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A family weekend in Medora

Last weekend was a rare summer weekend that was open on our calendar and so we packed the bags and tent and headed to Medora for a camping overnight and adventure. This marked the first time my girls have ever camped and they were bursting with excitement. On Saturday morning, the first word that either of them said was “camping.”

Setting up camp with a view of TR National Park

We made a reservation at the Medora campground and had a site near the Little Missouri River with a view of the buttes of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Here we made a little lunch (there is a partial burn ban in place) before heading into the town of Medora for some shopping. A pair of cowboy boots and a cap-gun later we were in swimsuits and heading to the City pool.  At just $3.00 per person for the day this heated pool was a great place to be on a 90-degree day.  From the pool we also ventured to the new Family Fun Center.  $8.00 per person equals two-days of unlimited use of the inflatable water slide, rock climbing wall and bungee-jump-trampoline.  I lost track of the number of items we went down the slide. My daughters are 4 and 5 1/2 and they had no problems making the stairs and no fears heading down the slide. But I will say that my children have a bit of fearlessness in them. Case in point, the rock climbing wall. The website doesn’t say exactly how tall this wall is but in my perspective as their mom – my daughter was hanging 1,900 feet off the ground. The staff were friendly and thorough and safety was never a question for me.

Both girls said that their favorite activity though was the trampoline bungee-jump.

   

Saturday evening was perfectly picturesque – which also describes what a lot of people were doing following the famous Pitchfork Steak Fondue. If you haven’t yet experienced a pitchfork steak fondue, it’s literally hundreds of ribeye steaks, speared on pitchforks and fondued! (I should have warned the cook that I was going to take his picture.)

And what can I say about the Medora Musical?! It is one of the best shows I’ve seen performed at the stunning Burning Hills Amphitheater. The new cast had perfect harmonies, the music was a great blend of modern country, gospel, patriotism and classic themes, the script was fresh and the fiddler is awesome.

Camping was a success.  There was a rain shower that went through and yes, it was a little warm and stuffy. Plus, the sunrise was at 5:30 a.m. and I think my daughters were up shortly after that! But nothing can compare to seeing them wake in that golden light and look out on the Badlands with such joy.

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning we took a drive through the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park where we were very soon greeted by buffalo who had taken over a prairie dog town. Just another mile into the park, more buffalo greeted us – including a pair who walked right along our pickup.

 

We took a hike along the Wind Canyon Trail – which was great for the ages of my daughters. It has a great view of the Little Missouri.

 

 

And finally, off into the distance, we saw a herd of wild horses that made my youngest daughter smile like this.

It was an excellent weekend and even though we go to Medora almost annually there are always new things to try and new experiences to share. (This year we didn’t pack the golf clubs for Bully Pulpit, which my hubby only mentioned once or twice.)

If you have favorite vacation stories and pictures, please share them with us on our Facebook page!

 
 

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Strike gold at JunkFest in Carrington

Vacation gold.  That’s what many travelers to North Dakota tell us they’ve found along their journey.  Visitors write and tell us about the friendly people, the beautiful scenery, the adventures, the great food and the lasting memories.

Vacation memories truly are treasures – and if you’re looking to combine the two, journey to Carrington on September 17 for Autumn JunkFest – an event known for turning memories into treasures.  Visitors find antiques and “junk” refurbished and repurposed for home and garden.  There is also a popular Flea Market.

The Carrington area has great attractions and lodging options for more vacation memories.  Consider a tour of historic Putnam House – a 4,300 square foot home built in 1907 and featuring family history and museum collections.

Dakota Sun Gardens Winery of Carrington offers garden tours and wine tasting.

In nearby Jamestown, visitors can delight in pioneer history at the Frontier Village and the National Buffalo Museum.  The museum cares for a live buffalo herd with three very rare albino bison.

And in nearby Cooperstown, tour the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site.  The reality of the Cold War is best experienced with a trip underground to see mission control.

These attractions recently partnered with North Dakota Tourism in a sweepstakes promoted by Country Living magazine.  The winner, Amy Pater, will also be treated to a stay in a luxury cabin at Lakeview Meadow resort in Jamestown, two nights at the Carrington Inn and Suites and dining extras!

Interesting history – found through treasures, experiences and travel – can make your trip to North Dakota golden.  For more visitor stories, be sure to visit www.RUlegendary.com.

 

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Happy birthday COACH Erstad

Happy birthday to North Dakota baseball star (and now coach) Darin Erstad.  A native of Jamestown, Erstad spent 14 years playing Major League Baseball and was a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner.  Erstad was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft.  During his career, he helped the Los Angeles Angels to a World Series title in 2002 and two other American League playoff appearances.  He retired in 2009.

This week, Erstad was named Head Baseball Coach for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.  He had previously been volunteering as an assistant coach with the Huskers.

In his hometown of Jamestown, visitors can see the World’s Largest Buffalo (statue) and three rare and real albino buffalo at the National Buffalo Museum.  Experience pioneering life at the Frontier Village and slide into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame to see inductees such as Vikings football player Jim Kleinsasser, newly retired Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and homerun king Roger Maris. 

Special events include the Fort Seward Wagon Train  June 19-25, which gives visitors a flash-from-the-past covered-wagon experience.  The Tatanka Festival, July 7-10, will have wild west shootouts, parade, carnival and much more.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in ND in the News, Sports

 

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Jamestown’s BIG weekend

This weekend the Buffalo City will celebrate all things buffalo!  Well … maybe not buffalo chips … although you can buy those too.  It’s Jamestown’s annual Tatanka Festival and the 14th birthday of one very special gal – White Cloud, a rare albino buffalo.  White Cloud isn’t alone in the herd either – there are three white buffalo to watch for in the live herd.

With a fair, festival, rodeo, car show, golf tournament and craft show ALL taking place – events can be found throughout town.  Check the Buffalo City Tourism website for details.  Be sure to visit the World’s Largest Buffalo at Frontier Village – where a Wild West Shoot-out will take place at 3 p.m., Saturday.

 

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Lending Tree likes ND

Those of us who are proud North Dakotans will happily tell you the great things going on here – the healthy economy, the nearly 10,000 available jobs, the awesome things to see and do, our list goes on and on!  It’s really cool when national media and bloggers also recognize North Dakota.  Lending Tree has just posted a report on how North Dakota “outshines other states.”

If you read their report and are intrigued about our giant roadside attractions, like Salem Sue, you’ll also want to check out the World’s Largest Buffalo in Jamestown and the Enchanted Highway – a scenic stretch of highway between Gladstone and Regent with some of the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures.

 
 

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North Dakota Contests

Who doesn’t love the chance to win fame, glory and $$$$$$ ?!?!

This is the last week to enter the “Name That Buffalo” contest – finally giving a name to the World’s Largest Buffalo in Jamestown.  The contest ends April 15.  The 60-ton buffalo was sculpted in 1959 and has been nameless for 50 years.  The person who submits the winning name will receive a $1,000 cash prize.  Contest details online.

A North Dakota Songwriting Contest is now open to all independent songwriters.  Entrants from beginners to experienced are invited.  The contest runs through September 15 and the grand prize is $5,000 plus a Medora Experience vacation package and Medora Musical gift basket, courtesy of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.  More information and official contest rules are available online.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2010 in Attractions, Events, Just for Fun

 

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