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North Dakota Hiking Trails
This site is designed to provide quick, organized access to informative North Dakota hiking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on North Dakota hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
North Dakota Hiking Trail Finder
Bullion Butte hike article written by Mark A. Gonzalez of the North Dakota Geological Survey. Enjoyable narrative, sighting of a golden eagle. PDF format, a fun read to get a feel for a Bullion Butte hike.
Life is a Highway
Ask anybody trying to visit all 50 states if they've made it to North Dakota, and the answer is usually "no...isn't that flyover country?" That's when I jump in and rave about TR National Park, and I tell them this story as well...
During my first visit to North Dakota, back in my Traveller's Edge days, I spent a night in an average, semi-run down motel in Valley City. Now I happen to possess the bad habit of emptying my pockets of cash and putting it on top of the TV when I'm on the road. Fortunately, I usually check the top of the TV, but unfortunately, this TV was placed quite a bit higher than average -- so I drove off leaving a $440. "gratuity" for the maid.
You have to understand that I vacationed with a couple thousand dollars in cash and traveller's checks in those days, and I had various wads of money squirreled away here and there in my car, luggage, snack crates, etc. So the $440 wasn't immediately missed. About a week and a half later, however, it became an issue. After a few more days, it was critical that I find it, so Sandy (my lovely wife) and I tried to mentally backtrack to where we saw it last. We got as far back as the motel in Valley City, ND and I remembered the higher-than-normal TV.
"Why don't you call that motel and ask them if the maid turned in some money?"
A couple more days, and Sandy insisted that I call. "What have you got to lose?"
"Hi, my name is Rick Bolger, and uh, I stayed at your place about two weeks ago, Thursday the 10th, and I uh, was wondering if by some slight chance the maid might've found an unusual amount of cash in my room?"
"What was the amount?"
"Well, uh, it was about $440."
"Yes. That's what she turned in. Would you like to pick it up, or should I mail you a check?"
So, I guess the best reason to visit this little chunk of "flyover country" isn't the scenery, the grasslands, the badlands, or the stunning sunsets. I'd say the people are the best reason to visit North Dakota. And yes, I gave the maid an extremely fat reward for her honesty.
As far as hiking is concerned, I'm definitely partial to western North Dakota. My absolute favorite place is Medora -- looks more like a movie set than a real town. Normal, churchgoing, unpretentious people live there. In fact, you'll probably find that wherever you are in North Dakota. Can't say for sure, but it's a safe bet.
Your guide to all this is The Dakotas Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places by Robin McMacken. I'm still looking for a book that doesn't lump the Dakotas together; in the meantime, this will do a good job. LOTS of info...not much in the way of photos, but I feel the installments are descriptive enough so that you can sort it all out.
Another, completely unrelated book that I'm quite partial to is Warren Henke's The Legacy of North Dakota's Country Schools. I think this book gives you a real feel for life in the remote parts (i.e., most) of the state, and some pretty good idea of why character counts and that woman whose name I'll never know probably never considered pocketing my $440.
-- Rick Bolger
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