Medora is a swingin’ town. During the day, you can go on trail rides and buggy rides, visit the museums, or enjoy the Family Fun Center. You can hike, go mini golfing, or enjoy the different day shows. One would think that things slow down toward the evening; but the fun really kicks up in Medora when the sky starts to dim. READ MORE »
Posts tagged North Dakota
1. Experience the greatest show in the West: the Medora Musical! You’re sure to have a toe-tapping time at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre as you enjoy our wide variety of country and western music and the amazing talents of our performers.
2. Where else can you enjoy meat that has been prepared on a pitchfork and accompanied by the greatest side dishes in the west and a great view of the Badlands? Enjoy the Pitchfork Steak Fondue when you visit Medora!
3. It was good enough for Teddy Roosevelt. And that was before it had indoor plumbing! READ MORE »
Managers say inquiries by golfers from across the U.S. point to another outstanding year.
Medora’s Bully Pulpit Golf Course will open for the 2013 season on April 27.
Casey Moen, Bully Pulpit’s Head Golf Professional, says the course is ready for what could be a record year. Moen says inquiries from across the nation have increased since February when Golf Digest named the course as one of the Top 100 Golf Courses for 2013. The magazine also gave the course a “Best in State” ranking.
“Bully Pulpit was already well-known among serious golfers across the country but the Golf Digest ranking has golfers, who have not yet visited the course, saying they need to experience the course for themselves,” says Moen.
While the recent snow may have delayed the course’s opening, Bully Pulpit Golf Shop manager Kathy Solga says the additional moisture was beneficial and the timing for the season opener is still on target. READ MORE »
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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 Magazine – click here to read the full 4-page article.
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!
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.
If you’ve never been to Medora or haven’t visited in a long time, you may wonder if Medora is just a place for cowboys and musical enthusiasts. Cowboys and music lovers abound—it’s true—and they can be seen daily sauntering through town enjoying the view from the saddle, or reveling in the rhythms of the famous Medora Musical. But for those of you with a wide range of interests, Medora offers a lot to visitors who take the time to explore—more so now than ever before.
A surprising aspect that visitors to Medora are discovering is the artwork to be found throughout town. Some examples of art in Medora are obvious, and others are more subtle. You will discover artwork infused with the flavor of the Old West, along with more modern works inspired by nature that add to the visual interest of Medora.
Enjoy these examples and many more when you are here, and feel free to share your Medora art discoveries with us as you find them! Check out www.medora.com/events for special art shows and feature artist events throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons.
Old Town Hall Theater, 1930s Murals
Guests can catch an entertaining show in the Old Town Hall Theater every day of the week (“A Teddy Roosevelt Salute to Medora” Mondays through Fridays at 4pm, and the “4M Revue” Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm and 4pm).
However, stop in early to take in original murals on the interior walls of the theater. The Old Town Hall was built in 1924, and traveling artist Joe Breckenridge created the murals in 1936. He then returned in 1960 to touch up his work.
Harold Schafer Heritage Center Patio Lawn, Wind Sculptures
A much newer addition to the artistic side of Medora, these wind sculptures were added in the past month. Five unique metal sculptures, hovering like trees above your head, spin and swirl in the North Dakota breeze.
These sculptures were gifted by the John Andrist family of Crosby, North Dakota, and are located at the Harold Schafer Heritage Center Patio Lawn, adjacent to the historic Von Hoffman house lawn.
North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, “Cowboys and Indians: Alive and Well Today” Art Exhibit and Sale
Along with its fascinating permanent exhibits, The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is currently featuring this traveling exhibit of art.
The gallery pieces speak to the very purpose of the museum: honoring the heritage of Native American, Ranching, and Rodeo culture.
Take in this colorful exhibit, and while you’re visiting the museum, appreciate the artwork on display in the permanent exhibits such as the beaded Native American moccasins shown here, and the bronze pieces adorning the outside of the building by North Dakota sculptor Arnie Addicott.
