Dave needed to work today, which was a shame, given the limited time we’d be seeing the Opela’s, we enjoyed some
Wimbledon, while the kids played in and outside. It got progressively hotter during the day so the boys even got to play wii a little bit. I went to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to collect Junior Ranger books and check out the , it was right by the campground, which was perfect. Visitor Center
Later in the afternoon, we went into Medora. The town of
was founded in April 1883 by a 24-year-old French nobleman, the Marquis de Mores. He named the town for his bride, the former Medora von Hoffman, daughter of a wealthy Medora banker. New York City
General Alfred Sully fought the Sioux in 1864 a few miles south of the present site of Medora, in what became known as “The Battle of the
Badlands.” Lieutenant-Colonel George Custer passed through in 1876 on his fatal march west to the Little Bighorn.
It’s a quaint little tourist town, lots of shops filled with things you want but really don’t need (and in our case, or have the space for!). One area kept the kids enthralled for a while with a bison and ATV they could climb on. The campground employee had told us that we could see taffy being made at the Taffy Shop so we went there as we wandered slowly around. The machine cutting and wrapping the taffy was very cool. We were all fascinated, it was 78 years old, spat out one wrapped taffy every second and on average was used to produce 36,000 in a day! Of course, we had to buy some, it seemed only right; they were good!
The purpose of visiting the town had been to get ice cream so the kids were really pushing for that. We stopped in at the playground, which appeased them briefly, but not for long. The adults were pushed towards the Medora Fudge and Ice Cream Depot at a pretty fast pace. It was worth it, delicious, the mixed berry version was perfect. We sat outside under an absolutely enormous umbrella, a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
Directly next to the campground, in
, was the old meat packing plant, built in 1883 by Marquis de Mores. He also built a large home (Chateau de Mores) with financial backing from his father-in-law. Despite his vision and energy, all of his various enterprises ended in financial failure by the fall of 1886. The couple and their children returned to Chimney Park France, the Marquis continued his adventurous lifestyle and was killed by native tribesmen on the Sahara Desert in Africa in June 1896. His widow, Medora, never remarried and died in in 1921. France
There was still just about evidence of the old buildings but the chimney stack still stood tall in the middle of the field. It was interesting reading the story and learning that the town is only here because of the Marquis’ visions.
Phil had found an ‘app’ for Ellen’s phone which quickly located nearby geocaches and with the built-in GPS, we were able to successfully find two, one right by the Little Missouri River that runs along side the campground, tucked under the bridge, the other was a simple find by Nathan in a field between two logs, he was super excited.
There was a train track reasonably close to the campground (clearly land is not as easy to sell near tracks for housing, it's therefore perfect for campgrounds!), while we were caching, one came past. Nate still loves his trains!
Once back, the kids played inside for a while before grabbing all the Nerf guns and heading back to the playground for war games. The teams had a good number by the end of the evening, all sorts of other kids joined in. Ellen had given them head torches/flashlights so they were running around with those on as well. Tearing them away for showers was painful. While we were sitting outside chatting, these awesome motorbikes came by, almost half bike/half car.
Jake begged to be allowed another half hour of wii time with
“because I’ll never see him again”, we acquiesced, suckers for those puppy dog eyes! They were both happy. Carson