Wednesday, November 16, 2011

USA - North Dakota - Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Badlands of North Dakota invite the visitor to explore a myriad of outdoor options for fun and relaxation.

Sent by Jodi from South Dakota, USA.

This is from Wikipedia : Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a United States National Park comprising three geographically separated areas of badlands in western North Dakota. The park was named for U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, in honor of his achievements in conservation as president and for the landscape's influence on his life. The park covers 110 square miles (285 km2) of land in three sections: the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit.

The park's larger South Unit lies alongside Interstate 94 near Medora, North Dakota. The smaller North Unit is situated about 80 mi (130 km) north of the South Unit, on U.S. Highway 85, just south of Watford City, North Dakota. Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch is located between the North and South units, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of US 85 and Fairfield, North Dakota. The Little Missouri River flows through all three units of the park. The Maah Daah Hey Trail connects all three units.

Roosevelt first came to the North Dakota badlands to hunt bison in September 1883. In that first short trip he got his bison and fell in love with the rugged lifestyle and the "perfect freedom" of the West. He invested $14,000 in the Maltese Cross Ranch, which was already being managed by Sylvane Ferris and Bill Merrifield seven miles south of Medora. That winter, Ferris and Merrifield built the Maltese Cross Cabin. After the death of both his wife and mother on February 14, 1884, Roosevelt returned to his North Dakota ranch seeking solitude and time to heal. That summer, he started his second ranch, the Elkhorn Ranch, 35 miles north of Medora, which he hired two Maine woodsmen, Bill Sewall and Wilmot Dow, to operate. Roosevelt took great interest in his ranches and in hunting in the West, detailing his experiences in pieces published in eastern newspapers and magazines. He wrote three major works on his life in the West: "Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail," "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman," and "The Wilderness Hunter." His adventures in "the strenuous life" outdoors and the loss of his cattle in the starvation winter in 1886-1887 were influential in Theodore Roosevelt's pursuit of conservation policies as President of the United States (1901–1909).

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