DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two days in Medora, North Dakota

Warning!  This is a long post, so pour yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for a long read.  :)

We left Bismarck yesterday around noon.  We got everything cinched down, slid in (is slid a word?) and secured for the trip.  As I was getting in the truck to pull out, I looked up at our bug collection!  Yuck!
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Wonder how much worse it will be before we have a chance to clean it up?

So we loaded up took off, waving to Stacy from the interstate as we whizzed past her house.  We’ll miss her and John, but had a great time with them. 

Stacy had told us to be sure and watch for “Salem Sue”, a huge cow on the left and before long, there “she” was.
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The picture is kinda blurry, but I had to post it anyway.  Look at the size of that cow!  I have no idea why she is there or who put her there, but she’s impressive.

Once again, the farmland was just gorgeous and the sky was so blue that I had a hard time choosing what to watch…the landscape or the sky.
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I saw a sign beside the road about the “Flying Geese” metal art that was upcoming, so I was watching for it with camera ready.
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Again, it was huge and again, I don’t know have a clue who put it there or why.  I’m just a treasure trove of information, aren’t I?  Oh, and, once again, I was duly impressed.

So, I ooo’ed and ahhhh’ed down the road, not just at the outside scenery…I had to get a shot of my favorite subject who was in charge of getting me down that road.  He does a great job of it, by the way.
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We were watching for the “Painted Canyon” that Stacy and John told us about.  We certainly didn’t want to pass it up.  Sure enough, as Stacy had said, it was just a few miles east of Medora and we were like kids in a candy store.  What a beautiful place!  Colors everywhere!
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After taking loads of pictures, we hit the road again to make the last couple of miles to Medora where we had reservations for two nights at the RV park there.

The scenery on into Medora was fantastic as well.
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We stopped in Medora to get fuel and it was obvious this is a very busy little tourist town and I could see why.  A word of advise to anyone wanting to stay here; there is ONE convenience store that has ONE diesel pump, no fresh fruit and if you want a loaf of bread, it’s $3.80, not so fresh and mashed on one side.  So stock up on whatever groceries you need BEFORE arriving in Medora.  It’s 30 miles to the nearest grocery store.  But we were proud to have a full tank of diesel and a loaf of bread, no matter it’s condition.
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That’s the Medora Fudge and Ice Cream Depot.  Note to self:  make sure to stop in there before leaving Medora!  Yummmmm!

We decided to come back to downtown after we got set up at the RV park, which I’m so glad we called ahead to reserve.  We got the last open slot in Medora, which has two huge RV parks.  We left town and drove across the river, made a right and there we were.
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We got set up in record time and were anxious to get out in the wonderful air.  There is little humidity here and the temperature was around 75, so it just felt great to be out in the air in these wide open spaces.  We decided to take in the “Medora Musical” that was to start at 8:30, so we needed tickets.

We made our way back downtown and walked down one street, looking in the various shops and scouting out a good place to eat and buy tickets to the musical.  We decided on “Boot’s Bar and Grill” since they had a screened-in outdoor area and the smells coming from the place were scrumptious!

We found a table and we both decided on Elk Burgers that didn’t disappoint.  DeWayne had his with lettuce, tomato and onion (which were an extra $1.50) and a side of sweet potato fries.
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I had my Elk burger with regular fries.
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These burgers were so big, we both discarded the bread, then I had to ask for a to-go box for half my meat and fries.  They were delicious and the first elk meat either of us had ever eaten.

The service was great and the beer was good and we left there stuffed.  Outside the restaurant was a cat with a fuzzy red collar that was extremely friendly and had to rub against everybody’s legs that crossed his path.  I’m guessing he either belongs to the owners or has just figured out that it’s a great place to hang out and get tidbits of food, judging from the size of him.  He was a fatty.
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After a brief stop back at the RV, we made our way up the hill to the Medora Musical that is performed every night during the summer.  We topped the hills to see the sunset as we pulled into the parking lot.
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Then we had to walk downhill to get to the outdoor theater and as we walked, I spotted two huge, beautiful elk walking up the hill behind the stage area.  There they were within 150 feet of hundreds of people and were totally unfazed by the hubub.  I took pictures but it was getting so dark that they didn’t turn out at all.  I was sooooo disappointed to not be able to take advantage of such a great photo opportunity.  Oh well, ya can’t get em all.

