My last stop in the Dakotas was in North Dakota, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I have to admit, I was there after the tourist season (late October), so there was plenty of cold and snow to share. It was quiet, though, I think I only saw 4 or 5 other visitors, so I could go where I wanted and spend time as I saw fit (and parking was a breeze).
The park is a good example of badlands topology - sediment was deposited there over millions of years, then it began to erode, creating a patchwork of hills, valleys, canyons, gullies, mesas and just about any other landform that you can imagine.
When you leave your car and begin to walk, you get to see how deposition in layers and eventual erosion shape the landscape.
I saw some bison there, but they were far from the road, so I did not get any pictures worth blogging. I did meet these residents, though:
I think it's fitting that TR had a park named after him; he served from 1901 to 1908, and was responsible for creating 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, 51 bird preserves, 4 game preserves and 150 national forests (data from Wikipedia).
I'd like to end with a quote from TR himself: “The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value." (from an address to the Colorado Livestock Association, 1910)
All the best,