Miles of prairie stretched on either side of the highway on the drive from South Dakota up to its lesser-visited sibling up north. Blue skies backed golden grasses and, with oil trucks as my main companions on the route, I found myself crying over the area’s stark beauty. South Dakota had already captured me far more than I thought it would. Three nights in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park hit hard, too. I have a feeling my love affair with the place will go on for a good long time. North Dakota’s badlands are grittier than those of South Dakota. Thick veins of coal make the landscape look less polished than those of the better-known Badlands. And then there are the bison. And the wild horses. The park deserves a lot more visitors but, then again, there’s a lot to be said for taking it all in on your own. TRNP offers the intimacy of a state park but the grandeur of a national one. (Photos were shot from May 11-14, 2012.)
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