We made our way to our seats and waited for the show to start, which didn’t take long.  I was loving all the open spaces and fresh, crisp air and just taking it all in.  We were smart enough to both grab a jacket and the small blanket that we keep in the truck, expecting a chilly breeze during the show, and we were right.  We made good use of those jackets and that blanket. 

I took a few pictures of the scenery before the show that are a little dark, but it was the best I could do.
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See the hill between the two buildings?  That’s where the elk were standing earlier.  The hill is directly behind the stage and is used later in the show when “Teddy Roosevelt” is riding in a spotlight along the top on horseback. 
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I did get a good shot of the show at a point that the lights were pretty bright.
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The show was great and we highly recommend it to anyone that might want to visit Medora.  Lots of talent and a great story.  I had a wonderful time watching the show, but I especially liked the beginning when we were all allowed an opportunity to stand and sing the National Anthem and salute the flag. Then after the show when all the veterans were asked to stand and were applauded loudly, which included DeWayne.  I loved it!  Patriotism is still alive, folks!

I’ve been enchanted by the badlands all around us since we arrived here.  Just being out in this rugged country with the crisp air and wide open sky gives me a sense of freedom that is rare.  And the beauty of it is breathtaking.  I definitely want to come back here in the future.

We inched our way home in the traffic after the show and called it a night.  I slept in this morning and woke up refreshed and ready to see some more of the sights. 

Remember that sad loaf of bread that we bought yesterday?  Well, I needed some for toast this morning, so I happily opened this sad looking loaf of bread,dug out a couple of slices and immediately started laughing.  I’ve never seen bread this mis-shapen before and I was a little afraid that if I put them in the toaster, I wouldn’t be able to get them back out!  DeWayne said I had to get a picture of one of them, so here it is.
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Now, isn’t that the cutest slice of bread you’ve ever seen?

Anyway, after my interesting toast and a couple of scrambled eggs, I took my shower and we decided to go see “Theodore Roosevelt National Park” before lunch.  We stopped in the visitor’s center and looked around before making the 36 mile drive through the park and we were ready to go.  The camera was fully charged and we made sure we utilized the bathrooms at the visitor’s center. 

The park is huge where Bison, Elk, Mule and White Tail Deer, and Wild Horses roam free and are in abundance, along with frequent Prairie Dog towns along the roadway.  I say “abundance” because it’s true…….except for today.  We drove miles and didn’t see a single “critter” other than the prairie dogs, which were plentiful and oh so cute!
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They are right up close to the road, but when you get out to take a picture, they all run to their little holes, shake their tails at you and “bark”, which sounds much more like a squeek.  I had to zoom as close as I could with the camera, so the pictures are a little grainy.
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There are five prairie dogs in this last picture.  Can you see them all?

We didn’t see a single Elk or deer.  No buffalo either, although we were dodging their droppings every few feet along the road, so we knew they were there somewhere, and in big numbers.  

Critters or no, the park was mile after mile of jaw-dropping scenes of rolling hills, rocks, trees and prairie grasses.  Totally awesome!  I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
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I’m having a really hard time picking my favorite picture, so I just won’t.  This is just a sample of all that I took along the way, all just beautiful.

We were on the last six miles of the park when we rounded a curve and I shouted “BUFFALO”!!!!!  There he was in all his splendor just standing out by the public bathrooms and parking area.
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So we circled back around and found a parking place so that I could get some up-close pictures.  What a magnificent animal!
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According the park personnel who were standing close by, this animal can go from standing still to 60 mph in nothing flat, so we were all advised to keep our distance.  There had apparently been a herd of around 50 around the park campgrounds recently since they usually stick together.  This one, they said, is an older male that keeps his distance from the herd because he is too old to compete with the younger bulls.  Well, “OLD MAN”, you sure impressed me! 

So, I was tickled that we finally saw some kind of critter that was bigger than a prairie dog and we left the park happy, especially since this was “no fee” day.  The usual fee for driving the park is $10.00, which we were ready and willing to spend, but it didn’t cost a dime today.  Love it! 

We are back at the RV for the evening and since it’s been raining off and on the last couple of hours, we’re glad we got to see the show last night instead of waiting til tonight. 

We’re going to take it easy the rest of the evening, then get up and move on down the road in the morning.  Destination – Billings, Montana.  Hope you have enjoyed our visit to Medora as much as we have and I’ll try to post again as soon as possible.  So until then…..


1 comment:

  1. Amazing scenery. Looks like this was a wonderful little town....I love outdoor theatre. And it's been years since I've been ..Elkburger and sweet potato fries...sounds delicious. KIeep on keepin on!