Great Western Vacation Day 5- Theodore Roosevelt National Park

We left Deadwood around noon on Friday June 15 and headed north to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota also known as The Badlands of North Dakota.  This was my first time in North Dakota. We didn’t see many people- a lot of range and farm land. I don’t know if I could life in an area like this- we really felt far away from civilization. I admire the people who do live out here though. The towns you did run into were small. A trip to the city from some of those places would probably be rare.

We arrived at the visitor center at Theodore Roosevelt National Park around 3pm. There are two major sections of the park- a northern and southern section. Due to time we were only able to explore around the southern section.

At the visitor center they have the cabin Theodore Roosevelt lived in when he came out west. He was a young Assemblyman in New York State- he got a message in Albany that his wife Alice had given birth. Minutes later he got the news to rush home. When he got home to New York City- he was met at the door by his brother Elliott. Elliott declared “There is a curse on this house- Alice is dying and so is mother” Roosevelt’s wife and mother both died on that same day- Valentine’s Day 1884. He then finished up his work in the Assembly, he didnt have any idea how to deal with his young daughter-his sister took care of her and he headed west to the Dakota’s. He felt his life was over. In his diary he had written of Alice’s death[she was only 22]

“She was beautiful in face and form, and lovelier still in spirit; As a flower she grew, and as a fair young flower she died. Her life had been always in the sunshine; there had never come to her a single sorrow; and none ever knew her who did not love and revere her for the bright, sunny temper and her saintly unselfishness. Fair, pure, and joyous as a maiden; loving, tender, and happy. As a young wife; when she had just become a mother, when her life seemed to be just begun, and when the years seemed so bright before her—then, by a strange and terrible fate, death came to her. And when my heart’s dearest died, the light went from my life forever”

The cabin that is at the visitor center-was moved-it was originally a few miles away. We took a tour of the cabin led by a young ranger who was excellent. Sometimes you go to these places and the guide is terrible. This young lady had great enthusiasm for what she was doing and was very knowledgable.

Recommended reading on TR- the three volume series by Edmund Morris is tremendous. TR was a fascination fellow.