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  • By Ken Perrotte

Hiking North Dakota Badlands with Teddy; Rousing Words Delivered from Majestic Vista

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Cross North Dakota off the list of states yet to be visited by the Outdoors Rambler. Too bad it took so long, but better late than never; especially when "late" entails an opportunity to trek across the Maah Daah Hey Trail in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, just above the historic town of Medora. The name of the trail comes from the Mandan Indian language meaning "Grandfather." Marking the trail are small signs depicting a turtle, the Lakota Indian’s symbolic meaning of long life and patience.

While North Dakota's walleye and yellow perch fishing can be fantastic at many locations near Bismarck, our base of operations for the 2018 Association of Great Lakes Outdoors Writers annual conference, fishing wasn't on the docket on this trip. Instead, a two-day trip to the storied Badlands was the prime objective. The impetus -- or, more accurately for me, a pilgrimage, was the opportunity to venture outdoors with America's "Conservation President" Theodore Roosevelt.

Watch as Joe Wiegand channels Teddy Roosevelt, explaining how much North Dakota meant in terms of helping develop his character and perspective and finish it off with those inspiring words Roosevelt delivered to the French during a post-presidency speech. That passage became known as "The Man in the Arena."

For more about all that North Dakota has to offer, go to the state's tourism website:


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