Monday, June 25, 2012

we do not take a trip; a trip takes us

"Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."  

― John SteinbeckTravels with Charley: In Search of America
We drove from Minneapolis to Camp Bennett on Monday planing to ride the Maah Daah Hey the next few days.  However, rain and mud changed our plans.  The Maah Daah Hey is impassible on bike when muddy.
Dad and Jared on a hill overlooking our camp.

Prepping for a ride that wouldn't happen.

A bison chilling and munching along the side of the road.

A petrified tree stump I found while exploring on bike.  Several of these sat on the same strata half way up the valley.  Fossils always interest me.  This is the results of a volcanic eruption millions of years ago.
Hanging in camp + raingear
One highlight off the Maah Daah Hey is the ice caves.  We were able with considerable effort to find them using a combination for driving and hiking.  We met the ranchers on both ends of the caves.  The Storms to the North and the O'Brians to the South.  The picture below is of Dad overcoming his claustrophobia to enter the caves.
The following two pictures are of cannon ball concretions in an area of the North Unit, alien enviroment.

We decided to salvage a ride and headed up road going west from the North Unit.  The route was closed to vehicles because of landslides, but we had a great ride full of spectacular views.  Dad rode 4 miles up hill into the wind.  Quite impressive for a man in his 70's.

We ended up leaving Teddy Roosevelt a couple of days early and headed back East.  We did find some time to ride the North Country Trail in North Central Minnesota on the way home.  

Our ride on the Maah Daah Hey took a course we didn't indent, but we had a wonderful trip anyway.  The badlands of western North Dakota are incredible and I look forward to returning to ride.  I also appreciate the opportunity to have spend such quality time with my brother and father.


queasyfish said...

can I have a piece of petrified wood?

Heath said...