Of all the landscapes that can explored on foot, after mountains, I pick plains. Anybody who thinks the Great Plains are flat and featureless has not walked across them. Grasslands are rolling, dynamic places that showcase the dance between Earth and Sky like no other. I think what I love most is the space. I love how far you can see and how far you can walk. On foot in the Great Plains, the world and its possibilities are endless.
After a starry night at the Buffalo Gap Campground just west of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, I hit the Buffalo Gap trail and followed it east for a few miles, then cut a big off trail semicircle back to the campground, following ancient wagon ruts, cattle tracks and my strong, practiced sense of direction.
Along the way I found the most beautiful chunk of petrified wood I’ve ever seen (stay tuned for a post), saw a coyote, several pronghorn, a jackrabbit, and zillions of prairie dogs. Even after a spectacular summer hiking in the magnificent Canadian Rockies, North Dakota’s Great Plains put on quite the show.