Posts tagged ND

Margaret Barr Roberts

“The Most Wonderful Little Woman in the Badlands”

 

Margaret Barr Roberts was an Irish immigrant who moved to the United States when she was around 11 years old. Her life was one of travel and tragedy.

However, through the struggle and hardship, she remained optimistic; always looking forward, as TR would say, “Doing what she could, with what she had, where she was.”

And of course, she wasn’t alone. In fact, TR himself was there to help her along. READ MORE »

Who Is Cowboy Lyle?

Cowboy Lyle:

He seems to be everywhere. You can find him walking down the streets of Medora, and it’s no rare sight to see him greeting guests at the Medora Musical, but who is Cowboy Lyle really?

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Meet the Medora Musical Cast!

We’d like you to meet the “Greatest Cast in the West!”

Here they are! 

Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Cowboy Chet is thrilled to be back in the saddle again on the Medora stage as Host for a second summer! After touring the country on Troupe America’s National tour of Pump Boys and Dinettes (Jim), he is once again ready to spend the summer in the beautiful badlands of North Dakota. Previously, he has been seen in the national tours of Miracle on 34th Street, Ring of Fire, and Live From Nashville. He has also spent several years performing at Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, TN, where he met his wife, Candice. Chet would like to thank his family for their continued support! Enjoy the show!

Host: Cowboy Chet

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The Buffalo Head – Medora’s Newest Photo Opp!

Magnificent New Art Enters Medora’s Historic Streets!

Medora has a reputation for the preservation of the wonderful history of the American Northwest. Whether it is through the Medora Musical, TR Salute to Medora, or the Chateau de Mores, we are invested helping you experience our history. However, this summer, you may notice something new to Medora as you drive through our streets.

 

This year we have introduced a new piece of artwork to our community!

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Opening Weekend Was a Success!

Last weekend was opening weekend at the Medora Musical–and it was one rootin’-tootin,’ boot-scootin’ heck of a time!

There was singing.

There was dancing.
There was singing while dancing.

And of course, there was laughter all night long!

 

Here are some photos of the show in case you missed opening weekend, or just want to
re-live the best weekend of your summer! READ MORE »

Top 3 Medora Musical Moments!

There are just 3 more days until opening night of the 2017 Medora Musical

In celebration, here are a few of our favorite Medora Musical Moments that you should watch out for!

Medora Musical Moment #1 : The Cloggers!

It’s not tap… It’s not swing… IT’S CLOGGING!

Clogging has been featured in the Medora Musical since the very beginning and is an unforgettable part of the show!

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the unmistakable sight and sound of the Medora Cloggers!

Medora Musical Moment #2: The Variety Show!


The fun never stops at the Medora Musical!

While the cast and crew prepare for the second act, guests experience unforgettable entertainment in the form of our variety shows — which change throughout the season!

You’ll never laugh so hard, cheer so loud, or be so amazed as you are watching comedic and acrobatic talent brought here from around the world!

Check out this year’s Variety Acts here!

Medora Musical Moment #3: The Firework Finale!

Nothing ends a night better than the Medora Musical’s breathtaking fireworks display! You won’t want to miss one minute!

 

Look for more Medora Musical Moments here!

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes of the Medora Musical–Photo shoot

With the summer season right around the corner, everyone here in Medora is working tirelessly to prepare our favorite people in the world… you, our guests!

And this is especially true for the Medora Musical Cast! Why, just yesterday they had an afternoon photo shoot. Take a look!

The Medora Musical Cast welcomes you!

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90 Minutes in TR National Park

90 Minutes in TR National Park

July is almost over, and most of us are busy packing as much life and enjoyment as possible into the remaining weeks of summer.  It had been a while since I had been through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park; in fact, it had been much too long.  I didn’t want to miss the chance to enjoy the park in its summer glory.  Even though I only had about an hour and a half to spend there around other items on my schedule, I decided to go for a quick drive through the loop.

Grasses wave and clouds swirl on a July afternoon in TR National Park.

I have always felt that TRNP is one of the “best kept secrets” of the national park system.  Beautiful, clean, and never crowded, it’s the perfect afternoon drive if you want to clear your mind and fill up your senses. The 36-mile paved loop road winds lazily around hills and past creek beds, under tree branches, sometimes with only a handful of other cars in sight.