I had to look twice – no, that’s not a longhorn grazing on the lawn of a local merchant’s business, it is in fact a usable grill!
This creative cooker and a colorful herd of mini-horses add to the color and fun you will experience walking the streets of Medora.
Lyle K. Glass Photography
You’ll find his work displayed in frames and as greeting cards in various locations throughout Medora. And if you’d like to get a shot of Lyle himself (and maybe even an autograph!), you’ll likely find him outside the Badlands Pizza Parlor in downtown Medora.
Theodore’s Dining Room, stained glass windows
When the Rough Riders Hotel Dining room was refurbished and renamed Theodore’s Dining Room in 2009, the interior underwent a total transformation. One of the beautiful additions to the dining room is a set of identical stained glass windows, placed back to back and looking out onto the dining room on one side, and TR’s Tavern on the other.
The windows were gifted by Jim and Joanne Kack, who purchased the pieces from a Minnesota stained glass collector in the mid 1980s. The glass was thought to have originated from the Church of the Redeemer Episcopal Church in Superior, Wisconsin, which opened in January 1892. Two similar pieces given by the Kacks are also displayed above the front desk of the adjacent Rough Riders Hotel in Medora.
July 3, 2012
For more information contact:
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
800-633-6721 ext. 8812
Golf entertainer Joey O to perform in Medora July 13-28
Medora, N.D. – Acrobat golf comedian Joey O will perform nightly in Medora July 13-28. His performances will start at 7 p.m. MST at the Tjaden Terrace during the Pitchfork Steak Fondue. Cost is free, and performances are open to all.
An acrobat with masterful motor skills and an entertainer with motivating words of encouragement and self-belief, Joey O will amaze and inspire audiences young and old. For more than two decades, this motor-skill genius has made people smile and laugh worldwide, performing with Bob Hope at the Bob Hope Classic to the Hawaiian Open and as far away as the Hiroshima Open in Japan, as well as appearing with Tiger Woods on the Tonight Show.
“Joey O will entertain and inspire audiences with his fantastic golf acrobatic skills and motivational messages,” said Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. “We hope the golfers in the crowd will be moved to practice their game at the nearby Bully Pulpit Golf Course.”
More information about Joey O and his performances at Medora can be found at: www.joeyogolf.com and www.medora.com/events/?Joey-O-performs-at-the-Tjaden-Terrace.
Medora is located at the entrance to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. As North Dakota’s #1 vacation destination, Medora offers family entertainment in an Old West atmosphere.
July in Medora, ND
The month of July marks the middle of the summer. If you haven’t made it out to Medora yet, now is a great time! If you already have, come visit us again as there is so much more to do and see! You deserve it! Check out what’s coming up in July:
Medora Musical Variety Act #2 – George Casey, July 1 – July 28
The Medora Musical performs nightly through September 8 this year and we’re quickly approaching the opening night of Variety Act #2 of 4. Don’t miss BreakSk8’s final performance on June 30. Back by popular demand, George Casey returns to the Medora Musical. He was born in a remote seaside village on Ireland’s west coast that is legendary for its storytelling. Growing up in a large family, he saw humor everywhere and honed his skills as a comic at the expense of his brothers and sisters. In 1970, George immigrated to the U.S., earned his citizenship and now calls Branson, Mo., home. Some of the acts George has opened for and toured with include Rosemary Clooney, The Osmond Brothers, Ray Price, Three Dog Night, Brooklyn Bridge, Donald O’Connor and Bobby Vinton. He has performed at Caesar’s Palace, The Sahara, and The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; and for corporations including McDonald’s, Hasbro, AT&T, Lucent Technology and Panasonic.
Family Fun Center – New in 2012!
Summer is heating up making it the perfect time to check out the Medora Family Fun Center, brand new in 2012. The Family Fun Center is one of many new attractions this summer as a result of feedback from our many patrons. The Family Fun Center features a rock climbing wall, dual bungee jumpers, and is crowned by “the world’s largest inflatable water slide!” The Family Fun Center is exciting entertainment for the entire family… that includes you, parents! Let that child inside come out and play! We promise not to tell! Admission to the Family Fun Center a very reasonable $8/person for an unlimited two-day pass.
