Teddy Rosevelt is a fascinating man. I’ve read quite a bit about him seeing that he is one of my favorite presidents. And, although he appears to be a walking contradiction at times, my favorite part about his legacy is the establishment of the National Parks System. Over the years, millions of acres have been protected for both the conservation of wildlife, and for people to reconnect with the world as it once was. Teddy had the keen insight to know that if areas weren’t protected, they would be transformed beyond our wildest imaginations. One lesser known fact about Teddy is that before he was truly successful in politics, he retreated from being a city slicker after his wife’s death to become a cattle rancher in North Dakota. He arrived as a rich kid and left as a hardened northern rancher, making sure that he earned the respect of all the actual cowboys around. Through years of doing this, which culminated in him losing the majority of his cattle in a blizzard, he exposed himself to the realities of the American people. This story, in part, is what helped lead to the establishment of Teddy Roosevelt National Park, right outside of Watford City.