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This information helps us design a better experience for all users. To learn more about cookies, please see our cookie policy. Hardier cattle survived long enough to eat the tar-paper off the houses in Medora before succumbing to the elements. Others were found dead in trees after the snow melted, having climbed massive snowdrifts to reach the edible twigs before expiring amid the branches. In the spring, the Little Missouri swelled onto its floodplain, surging with melt water and ice.

The carcasses of innumerable cattle bobbed down the icy river. Roosevelt had been abroad during the devastating winter with his new wife, Edith, and was unaware of the horrors until he returned to the U.

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Upon his return to Medora, Roosevelt found he had lost over half his herd. Where he once thought to see a return on his many investments, Roosevelt now sought to minimize his losses. He wrote his sister Bamie, "I am planning to get out of [the ranching business].

He would sell his interests in the Maltese Cross to his partners, and gradually divest himself of the Elkhorn. Although his ranch was used for numerous excursions and hunting trips, Roosevelt focused his energies on writing and politics. He finished selling off his Elkhorn interests by Although the ranching venture had spelled financial disaster for Roosevelt, the physically and psychologically transformative experience proved priceless.

Roosevelt had sought to test his mettle and his manhood in an exceptionally rough part of the West, and had excelled in every degree possible. Always strong of mind and spirit, Roosevelt proved he was strong of body and soul. The skinny New York tenderfoot showed that he could work and live in the rough conditions of the frontier lifestyle. Largely sneered at upon his arrival in , Roosevelt had grown to prominence, respect, and even admiration in the eyes of local people for his manner and conduct.

His enthusiasm for cowboy life spurred him to form the Rough Riders, the notable cavalry unit that brought Roosevelt national recognition during the Spanish-American War. Importantly, the cattle ranching collapse and his experiences in the wilderness began to solidify his conservation ethic , which became a cornerstone of his political career.

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The experience in Dakota had left an indelible mark on Roosevelt's heart, though he would not return often or for long periods after Roosevelt declared the Badlands as the place where "the romance of my life began," and they became as much a beloved part of his past as it was a stepping stone for his future. Visitors to the park today can experience the Badlands as Roosevelt did in his time, for the landscape is preserved as Roosevelt saw it. Whether one rides vigorously on horseback through the Badlands or relaxes in the shade of a cottonwood tree, they enjoy pastimes which registered deep in Roosevelt's heart.

The same sights, sounds, and smells are experienced just as vividly as Roosevelt's writings.

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It was here that the need for conservation was born in Theodore Roosevelt's heart and mind, and the land here is preserved in his honor. Explore This Park. Info Alerts Maps Calendar Reserve. Alerts In Effect Dismiss. Theodore Roosevelt the Rancher. Roosevelt dressed in his buckskin; this studio portrait was most likely taken in New York. Although most cowboys frowned at his buckskin shirt, Roosevelt felt it to be the epitome of western attire. It's by the time I get to the gas station and every light is off, but thankfully there is one credit card machine for all four pumps, so you can get gas without going inside.

Small town living. Since I drove into the city yesterday for work, I make a note to remember to report my mileage so I can get reimbursed. I find a bag of baby spinach that looks okay, which is a big win for this store. I usually like a spring mix, but beggars can't be choosers here, especially with the romaine ban. I also pick the greenest, least offensive looking head of iceberg lettuce.

This store is so small it doesn't even have name-brand Ruffles, so I settle for the local generic brand.

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When I get home, I snack on the chips while I cook some chicken breasts I took out of the freezer this morning. I am so excited to eat this salad. Along with the lettuce, spinach, and chicken, I also add carrots, snap peas, olives, goat cheese, and Caesar dressing.

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It's delicious even without the spring mix. I put a second helping of everything but the greens into a Tupperware for another salad later this week. Day Five. I have a Luna bar and coffee and then finish putting together the salad from last night to take with me to work. We eat it together in the office, and I have a few bites of the salad as well. She also brought me some lefse, which I am excited to take home and try this weekend. Lefse is a Norwegian food, kind of like a potato tortilla, that is everywhere in North Dakota during the holiday season.

I make myself a Moscow Mule after a few hours and at around 10 p. Day Six. It's a perfect Saturday breakfast. A few hours after I eat, I set up in my living room and do the workout I skipped yesterday. I chat with my friend who I'm going to visit next weekend for a concert, and we make some more solid plans. I've been checking the weather because I'm nervous about the eight-hour drive, but it looks like it's going to be super clear though cold.

I sent her some planner inserts I designed for her earlier today. She loves them and tells me I should sell them. It's an interesting idea — seems like it should be pretty easy to maintain a small Etsy shop. I spend the rest of the evening researching, but I'm not too committed to the idea. Day Seven. Then I watch a little TV until I feel really awake. I pop in a load of laundry, do a longer workout, and write down my to-do list for the rest of the day.

I think some more about that Etsy shop, and decide to continue doing some more research. I think it would be worth it as long as I at least break even, but it's a pretty saturated market as far as I know. While I'm doing this, I get tired of standing — I have a standing desk in my office that I meant to buy a stool for when I bought it this summer. I've been looking on and off but can never find anything I like. I finally decide to just get something, and Wayfair is having a big sale. I find a stool that mostly matches my other furniture, and order it.