Rough Riders Hotel/Medora ND

Historic, non-chain Hotel at the edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, suggested to me by park staff. $99/night during the winter, $129 during spring and fall, and $200 during the summer months (high season).

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This hotel is way nicer than I expected to be. Fairly fast Wi-Fi free, my room was really nicely decorated….  very plush looking, and the bathroom was gorgeous. People don’t tend to come to this town unless they’re going to the national parks. Also, there is supposed to be a ghost of a young boy who haunts the top floor of the building — no I did not see it.

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There’s a huge library inside, but unfortunately you’re not allowed to take the books back to your room. While there is a parking lot, it is so woefully small, so that I had to park on the street, even though the Hotel was no where near full.

Medora is a really cute town. The whole place looks like it’s out of a Wild West movie with elevated wooden sidewalks, swinging doors, etc. However, to quote one of the locals, “this is not a normal town.” One guy I talked to told me that they have a sort of transient population of folks who are here yearly to work the season, but otherwise can live as far afield as New York City. The permanent population is (according to wikipedia) only about 100 people, or 27 families.  As such, only a handful of the businesses in town were open on Tuesday May 24th, the day I was there — for example only three restaurants out of twelve and one of those was a breakfast only place, the rest were all closed till the coming Thursday (the day before Memorial Day weekend) and I was told that the staff who work those businesses were only just starting to return to the town, so there was a bit of an ‘old friends reuniting’ vibe going on at the restaurant, gas station, etc., while I was there.

I ate my dinner, a buffalo ribeye steak, at the Little Missouri Dining Room and Saloon (VERY tasty — wish buffalo were more common). There were only two folks working the front of the house, and they seemed pretty overwhelmed because the place was completely full with tourists, bikers (who seemed to be at least semi-locals), and other returning locals.

The next day I filled my tank at the only station in town, from a gas from a pump like I haven’t seen since before I learned how to drive; I actually had to ask for help on how to get it running. Inside the shop they were handing out free breakfast sandwiches — as many as you wanted, and massive ones — because “you know it’s not breakfast time anymore.”

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