Much LAZIER than your average blogger  
  LZ's info | past | photos
1.23.2011 - 11 comments 

Moving on from Theodore Roosevelt National Park we traveled back on I-94 still moving westward toward Montana until we came to a town called Beach just a few hundred yards from the Montana border. Once there we decided to stop and have a latte and a chai tea at a local espresso cafe where we found a local who told us that we might really enjoy the route to Glacier that the National Park Ranger had told us about while we were in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

As it turned out, this was a wonderfully pretty way to go north on highway 16 from Beach up to a town called Sidney which was just across the North Dakota border into Montana. This involved taking highway 68 west from 16 and then catching back up to highway 16 which ran into highway 2. At that point we drove on some of the most untraveled roads I have seen in a while. Most the the traffic (if you could really call it that) seemed to be trucks who seemed to be involved in the oil pipeline construction that was going on in that area.

This highway 2 was within 10 miles of the Canadian border of both Saskatchewan and Alberta (further west). We stopped in Glasgow, Montana for the night after a long day of driving.

The next morning we were up and off on our westward adventure to Glacier National park, but I did stop several times along the way because of some really pretty shots taken as we were going in and out of some thunderstorms which only helped the scenic ride. We made our way along miles and miles that all seemed to be either in or around Native American reservations like Peck Indian Reservation, Belknap Indian Reservation and Rocky Boy Indian Reservation.

The towns around the highway were very small and we were glad that we had picked Glasgow as the place we spent the previous night instead of trying to get closer to Glacier and have a shorter drive this morning.

By the time we made our way through Montana and got to Browning, we decided to go on into the East Glacier Park entrance to the park (at Two Medicine) and drove around to the Apgar Visitor Center and stopped to find out about the park and the best way for us to see it over the next couple of days. While we were there we saw Lake McDonald which was getting a strong wind through that area at that time. At that time we found out that there is a Canadian National Park that is actually attached to Glacier National Park The name of that park is Waterton Lakes National Park. It is in British Columbia.

The south part of Glacier National Park borders on Flathead National Forest, Great Bear Wilderness Area and Lewis and Clark National Forest.

It seems useless to try and describe the beauty of this national park and I am sure that the photos I took of this place can't do it justice either, but I sure took a lot of shots there. I think it has now moved to number one on my list of National Parks now.

"There is no voice in all of the world so insistent to me as the wordless call of these mountains. I shall go back. Those who go once always hope to go back. The lure of the great free spaces is in their blood."~ Mary Roberts Rinehart, American Playwright, describing Glacier National Park, 1925

1.11.2011 - 6 comments 

Leaving the the Enchanted Highway we finally got back on the road to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. It was on the eastern part of the state fairly close to the border of Montana. The park was basically divided into three areas that were very much alike except for the things that there were to do and see in each of them. The South section right off of I-90. The North section about 35 miles north of the southern part. And then the old farm section which is just about in the middle of the two other sections.

For all of you have been to the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, you may see some similarities in it and Theodore Roosevelt National Park here in North Dakota. In fact you may think you are there. It even has an area called the Badlands within the park too.

Theodore Roosevelt came to the North Dakota Badlands in September 1883 to hunt buffalo. By the end of his 15 day hunting trip, he had entered the cattle business with the purchase of the Chimney Butte Ranch, also known as the Maltese Cross Ranch.

After the disastrous winter of 1886-87, Roosevelt lost approximately 60% of his cattle. Although now living full time in New York, he continued to maintain both his ranches; the Elkhorn remaining his center of operation. After a late summer visit to the Elkhorn in 1890, Roosevelt apparently abandoned the ranch. On October 20 he wrote to a friend (Sewall) stating, " ... This is the last year I shall keep the ranch house open; I have just parted with Merrifield. Sylvane will take care of the cattle now."

Roosevelt's last known visit to the Elkhorn was in 1892. He sold the ranch and buildings to Sylvane Ferris in 1898. Gradually the buildings were stripped of their furnishings and, according to a local stockman, by 1901 "every scrap of the Elkhorn Ranch had disappeared with the exception of a couple of half rotted foundations."

It is said that if Teddy Roosevelt had never come to this area for his cathartic life changing event process, he would have never turned out to be much of anything in life, let alone the President of the United States. Of course I didn't have that feeling, about it, but maybe if I would have stayed there through the winter, I may have felt different about it. But when I found out that Winters are cold and windy with brief warming spells.

Average highs are in the 20s and 30s and average lows are in the single digits and snowfall averages 30 inches per year, I decided that I wanted to be neither a Rough Rider nor President of the United States anyway.

Theodore Roosevelt said the badlands were "so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in color as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth." It's easy to try and discover the "grim fairyland" of Theodore Roosevelt National Park's geologic formations just by looking at any part of this park.

Theodore Roosevelt's experiences here in the North Dakota badlands shaped his adult life, helping him become the Rough Rider, the President, and the world's leading land conservationist. Today, by car (or back packing) you can explore the rugged badlands terrain, watch wildlife (a lot of bison), relax in the shade of a cottonwood tree, and enjoy the lifestyle and scenes that charmed Mr. Roosevelt.

"It was here that the romance of my life began." ~ Theodore Roosevelt