In space no one can hear you cough. At least, in the wide open "space" of a ND campground.  Probably not true. Since this pandemic began, our ears have become super tuned for any sniffle.

So, this year when North Dakota had no where to go- we all went camping.  According to Prairie Public News, campsite nights were up 35% in 2020 versus numbers from 2019.  Which is cool.  In her interview, State Parks Director Andrea Travnicek said

the largest increase in the numbers came during September and October. September had a 173% increase, while October was up 339%, compared with 2019.

That's a whole lot of percent!  I can't personally testify to the increase traffic in our state parks, but I can testify to traffic in the Grand Tetons-  IT WAS NUTS!  Maybe you read my little travelogue about Me and Brenda's September tour of Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.  Even if you didn't actually read it, I appreciate you telling me you did. You can read it again right here.  Well, Yellowstone packed us in a sardine can.  Here's the numbers...

 Yellowstone National Park records highest number of September visitors ever. Yellowstone National Park had more visitors last month than it has during any other September on record. About 837,000 people visited the park last month, beating out the previous September 2018 record of 724,000 guests

I figured September would be wide open spaces, I figured wrong. But honestly, I would have never predicted a 339% ND parks increase in October!  Gotta be pretty tired of your four walls to be pitching a tent in October right?  So what was the busiest ND park of them all?

Grahams Island State Park at Devils Lake.

Sad to say, I've never been there but the website Only In Your State tells me it's nice.  They call it a "summer paradise"  but also "equally fun to visit in the winter."  I'll be the judge of that...

Scott Olson
Scott Olson

I did my fair share of ice fishing in my youth.  We didn't have a gas powered ice auger, which didn't add to the fun the guy in the picture seems to be having.

Well, while it was great to get out to the parks this year, hopefully next year we'll keep going because it's just a fun thing to do.

Happy camping y'all!

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