July 2nd, 2016 – Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Unit) – North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park (first 9 pictures) consists of three different sections of badlands along the Little Missouri River.  Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water.  Canyons, ravines, gullies, buttes, mesas, hoodoos and other such geological forms are common in badlands.

Teddy Roosevelt first came to the North Dakota badlands to hunt bison in September 1883. During that first short trip, he got his bison and fell in love with the rugged lifestyle and the “perfect freedom” of the West. After that visit, he invested $14,000 in the Maltese Cross Ranch.  After the death of both his wife and his mother on February 14, 1884, Teddy Roosevelt returned to his North Dakota ranch seeking solitude and time to heal.  His adventures in “the strenuous life” outdoors and the loss of his cattle in the starvation winter in 1886-1887 were influential in his pursuit of conservation policies as President of the United States.

We had planned on camping at the park, but the 95 degree temperature and no electricity at the campground led us to move to a state park.  On the way, we stopped at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site which was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri until 1867. It was instrumental in developing the fur trade in Montana. Here Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibwe, Blackfoot, Hidatsa, Lakota, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and furs for trade goods including items such as beads, clay pipes, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, cloth, and alcohol.

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One thought on “July 2nd, 2016 – Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Unit) – North Dakota

  1. Steve

    There’s no other country in the world with the amount of diversity in it’s topography as The United States. And we’ve all been privileged to see and admire it while “traveling” along with you!
    The trading post looks to have somewhat of a nautical theme with what looks like a ships mast for a flag pole and the small ship’s cannon. Whose profile is on the building? Could it be Millard Fillmore? Also, what is the lattice of heavy timber that parallels the walls of the fort/trading post?

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