North Dakota is in the books!

Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2012

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T. Roosevelt Nat's Park

Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Sunday, July 8, 2012

Before this trip I had never been to North Dakota.  Now I have driven all the way across it.  We had a 600 mile drive on Friday from Maple Grove to Medora and it was all on I-94.  East of the Missouri River was farm after farm and west of the river it was all grasslands and ranches.  The North Dakota Badlands are a small section of the state running along the Little Missouri River.  Theodore Roosevelt National Park covers two big sections of this area. Friday night we took an evening ride around the South Park and saw lots of wildlife: turkey, mule deer, prairie dogs, and bison.  First we saw individual bison and then we found ourselves in herds of bison just ambling down the road.

Saturday we went into town and saw a small presentation on a famous shooting that occurred in 1883.  Then we took a private walking tour of the town (it was private only because we were the only ones signed up).  Between the two we learned quite a bit.  Then we drove about 75 miles east and north to visit the North Park.  It was about the same although smaller because part of the Scenic Drive had washed out.  What was interesting was the drive up US 85 which took us through the southern section of the current oil boom.  This area is flooded with drilling companies and workers and has created quite a stir.  Temporary camper "villages" have cropped up for these folks to stay in and we here that in Williston (another 50 miles further north) the conditions are crazy; overcrowding, lack of supplies, exorbitant rents, etc. 

Sunday we had a lazy morning and visited the Foundation Information Center which told of the man who "renovated" Medora into the tourist mecca it is today.  Mr. Harold Schaefer, founder of Gold Seal Co. and distributor of Mr. Bubble, Glass Wax, and Snowy Bleach; began in the 1960's by buying up unwanted property and renovating it into tourist items like hotels and restaurants.  In 1965 he started the "Medora Musical" which continues to this day.  After that we visited the Chateau de Mores which was the private home of the town's founder in the 1880's.  Tonight we enjoyed the "Medora Experience".  First a ribeye steak speared on a pitchfork and then fondued in soybean oil accompanied by a buffet which was followed by the "Medora Musical"; a musical show in a beautiful outdoor theater backdropped by the North Dakota Badlands.  All in all we had a very pleasant weekend.  Tomorrow we have a 400 mile trip to Great Falls, Montana.

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schilling on

I had never heard of Medora before. Sounds like a very interesting place to visit. Hope you're not experiencing triple digit temps like we have been the last week.

Diane on

Hello, so gald your trip so far has been interesting and enjoyable. Love the pics!!

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