"Most come for the Badlands. I came to see where prairie meets sky" - USNPS Ranger Komar
We love road trips. Not the raging, interstate highway road trips. We love the back roads, the blue highways, and the opportunity to meet amazing people. On our recent segment driving the Raven from Wisconsin to Montana, we had the chance to take it slow and visit with the people who comprise the fabric and core of America. One such chance encounter was with USNPS Ranger Komar at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Western North Dakota. Our visit to the park occurred after Mother's Day and many weekenders had already left the park. What a stroke of luck for our tiny group. We spent a portion of the morning with USNPS Ranger Komar learning about little-known facts of the USNPS Ranger experience and the North Unit of the Park. What a treat to get to know the person behind the USNPS RANGER uniform and hear about their journey.
Ranger Komar grew up in the Northeastern states of America, but we quickly learned she has lived all over the world - from remote villages of the Dominican Republic and Peru, to the major cities Barcelona, Budapest, Dusseldorf, and New York City. Recently, her "...inner spirit of wanting to 'run away to the woods' grew stronger in each passing day." She recalled being on a packed, rush-hour, subway car in New York City while reading the job posting for the Park...and realizing that more people were riding the subway car with her than the entire population of Medora, ND. Ranger Komar put a lot of thought into her decision to move West stating, "I spent quite a bit of time thinking about possible future paths. I thought about the environment I wanted to be in, the people I wanted to work with, and the message I wanted to be sending with my work. The USNPS fit the bill." Now she spends her days as a public servant and steward of the National Park - where each day presents a new opportunity to interact with park guests and the stunning landscapes of Western North Dakota.
The USNPS Ranger uniform is iconic - with classic style and exquisite touches steeped in history, which honor the experience and life of a Ranger. The manual of instructions is fifty-six pages long!
Thank you USNPS Ranger Komar - you enriched our visit to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We benefited from seeing the landscape and history through your eyes and learning nuances that can only be taught through patience and being intentional. The most memorable moment of the visit was when our group crested a hill in the prairie - it was stunning to see the land meet the Western sky. On queue, you noticed our amazement and appreciation of the moment and softly spoke, "Most come for the badlands. I came to see where prairie meets sky."