Although early mornings and evenings are the best time to try to catch a glimpse of the park wildlife during the heat of summer, I was hoping I’d luck out and stumble across some animals in the afternoon sun.  Prairie dogs are a given – you will inevitably spot those little guys popping out of their ground holes, sitting up to assess your vehicle, barking out a greeting to a neighboring dog, and just as quickly darting back down inside.

Pathway along Wind Canyon in TR National Park.

After enjoying the prairie dog town, I was taken in by colors. Mid-summer is the time of year when grasses start to dry out and add shades of light greens, yellows, and browns to the never-changing scoria reds and cedar greens of the badlands. The view from Wind Canyon was, as always, breathtaking, with occasional clouds threatening sprinkles and adding grays and navies to the summer blue sky.

 

 

 

 

Some buffalo kick up a little dust in TR National Park.

Some wild horses posed on the horizon from a distance, but not close enough to get a good look. Then I turned a corner around a butte, and was greeted by a buffalo herd roadblock!  Mothers with their calves grazed on the grass or rested on their sides.  A couple of the furry beasts got in a scuffle and kicked up a little dust in their wake while the others ignored their horseplay.

 

A wild horse gets frisky in TR National Park.

The oddball in the herd was a lone wild horse, who was busy doing some heel-kicking on its own!

The drive was over before I knew it, but the vivid landscape and surprising wildlife left me wanting more time in the park. Resolved to make it a more regular stop on my summer calendar, I challenge you to do the same as you venture to Medora!

 

 

 

 

Medora’s Badlands Trail Run: Six Years and Going Strong

Medora’s Badlands Trail Run: Six Years and Going Strong

If you ever asked Wade Westin, “What’s new in Medora?” you’d be answered with an enthusiastic listing of attractions, events, and local hang-outs that he was bursting to share.  Wade loved Medora and the North Dakota Badlands, and as the Marketing and PR Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, he was constantly brainstorming for fun and unique experiences that Medora could offer.

A combination of Wade’s interest in running and his love of the majestic Badlands led to the idea for a trail run along the Maah Daah Hey Trail near Medora.  Mark Zimmerman, currently the Director of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, remembers talking about the possibilities with Wade when traveling together to various sport and tourism shows in the winter months.  At the time, Zimmerman was working as the Outdoor Recreation Specialist for North Dakota Tourism.  He loved the idea of promoting the Maah Daah Hey Trail as a place for not only horseback riding, hiking, and biking, but for running as well.

The Badlands Trail Run starts at the Tjaden Terrace, adjacent to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre in Medora, ND

With the help of Wade, Mark, Medora Foundation staff, friends, and volunteers, the first annual Badlands Trail Run took place six years ago in the fall of 2006.  Zimmerman remembers, “The first one, we maybe weren’t as prepared as we should have been.  By golly, people kept registering and we were very busy handling the crowd.  Once the race started, I think one lady veered off the trail and ran down a cow path instead, but everything turned out all right! By the next year we had things organized to run much smoother, and Wade had a great group of volunteers who knew how it worked; it was really a lot of fun.”

Zimmerman points out that the Badlands Trail Run can be challenging to runners used to flatter surfaces.  He notes that many of the races in Bismarck-Mandan are held on pavement or well-worn trails, and that the terrain and grade of the trail on the Maah Daah Hey is tougher than a typical 5K/10K race in North Dakota.

In the summer of 2007, a road race was added to Medora’s calendar of events.  The “Bully Run”, named after Teddy Roosevelt’s trademark saying, took runners through the streets of Medora and on roads and bike paths on the edge of town.   As word of the races spread, the number of participants in each 5K walk/run and 10K run events grew from 70 to 100 to closer to 150.  Still small enough to be timed with hand timers and to have organizers shout out last-minute instructions without a mic, the races have a small town feel and a friendly atmosphere.

