wekcome to north dakota

Sophie, we're headed home!

| This was an 11-hour drive day. It really wasn't worth it.

After clearing Minneapolis, Sophie had very little guiding to do: Continue on the current freeway about 527 miles, then right turn. Except, of course, for the times when I got off to refuel (Sophie or me), then there was a lot of "Make a legal u-turn ahead" etc.

The drive through west central Minnesota and North Dakota looked just like the drive through South Dakota and southern Minnesota: gently rolling hills, lots of lakes (AKA ponds), puffy white clouds in a blue sky.

After driving all that distance, I find myself terribly disappointed at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the town of Medora (specifically the foundation that runs it). The foundation runs three hotels in Medora: a convention center, a motel called Bad Lands Motel, and a second motel called The Bunkhouse. When I took out the confirmation I had printed off the website I was dismayed to find that the confirmation does not include the name or the address of the hotel! Now is that stupid, or what? So, I had to call to find out, and the twerp who answered the phone said, "The ones we print out have that information on it." THAT'S NOT THE POINT!!!!

So he gave me the address, not of the place where I am to stay, but of the Bad Lands Motel where I have to check in: 501 Pacific Avenue, Medora. Sophie says, "No such number on that street."

When I checked in I pointed out this problem of the confirmation again, just waiting for someone to say, "That's terribly, I'm going to make sure they fix that!" Instead, all I got was a shrug.

And then I went to my room. I have often said of various hotels, "Well, I've stayed at worse places." Tonight I am speechless, not to mention sans wifi. Except that I have already driven 11 hours today, I would push on to somewhere — anywhere — else.

I will say two positive things:

The town is an utterly classless tourist confection (not unlike Wall, South Dakota) with hokey wild west crap.

I did do the scenic drive through the park in hopes that I would see some wildlife. If prairie dogs and a wild turkey count, I did see wildlife. I also so a herd of "wild horses" that were terribly tame. Oh, and a coyote, but I can hardly count that since I can see coyotes at home.

Note: This entry was posted at the Exit 1 Rest Area of I-94, North Dakota Beach. On top of the other indignities, the Bunkhouse had no wifi, even though AAA said it did. And I guess we now know what that 1 diamond rating meant!

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Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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