Independence Day 2012 – July 1 & 4
Independence Day is a special time of celebration for many and Medora is no exception! Since July 4th is on a Wednesday, we’re celebrating twice! Fun, family parades held at 3:30 p.m. MDT through the streets of downtown Medora on July 1 and 4. Out-of-town entries are welcome! After the patriotic Medora Musical on July 4th the crowd makes their way downtown to enjoy a spectacular fireworks performance fired from the buttes on the east end of town.
Medora’s Veteran’s Day – July 8
All Veterans and their families are invited to a special day in Medora as we honor their service to our Country. Veterans will receive a FREE Medora Musical ticket and a FREE ticket to the “Adolph Burkhardt Concert.” Tickets to the famous Pitchfork Steak Fondue, along with ALL tickets for spouses and family members must be purchased in advance.
We are requesting all veterans to wear their service caps to honor their branch of service. Please call 1-800-Medora-1 in advance to make reservations. A block of rooms is set aside for Veterans Day at the Badlands Motel and the Bunkhouse Motel. Just ask for the Veteran’s block when calling for reservations. If you make reservations for the Badlands Motel, the Bunkhouse, or the Rough Riders Hotel.
Fossil Dig – July 23 – 29
A 60-million-year-old fossil site containing crocodile, champsosaur (crocodile-like animal), turtle, fish, and other fossils is being excavated in the beautiful and rugged badlands near Medora, North Dakota. The North Dakota Geological Survey and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation will co-sponsor a scientific, professionally conducted, fossil excavation at that site in July 2012. Public participation is invited; open to anyone 12 years or older. There will be three Family Dig days available, from July 27 – 29th (open to anyone 6 years or older, with adult supervision).
Package is $145 per day per person and includes:
- Sack lunch
- Transportation between Medora and dig site
- Bottled water
- Souvenir with 2012 logo
Enjoy outdoor adventure in the North Dakota Badlands. Reserve lodging, Medora Musical tickets, Pitchfork Steak Fondue tickets & more. Call 1-800-Medora-1.
*Preregistration is required. Payment is due at time of registration. Limited to 8 people per day. Participants ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Registration ends July 1. Moderate hiking required. Rain or shine.
The O-Mazing Joey O! July 13 – July 28
This trick golfer and inspiration speaker will be performing at the Tjaden Terrace during the Pitchfork Steak Fondue starting at 7 p.m. MDT.
Book your trip today!
For tickets and lodging reservations or more information call 1-800-Medora-1
See you in Medora!
June 25, 2012
For more information contact:
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
Comedian George Casey performs July 1-28 at Medora Musical
Medora, N.D. – Back by popular demand, comedian George Casey will return to the Medora Musical July 1-28.
For more than 30 years, Casey has been entertaining audiences all over the U.S. with his self-deprecating humor and clean jokes and stories. Casey was born in a remote seaside village on Ireland’s west coast that is legendary for its storytelling. Growing up in a large family, he saw humor everywhere and honed his skills as a comic at the expense of his brothers and sisters.
Casey has opened for and toured with acts like Rosemary Clooney, The Osmond Brothers, Ray Price, Three Dog Night, Brooklyn Bridge, Donald O’Connor and Bobby Vinton. He also has performed at Caesar’s Palace, The Sahara, and The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; and for corporations including McDonald’s, Hasbro, AT&T, Lucent Technology and Panasonic.
More information about Casey can be found at www.georgecasey.com.
The Medora Musical is a professionally-produced, high energy, Western style revue set in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre in the North Dakota Badlands. It features nightly performances at 8:30 p.m. MT through September 8.
Tickets to the Medora Musical can be purchased now by calling 1-800-MEDORA-1 or online at www.medora.com. Also available online are vacation and golf packages, and Bully Pulpit Golf Course information. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 1-800-MEDORA-1.