When I went to Lemmon, it was only to visit the Petrified Wood Park and Museum and I figured I’d be there for just a few minutes. But while I was there, I met Bill & Yvonne and Julie & Dave. They were all hanging out having coffee in front of the museum and invited me to join them. I ended spending over an hour in Lemmon and they were all a wealth of information! Here’s a little recap of how the conversation went:
Them: “Are you going to Medora?”
Me: “Yes! I’m heading there now.”
Them: “And you’re going to the musical while you’re there?”
Me: “There’s a musical in Medora?”
Them: “Be sure to get there early for the pitchfork steak fondue.”
Me: “They have fondue?!?!”
Them: “And of course you’ll take the Enchanted Highway to get to Medora…”
Me: “The what highway?”
And so on and so forth. Yep, these folks were a wealth of information on all sorts of things related to North and South Dakota. They suggested I check out the cowboy sculpture down the street by John Lopez who uses all sorts of recycled materials for his work – the detail is unbelievable. Apparently I walked right by John and said hello but didn’t realize he was the artist! There’s also an incredible mural painted in town. And you gotta love the sign on the police station… And as it turns out, Lemmon is literally on the border between ND and SD – right at the railroad tracks. So Julie and Dave met me and took a picture of me sitting across state lines – my left foot is in ND, my right in SD. (15 minutes after I left Lemmon, I got the “proper” North Dakota sign.” Bottom line – Lemmon ROCKS!
So I did end up taking the Enchanted Highway en route to Medora. If you exit Hwy 12 at the city of Regent and drive through town, that’s the start of the highway. It’s 32 miles with various enormous sculptures along the way and ends at Gladstone and I-94. I’m just including my favorite sculptures, including A Fisherman’s Dream, Tin Family and Birds in Flight. Such a great way to brighten up an otherwise ordinary stretch of road…
I finally rolled into Medora mid-afternoon and the place is completely adorable and charming. The reason I was going there was because of Teddy Roosevelt Nat’l Park. Had no idea there would be so much going on in the town itself. The part itself is wonderful – kind of a Badlands “light.” While it might not be as striking as Badlands, there are plenty of hikes you can do (I did a few yesterday and plan to do one more today) and tons of wildlife. Bison and prairie dogs are abundant and I even saw some wild horses from a distance.
Finally, there’s the Medora Musical. Of course I bought a ticket! Of course I went to the buffet – though I opted against the steak fondue as steak fondue has nothing to do with pots of melting cheese but is simply a way of cooking the meat. The backdrop for the amphitheater is the park itself. Reminds me a little of going to the opera on Sydney Harbor – both are quite spectacular. And the musical is about as wholesome as you can get. The main cowboy is married to the main cowgirl, which is adorable. But the best part is all the guys are wearing bedazzled Wrangler jeans. Not kidding. Just sorry I couldn’t get a picture of it!
Alright – time to pack it up and move it out. Heading to Bismarck today and to Fargo tomorrow. Having a fab time in North Dakota – it truly is legendary. Oh! Almost forgot – I learned last night from Ron (who I met at the buffet/musical) that Pierre in SD isn’t pronounced “pee-air” like I thought but “peer.” Learn something new everyday. BTW – they did serve lemonade at the buffet
State count: 7