Medora

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The plan from the start was to see North Dakota from end to end. Entering the state on its far western border from Highway 85 (two hours later than planned) because of the hunt for the Geographic Center of the U.S., I’m tempted to call it a day. Snowfall in the Western part of the state has been unusually heavy over the 2008-2009 winter, meaning road conditions demand attention.

But not enough to override the recognition night is about to throw its protective cover.  And with that dimming comes glorious shadows, wildlife stirrings, sunset kaleidescopes, and the overall suspense that lovely, unexpected things happen when the light wanes. Joy spreads through my tired limbs leaving no room for thoughts of the creature comforts of a motel room. I drive into T.R. National Park.

Theodore Roosevelt became the nation's 26th President in 1901. He said "I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota." The Park includes Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch and was designated a National MEMORIAL Park in 1947. It didn't achieve full National Park status until Jimmy Carter gave the approval in 1978.

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Mule Deer

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

See what I mean about lovely surprises?

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