Lets talk about North Dakota today.
“I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.”
“It was here that the romance of my life began.”
“I grow very fond of this place, and it certainly has a desolate, grim beauty of its own, that has a curious fascination for me.”
“Nowhere, not even at sea, does a man feel more lonely than when riding over the far-reaching, seemingly never-ending plains; and after a man has lived a little while on or near them, their very vastness and loneliness and their melancholy monotony have a strong fascination for him.”
“The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.”
When I first moved here I scoffed at these quotes. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could feel this way about North Dakota. The word he uses “desolate” is the best way to describe it. The dust, the dirt, the bugs, this place makes me crazy. Although after living here for over a year now I have grown fond of the endless terrain that never seems to change. Every now and then you might come to the top of a hill and lose your breath at the vastness of it. The dips and caves and colors of the ground formations. you can almost imagine each era in each color of the giant mounds of soft dirt.
If I close my eyes tight enough when we are driving and open them quick I can almost confuse the horizon with the site of the ocean. The little Missouri river never fails to amaze me. That’s one thing I can say true of Roosevelt’s words, that the rivers here in North Dakota can not be compared to anywhere where else. Simply because this truly desolate oasis is so dry. When you come over a hill you are completely taken aback by a sparkling river. You could almost mistake it for a mirage.
The trains are my favorite thing about this place. This is the only place in the country where the train is the best form of transportation out of here during winter. I love everything about them here. The sound of them racing by reminds me of the ocean. The train horns soothe me and remind me that I am alive. That I exist. That I am not just sitting here in purgatory waiting for my turn to be judged.
A documentary on the Roosevelt’s put these thoughts of Theodore in my head….. they were really an incredibly interesting family.
Regardless, I miss where I come from very much. The smell of the salty ocean air. The way the sand sticks to everything from your toes to your lips. The sound of the ocean crashing onto the Cliffside. I miss it all. But more than anything I miss the sunsets. The way the sky changes with the reflection of the ocean. How a stormy day can mutilate the clouds into dark purple swirls. Simply break taking.
There is no place like home. Like Santa Cruz.