North Dakota (cont'd)





And with that he was gone, and I floated on in a daze
O’er the land he had loved, where he’d learned Western ways
Where the elk and bison had taken no notice
Of the balloon-flying man and the long-ago POTUS



I flew east from the Badlands, to where North Dakota
Becomes boring, and flat, and farther on, Minnesota
I floated down by a butte, which through skill and good luck
Was where Pink Hat and Duane were pulling up in the truck









“Who the heck were you talking to?” Pink Hat inquired, 
(For my radio had been keyed the whole time – I was wired)
“Some old-timer,” I said, “who got chatting with me,
“Channeled in on some old-timer ghost frequency.”



We rode back to Medora, having found what I sought,
And while munching on doughnuts that Pink Hat had bought,
I realized I’d never flown so proud or so free,
As sky-riding with TR in Medora ND.




Celebration LXVIII

Crew Chief: Ernie Hartt

Crew: Duane Houdek, Sandy Baertsch, Medora Volunteers

Special Thanks to: Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (Randy Hatzenbuhler, President), Medora Balloon Rally (John Boulger, balloonmeister), John Hild, Becky Hild

Photography: John Motley, Sandy Baertsch, Ernie Hartt, Van Larson (, Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt, Roberto Patron, John Ninomiya


Quotes from Theodore Roosevelt

"I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota."
"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."
"The Bad Lands grade all the way from those that are almost rolling in character to those that are so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in color as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth."
"Freedom is not a gift which can be enjoyed save by those who show themselves worthy of it."
"Life is a great adventure…accept it in such a spirit."