Wade’s co-worker Ann Riippa soon took on many of the administrative and organizational responsibilities of the races in order to help share Wade’s many responsibilities in the marketing department.  A runner as well, Ann felt the races were ideal for runners of all ages and abilities.  “The Medora races are all about enjoying being out in the Badlands and having a fun time. It’s a great place for new runners to come out and try their first race.”   (This blogger gives a review of their experience with the Badlands Trail Run.)  The events have gained a following in the running world, too: the Badlands Trail Run was recently featured in Trail Runners Magazineclick here to read the full 4-page article.

Ann Riippa, Wade Westin, and Mark Zimmerman (l-r) pose in downtown Medora following the 2008 Badlands Trail Run, Wade’s last Medora race before passing away in February 2009.

With Wade’s sudden passing in 2009, family, friends, and co-workers were looking for significant ways to honor his caring and adventurous spirit.  One clear way to do that was for the Medora Foundation to continue hosting race events, an effort still led by Ann Riippa.  The seventh annual Badlands Trail Run is schedule for August 25, 2012.  Runners and walkers receive a sweat-wicking t-shirt and buffet lunch ticket as part of registration fees.  Register ahead of time to ensure a t-shirt will be available for you the day of the race.

See you on the trail!

 

 

 

 

July 4th in Medora: A Visit with Sheila Schafer

July 4th in Medora: A Visit with Sheila Schafer

For decades, families, parade-goers, employees, park rangers, Medora Musical cast members, and countless others have enjoyed the 4th of July holiday in this patriotic little town.

Sheila Schafer, the unofficial “First Lady of Medora”, is busy gearing up for the 4th at her log cabin home in Medora.  She may be eighty-seven years old, but her calendar is jam-packed with appointments, lunches, interviews, family time, and frequent evenings watching the Medora Musical.  When I stopped by this week, she was baking all-American apple pies in preparation for the arrival of several relatives over the course of the next few days.   A neat row of American flags—which she proudly notes are labeled by the manufacturer “Made in the USA”—wave in the wind from her front yard flower beds.  And of course, 400 ice cream bars are chilling in her freezer (…we’ll get to that later).

When asked why Medora is such a fun place to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, she quickly replied, “Well, there’s three big reasons to come out to Medora on the 4th of July. First, we always have a big crowd at the Medora Musical, and those kids [the Burning Hills Singers] are fired up and ready to do that show!  Second, we put on a great parade. Third, we put on a big fireworks show that no one can beat, and everyone congregates on my lawn to watch.”

The 400 ice cream bars await employees and volunteers who come to take in the fireworks show at Sheila’s house, the best view in town.  Sheila and a crew of helpers happily hand out the ice cream to the people who keep Medora running all summer long.  Around 11:15pm, members of the crowd quiet down, lie on blankets looking up at the stars, and await the dramatic artillery of a fireworks show that will light up the sky and shake the ground beneath them.

Sheila (pronounced “shy – la”) is the widow of Harold Schafer, owner of the Gold Seal Company, founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, and the philanthropist who lovingly poured money and energy into the rejuvenation of the town of Medora in the 1960s.

Harold passed away more than a decade ago, but Sheila says she thinks about him more during the 4th of July than any other time during the summer season in Medora.  “After Christmas, the 4th of July was Harold’s favorite time of year!  He was very patriotic. He so honored people that served.  How proud he would be that we’ve got a grandson now that just got his sergeant stripes in the National Guard.” In fact, Sheila tells that in Harold’s will, one of his wishes was that Medora continue to hold 4th of July Parades and a big fireworks show every year.

When Harold and Sheila were younger, they spent 4th of July holidays riding horseback in the Dickinson and Medora parades, duded up in Roy Rogers-like apparel.  Sheila is proud of the number of parade entrants Medora usually sees, saying the parades here used to be much smaller. She laughs, “Bill Sorensen [of the 4-M Revue] used to joke during his show that our parade was so small, we would just park the parade and let the people walk around it!  Now we get a pretty good sized parade.”  Harold was also known to buy hundreds of little American flags and send Sheila downtown to hand them out to all the children on the boardwalks of Medora.

This year, Harold would have been 100 years old in February.  Sheila knows he would be proud of the patriotic pride still on display today, and throughout the year, in Medora.

(See the Medora calendar of events for listings of patriotic celebrations and parades.  Medora’s special Veteran’s Day is July 8 and honors all armed service veterans.  Click here to read details.)