Scenic USA - North Dakota
Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.
Heart River Valley
Freedom, a wide open prairie, mountains of free gold and unlimited land; these were the calling calls of the 19th century American frontier.
Soon after the American Revolutionary War was over and the Treaty of Paris was signed, the area west of the Appalachian Mountains called for western expansion. With the addition of the Louisiana Purchase and Oregon Territory, Americans began thinking in terms of unlimited land.
This scene from a rise above the Heart River Valley offers an excellent example of what American settlers witnessed as a mythical endless prairie. Here in western North Dakota the Heart River gets its start in the Little Missouri Grassland and flows toward the east. Joined by the Green River at Gladstone, the Heart continues on to the Missouri River at Mandan.
Although invisible in these great distances, the prairie is a common haven for wildlife. While mule deer and pronghorn are much easier to spot, sharp-tailed grouse, prairie falcon, meadowlark and the horned lark flourish among the grasslands. Off on the horizon, sandstone buttes punctuate the skyline. Placed in the center of the continent, North Dakota's hilly landscape and rolling plains make up the state's signature landscape. It's no wonder that early 19th century ranchers, pioneers and farmers believed in a limitless frontier.
Copyright © 2012 Benjamin Prepelka
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