Americana in North Dakota


I left Miles City totally alone -
except for the flag.
(I now call her Fannie.)

As I did, the temperatures soared
and I was forced
to take some days off in the town of Terry.

I stayed at the Kempton Hotel
and had the good fortune
to meet and get to know the owner, Frances Schwartz.

We had several visits and I helped her spruce up the room
of one of her long term tenants
who was in the hospital for surgery.

 After the heat subsided a bit,
I headed for Fallon and points east.

I was just crossing the Yellowstone River,
when Darlene and Darwin Stroebel
met up with me.

They had been put on my trail by some Terry folks
and requested an interview for the Terry Tribune.

We conferred on the River Bridge in the heat,
traded stories and produced a photo for the paper.

They returned to the comforts of Terry and
I continued over Interstate 94.


Medora, North Dakota, was one spot on the road
that I had been looking forward to.

I had heard about the town,
its connection with Teddy Roosevelt
and the Medora Musical for some time.

During my short stay,
I camped on the edge of town,
iewed a July 6th parade (photo left),
saw a one-man TR show,
and treated myself to dinner
at the Rough Riders Dining Room.

The highlight of my Medora stay was my attendance
at the Medora Musical.

This high calibre production takes place
in a 2900-seat amphitheater west of town.

As the sun goes down,
the crowd gathers, musicians tune up
and the show begins to take shape.


The Musical's patriotic flavor, western backdrops,
and downhome goodness make for grand entertainment.

Each year, the show's producer gathers some of
the best and brightest young talents in Minneapolis
to create a program worthy of a big city stage.

Then, he plants his opera
in the western North Dakota

Thousands come from great distances to share
in the high energy and good family fun.

  Not far down the road from Medora,
I met Gary White
at the Painted Canyon Rest Stop
(a beautiful spot on the edge of the ND Badlands).

Gary took care of me like I was a paying customer.

He offered me fresh baked cookies and distilled water
and found me a quiet place to rest from my walk.

Gary told me about his life, his regular job,
and the Bed and Breakfast that he and his wife
run in Reeder, North Dakota.

Thanks for the hospitality, Gary.


Third Fortnight on the Road

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