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What quote am I vibing? "I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota." Theodore Roosevelt

Road Day: 28

Trails Hiked: Mt. Roosevelt to Friendship Tower (Black Hills National Forest). .8 miles. Elevation change: 207 feet. Trail Surface: dirt

Snake Encounters: 1 (not noteworthy)

Today I drove up to Deadwood after work, and hiked Mt. Roosevelt to Friendship Tower - this was a tip from my hosts here in Rapid City! Friendship Tower was the vision of Seth Bullock, Theodore Roosevelt's pioneer pal - Bullock was the man that Roosevelt looked to when he needed adventure advice. They met in Medora, ND when Roosevelt was a rancher there. They served in the Spanish-American War together. When Roosevelt became President, he appointed Bullock the superintendent of the Black Hills Forest Reserve. They corresponded throughout their lives and admired each other greatly. When TR died, Seth Bullock created this tower and dedicated it to him.

Three months after the dedication, Seth Bullock died and was laid to rest in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood. Very high up - I ascended 778 feet to get to his grave - because he wanted his final resting place to have a view of the next mountain over where Friendship Tower sits. I had Bullock's grave all to myself (it really is a trek.) With a hand on the stone, looking out over Deadwood to the next mountain where I had been an hour before, I felt the breeze in my hair, and his love in my heart. Truth be told, I couldn't quite see Friendship Tower. But I knew it was there. 😉

This was my final day in South Dakota. Tomorrow I drive to Loveland, Colorado. The TR adventures will be harder to come by, and I'm terribly sad to leave this place that I have fallen in love with. I rank Rapid City and its surrounding wilderness among the most wonderful places that I have ever visited.

Friendship Tower and me

Approach to Friendship Tower

Medora, ND where TR's ranch was located in the distance. Somewhere.

Ode To A Bee. Hi little bee. I love you.

Rocking my binoculars and my camera self-timer. Thanks, Wendy!

Here lie Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Some lighting drama for old Wild Bill.

BABIES. Very trusting babies. Be careful!

Seth Bullock. ❤

If you can find Friendship Tower, you're a better man than I.

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