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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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Lots of Theodore Roosevelt related news

This weekend, enjoy free entrance and camping at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (entrances in Medora and near Watford City).  The scenic drives are open, weather permitting, and backcountry skiing and snowshoeing is permitted.

January 15 is Winter Fun Day at the Chateau de Mores in Medora.  Bring sleds, skis, snowshoes and enjoy activities with hot chocolate and cookies to be served.  There will be a fire pit bonfire on the patio and all activities are free including admission to the Chateau de Mores and its interpretive center. 

Theodore Roosevelt Documentary to Air

“Theodore Roosevelt: A Cowboy’s Ride to the White House” will run on 175 Public Broadcast stations over the next few months.  The documentary details Roosevelt’s life as a cowboy and his time in the Badlands of North Dakota, which he said was responsible for him becoming president.  For more information and copies of the film visit www.dorganfilms.com.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2011 in History, TRNP / Badlands, Winter Fun

 

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Count some birds this weekend at TR Nat’l Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, photo by Scott Thomas

Volunteers are needed for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The event is free and open to the public. The Medora bird count will take place on Sunday, Dec. 19 beginning at 8 a.m. MST in the South Unit Visitor Center. The North Unit bird count will begin Dec. 20 at 9 a.m. CST in the North Unit Visitor Center. Participants can drive, walk, ski or snowshoe to best cover their assigned areas. You don’t have to be a bird expert to make a difference.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2010 in Birding, TRNP / Badlands, Winter Fun

 

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Zoos are opening for season

This weekend marks the official season opening for the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck.  When visiting, be sure to see the three new, rare Mexican Gray Wolves.  The Dakota Zoo also reports that the tigers have really grown and there is a new baby reindeer.

Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, the Red River Zoo in Fargo and Roosevelt Zoo in Minot all open for their official season on May 1.  The Red River Zoo has spring hours – including free admission this weekend.  There you can see several new animals at home in Fargo, including a white-faced Saki, an armadillo and a two-toed sloth.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2010 in Attractions, Family Fun

 

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