North Dakota is one of those states where in our summer travels we were always going through and never stopping but to take a picture of the state capital or look for a rare bird and then go on to Montana. A few years ago I met Cousin Mike in Medora ND and we played the Bully Pulpit Golf Course. We were only in town for one night but there seemed to be a lot of things to do in the area so I decided to visit here for a week now that we are full timing.
Medora was founded by the Marquis de Mores and he named the town for his wife. The Marquis started a meat packing business that failed in just three years, but not before he built a 26 room summer home he called Chateau de Mores. We took a tour of the Chateau that sits upon a bluff above the town. That evening we were treated to a vivid rainbow after a quick rain storm.
Medora is just to the South of Teddy Roosevelt National Park. Roosevelt came to this area in the late 1800's to hunt bison, and fell in love with the country. He returned after his mother and wife both died on the same day and he needed to get away. He bought and ran two ranches which are now parts of the park. We attended a one hour presentation by a Roosevelt re-enactor who was very entertaining and informative. After a full day of rain we drove the 36 mile loop road in the south section of the park. The North Dakota Badlands are far different then the South Dakota Badlands in that they have much more vegetation and thus more animals. At a few spots along the road we had to stop for Bison Jams.
In 1963 the town was struggling to stay alive when philanthropist Harold Schafer, the founder of Mr. Bubbles bubble bath, bought most of the town and started to renovate it. He started the Medora Musical to draw tourists to the area. It is celebrating its 50th year in 2014. It is held in an outdoor theater set on the side of a hill overlooking the Little Missouri River. The show is a Wild West type show with lots of boot scooting music, horses and wagons and even two elk they must feed, to get out on the hill above the theater. We really enjoyed the show and the majestic setting. We also enjoyed the Cowboy Cookout before the show that featured Steak and Buffalo roast.
I again played the Bully Pulpit Golf Course and Josie drove the cart for me. We were joined by a very nice couple from Oregon Len and Kathy. As you can see from the pictures below it winds through the badlands, making for a great golfing experience.
Tomorrow we drive to the Black Hills of South Dakota.