Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota isn’t just named in honour of a president who was influential in the early stages of the National Park movement. You could say this rugged region was where he developed his passion for conservation. Or at the very least, it’s where that passion was nurtured and blossomed.
I find it slightly ironic that Roosevelt’s first visit to this part of North Dakota was in order to hunt a bison/buffalo before they went extinct. Today it seems like an odd thing for a conservationist to do – to specifically set out to hunt a member of a species on the verge of extinction – but times were different back in 1883.
In any case, the future president was struck with such a love for this part of North Dakota that he ended up buying two ranches in the region, both of which now lie within the boundaries of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park itself is split into three sections: the South Unit, which includes Roosevelt’s first ranch, the Maltese Cross Ranch; the North Unit; and between them, Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch, the second he purchased in the area.
It was February when we visited Roosevelt NP, in fact the same trip we took in Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming (plus a whole lot more…see future posts). Consequently, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, enabling us to enjoy the South Unit’s serene, if somewhat bleak, beauty in… well… serenity.
Whether you’re still smiling at the all-too-human prairie dog behaviour, or contemplating Theodore Roosevelt’s part in defining the US National Park system, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr? And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!