Am I a wimp?
Sure I can walk up and down the mountains of the Southern Appalachians without too much trouble.
I can follow the white circles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail or the trail signs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Easy, peasy because I’m between two sets of trees. Views are extra and I have to work for them.
Here, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, there are no trees. Trails snake on the valley floor, up to a pass, and down across streamds – unbridged, I might add. As long as I can see the trail, I follow it.
But there are so many trails here, created by confused hikers, horses, and bison. When I mentioned to the ranger behind the desk at the visitor center that I couldn’t find the next pole, she said that the bison herd took them down.
Well, it is the backcountry. With so many trails all over the place, a map isn’t much help. You can’t confuse the map with the territory.
Still, the park is fascinating. I can’t stop looking at the bison.
Who is this spiffy dude at the top of this post?
Joe Wiegand portrays Teddy Roosevelt and performs all over the United States. I’ve followed this guy from a solo performance at the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies a few years ago to a show in Asheville where he was in a two-man show with John Muir.
And now, he’s here in Medora, ND, the gateway town to the park. He performs almost every day in the summer for about an hour. Here, he spoke about his conservation legacy, doubling the number of national parks in his presidency.
I should have gone to the North Unit, a more remote part of this park, but I wanted to see the Teddy Roosevelt show. All good things must come to an end. Good bye, Teddy Roosevelt NP!