Who knew that the Theodore Roosevelt National Park could be an exciting place to visit in the winter time? Upon entering the park we took a tour of the visitors center and surprisingly my children did not want to leave! They have a pretty cool North Dakota exhibit that the kids must have thought was hands on. The park rangers were awesome, they have some kind of junior ranger program and they took the time enthralling my kids with details about all the animals they take care of at the park. If you’re feeling cooped up this is definitely the place to go.
I was quit surprised at the herds of bison and deer visible from the road as we drove through the Park. The Badlands covered in snow with the rugged landscape peaking up from beneath. As the sun set and the warm tones of orange and yellow are replaced by the chill shadows of blue and grey, you can feel the mystery of this vast land. The war cries and gunshots, the quiet wind as it blows through a small herd of two hundred thousand buffalo. Decades have past, and still this land remains as it was.
There is something sacred and mysterious about a land practically unknown to the rest of the world. It has held its secrets for many years and has more still to come. It reminds us that so many things can change while others remain quite the same. The winters here may seem bleak and lonely, but there is a peace and utter stillness that cannot be measured with words.
A dramatic change occurs at the Park in summertime, the once ghostly vastness turns into a bubbly budding community of prairie dogs and other creatures eager to live and move! It’s hard to tell this land that has the capacity to get bitter cold in the winter can be warmed by the blazing hot sun in summer. Everywhere you look there are signs of life, from the fresh green prairie grass to the smallest insects. In the late spring all of the smaller herds of bison combine into one gigantic herd, reminding us of the incredible numbers that this animal once covered the whole territory with.
Overall, whether you live in or are traveling through North Dakota, seeing this place in person is very worth your time and money.