Netherlands American Studies Association

TRAHA Travel Reports by the 2020-2022 Winners!

This summer, the three winners of the Theodore Roosevelt American History Award (TRAHA) of the past three years went to Medora, for a trip around the Badlands of North Dakota! The TRAHA is sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, the American Embassy in The Hague, the Province of Zeeland and EW Magazine!

Nathaniel Weisberg

Medora, the jewel of the North Dakota “Badlands,” emerges seemingly out of nothing as you drive along Route 94. Buttes, rock shelves, jutting hills, and valleys fantastically replace thePHOTO-2022-09-11-05-30-47 monotony of prairies and farmland. Teddy Roosevelt, Medora’s most famous one-time resident, wrote in 1885 that the region ranged from features “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.” Driving into Medora, however, all of this had to be believed rather than seen.”

To read more of Nathaniel’s report, click here!

Melanie van der Elsen

Colleen had warned us in advance that if we googled pictures of the Badlands, they would not do the scenery justice. And how right she was. As we stopped at a scenic point and took some pictures ourselves, we also took a moment to take in the vast tracts of wilderness
Emma, Colleen and I in the Badlands and rough landscape that made up the Badlands and surrounded Medora. As far as our eyes could see, there was nothing but rock and grass and13f8a35a-1172-4159-bf70-22a7cd2e97d5 bushes in all sorts of shapes and patterns. All of a sudden, the name “Badlands” made perfect sense.

To read more of Melanie’s report, click here!

Emma van Toorn

The arrival at Bismarck airport started off with a great Midwestern welcome in the shape of Colleen Reinhardt, who works with the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation and could – in my opinion – easily be recruited as a North Dakota ambassador to the rest of the world. Upon Colleen’s insistence, Melanie and I spent the first night at a motel so as to be well rested and have the advantage of daylight for our first encounter with the Badlands that host – besides bison, prairie dogs and nature loving tourists – the small town of Medora.

To read more of Emma’s report, click here!

The RIAS would once again like to thank the American hosts in North Dakota and the American Embassy in The Hague for their ongoing support to make this trip to the US possible.