Prehistory is Humbling: Makoshika or “Bad Land”

The first four days after our day of departure from Minnesota were spent at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Western North Dakota and Makoshika State Park in Eastern Montana.  Both areas we visited shared a common theme: maco sika, a Lakota phrase meaning “bad land,” or “bad earth”.  These bizarre lands are named such for their hot dry climate and lack of potable water.

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What fascinated me most about the badlands was how much prehistoric evidence exists within them.  Their history is not hot and dry at all, but lush and subtropical.  Millions of years ago, these lands were inhabited by animals now extinct (an ancient reptile called Champsosaurus at Theodore Roosevelt and dinosaurs at Makoshika).

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My Guiltiest Pleasure: The Great American Road Trip

 

My spirit finds peace only in the wildest places.  The absolute calm and silence of an early morning in the boundary waters comes to mind. Perched at the end of a natural jetty of rock that reaches out to the calm water, the sun emerging beyond an island in a soft pink light, I meditate easily. I am interrupted fleetingly by the sudden splash of a fish breaking the surface.  Only by being in a place like this can anyone understand the wealth of the land.  

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Devastation has hit me lately, as what few sacred places we have left in America seem to be constantly under attack by our new administration.  As I struggle to figure out what I can do to help protect the land I care so deeply for, as well as the water that we all depend on, I cannot help but feel guilty for my shortcomings. Though environment is on my mind every day, I am no model environmentalist. My biggest flaw lies in the love I have for the open road. Continue reading