The Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in northwest North Dakota, is made up of three ranches owned by TR in the 1880s. He found the “strenuous life” a good contrast to life in New York City. It was here that he mourned the loss of his wife and mother. TR came to hunt buffalo and found them nearly extinct. Here began the roots of his later environmental efforts.
The Maltese Cross Cabin was his first home in the area. It has been moved to the entry area of the National Park.
We followed the scenic loop of the South Unit of the park. The prairie dog sentry alerted the town of our coming. Above the prairie dog town there were bison grazing on the hill. As we traveled through the badland scenery we spotted many bison; some singles and some in groups. It looked like the men’s club at the base of a cliff where seven were loitering. I’m not sure who was more entertained on our ride through the park; us spotting wildlife or them watching me pop out through the sunroof to take a picture.
The wild horses were beautiful grazing on the prairie. They are similar to Indian ponies, 14 hands high and stocky.