird yet so I hope I get credit for a new bird!


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