Tuesday, September 12, 2017

North Dakota - Medora and Teddy's park, part II

Medora is a cute town just outside Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  It's touristy, but it's also North Dakota, so it's not over the top.  A nice base for us for a few days.

Post office photo for Mom:

Harold Schafer basically created the town, a fact we learned when we toured the museum:

He made his fortune marketing interesting products way back when, including Glass Wax with Wonder Earth, which is made with "diatomaceous earth" - I had to look that up:

One I'm more familiar with - Mr Bubble!

Memories of bubble baths when we were kids:

We had heard that we should really go see the musical about Medora, so we scored some cheap seat tickets and made our way over to the hillside theater in the evening.  Fun location:

Elk grazing above the sign - ?

The musical was great, lots of good singing and dancing:

All the buildings move around to change the sets, fun props, neat entertainment.

And a special guest!  Teddy showed up early in the show, then later he wandered around the back of the theater.  He was like, "sure, I'd love to be in your photo," and I was like "yay Teddy!!"  Thank you sir!

More goings on down on the stage with a giant teddy bear.  The show continued after sunset and finished with fireworks, very cool.

Time for a little trip!  The next day we drove up to the North Unit of the park.  It made me laugh because I could say the word "unit" a few times.  Maybe you had to be there.

The other interesting tidbit is that the North Unit is in a different time zone - we were briefly an hour later than we were the day before.


I believe this is called a cannonball concretion - and somehow I even remembered that term a couple months later:

Little cannonballs lodged in the white slopes:

Inspecting the geological oddity:

Getting ready to hike up that trail over on the left, and noticing the bison "guarding" it under the tree.  Let's just wait a few minutes.

They decided to move on, that was nice of them (and no, we didn't try to chase them off).  Don't mess around with bison.

Wonderful views from the top of the ridge, I love these colors:

Gorgeous valley, all kinds of interesting layers:

Possibly bentonite along the top of the mesa:

More pretty scenery and intricate erosion:

A baby erratic!  Dropped from a glacier thousands of years ago.  They think the glacier changed the course of Little Missouri River just to the south (and delivered rocks like these from Canada):

More petrified wood:

Fun trail through the badlands:

I never get tired of the colorful topography (obviously!):

Large specimen of petrified wood:

And some hoodoos for good measure:

Back to Medora and a glimpse of our trailer in the campground:

Finally it was time to go.  Thank you North Dakota!  That was way more fun and interesting than we had imagined.

On our way south, I took the opportunity to get in some gravel bike riding.  John dropped me off at one end of a long road and drove around to park at the southern end.  He was going to ride a few miles, but he had no particular reason to spend hours looking at this:

This seemed like good Cowboy Tough training.  Miles of flat and rolling hills across the prairie.  Something to get used to, for sure.

John rode in from the other end and met me at the actual geographical center of the nation (the monument in Belle Forche is just the closest accessible spot for easier access).  Sweet!

The USGS marker:

Less official markers:

Fun times and pretty places!

Next up - Wyoming for a few weeks...

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