On our return trip to Chicago, our visit to North Dakota was monumental to us. This was a brand new state for all four of us to visit. Our stopping point was Medora, where we stayed for a week. It was here that we were able to explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Badlands of North Dakota.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
We took the 36 mile loop drive through the Park. We were pleasantly surprised at the appearance of several types of wildlife. Prairie dogs were more abundant than what we had witnessed in South Dakota’s Badlands.
We were stopped several times as herds of Bison and their babies meandered across the roads. Again, we did not see Bison at the Badlands in South Dakota, but they were everywhere here! Bison have been known to charge at people and cars, so we kept our distance. We were not taking any chances, especially seeing that they had their babies with them.
And if you look closely, all those black dots are bison in the background:
There were badgers, deer, and my favorite unique sighting, veral horses! My understanding is that these wild horses were once part of herds that either got separated or escaped, hence veral. This was our first experience seeing wild horses. I didn’t get a close up of the horses, but they looked like this:
Another highlight to our time in Medora was the locally known Medora Musical. This musical is a full country style, Broadway show, fun for the whole family. The outdoor theatre itself was impressive. Escalators shuttled guests down into the arena and the backdrop gave us views of the Badlands.
We really enjoyed this musical, although we don’t listen to much country music. The kids did not know even one of the songs, and did grow impatient after about an hour. The night air grew so unexpectedly chilly, that we split early.
There was also a very cool Western themed playground in Medora. We did not get a chance to visit, but would be on my radar if I was returning there with children. I always appreciate the opportunity to visit a unique park!
The highlight of the boy’s time in Medora was the friends that they met at the campground. They had a blast, and did not want to leave. We stayed a couple extra days just because they really bonded with their new friends. They have repeatedly asked us to return to Medora for this reason.
So, our original goal of heading “way out of the way” to visit North Dakota just once in our lifetime, is now on our kids list of places to return as soon as possible. Funny how that happens.