It was about 8 o’clock in Gardiner, Montana and surprisingly light outside. We had just finished eating our buffalo burgers at the Two Bit Saloon when Lex and I decided to check out the Roosevelt Arch.
We couldn’t visit the arch in the daytime because of all the renovations for the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service. The road was blocked off and there were a lot of heavy equipment and men with orange construction vests keeping people away.
But for now, they were done and other than a couple of guys taking photos and leaving, we were alone.
The place was a little windy but mostly peaceful and quiet because most of the town shops were closed down for the night.
When Lex went to get the camcorder (we left it in the car, yeah I know, dumb!), I just stood in quiet contemplation of how the original builders were able to construct this monolith. The arch was made from local volcanic basaltic rocks which accentuates the boxiness of its appearance. Because the rocks are unhewn, they are rugged and beautiful in their natural state. The structure itself is 50 feet high with the outer posts being 30 feet on each side. The width of opening is only 20 feet.
At the time of its dedication, a time capsule canister was placed in the cornerstone by Theodore Roosevelt. There were upwards to a few thousand people at the dedication. Gardiner is a small town so it must have been packed!
We shot our little video, took photos and were on our way back to the motel. What a way to end the day!
There are many different roads to get into Yellowstone National Park, but Neek and I chose one of the most iconic entrances, Roosevelt Arch. We chose it for two reasons: 1) There’s a lot of history attached to this entrance that made it appealing to us and 2) It was the most geographically convenient spot coming down from Alberta, Canada through Montana to stay in Gardiner where the Roosevelt Arch is located.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to drive through the Arch like we hoped. It is currently undergoing renovation and was surrounded by orange construction spears and construction workers the morning we drove on the detour around it to enter Yellowstone. Supposedly it will reopen with a proper re-dedication August 25, 2016, which would be the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
However, after returning from Yellowstone to Gardiner, we found the construction workers milling around the Arch that morning had left for the day. Neek walked over, camera in hand, to see if it was blocked off. I wasn’t, so I joined her and we shot some footage. Hope you enjoy it!