Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Exploring the Great West: Day 3, Part 2, A Pitchfork Steak Fondue and the Medora Musical

This is a continuation of a travel series to The Great West.  To start at the beginning, go HERE, HERE, and 
HEREHERE, and HERE!

On day three of our vacation, we spent the morning at Devil's Tower, Wyoming.  Then we jumped back into the car and drove four hours to Medora, North Dakota!  We had never been to North Dakota before, so we were pretty excited.

We arrived at around three in the afternoon and had some time to check in to our hotel and enjoy a dip in the pool before heading out for a "Pitchfork Steak Fondue" and to watch the "Medora Musical".


Both events are in the same spot, located on a bluff overlooking the town of Medora.  


You have to make an appointment to eat at the "Pitchfork Steak Fondue" and we were a few minutes early so we decided to walk around a bit and check things out.  I looked down the bluff and I could see the outdoor musical theatre nestled in the side of the bluff.


Before I continue with the events of the evening, I have to first describe our drive from Devil's Tower to Medora.  Once you leave Wyoming, which is absolutely breath-taking by the way, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for four hours.  So be sure you have plenty of food, water and gas before you leave!  The four hour drive seemed agonizing slow.  Not much to look at, at all!  Of course, I was excited about my steak dinner and the musical later that evening, so that could have caused my boredom.  Then, all of a sudden I saw a sign that said "Theodore Roosevelt National Park Next 13 miles" and experienced some of the MOST INCREDIBLE SCENERY OF MY LIFE!  The road to Medora, runs right through the park.  I kept thinking, "If it's this beautiful from the highway, how incredible it must be inside the park!"  We even saw buffalo and wild horses from the highway!  It was amazing.


Medora is nestled in the badlands of North Dakota.  Beautiful geological features called "Buttes" surround the town.  They are basically small mountains with flat tops...ha ha!  We will talk more about "Buttes" when I cover Theodore Roosevelt National Park.


There is a lovely gift shop (left) that sells souvenirs but also tells a lot of history of the Medora Musical and the town.  


And of course there are plenty of places to look out and enjoy the view while your waiting for your dinner or the musical to start.


The town of Medora is so well organized and completely geared to make its' guests as comfortable and happy as possible.  We bought our "Pitchfork Steak Fondue" and "Medora Musical" tickets plus made our hotel reservations all at the same time on their MEDORA website.


Hubby being his silly self.


The "Pitchfork Steak Fondue" is called such because the cook literally cooks your steak on a pitchfork!  It is fun to watch!


You eat outside on picnic tables with a fabulous view of the buttes.  There is also live entertainment while you eat.


The food is served buffet style, but there is still a full staff that is very helpful and nice.  Once you hand the hostess your ticket, she gives you a name tag of sorts so you get what you paid for.  They have a "buffet only" option (no steak, just the fixings), and a hot dog option.


Now, I really hate to criticize this place, because it was an interesting experience, but I didn't think it was worth the price,  It was $33.95 per person for a 12 oz steak, and the fixings you see below.  All the food was cold, including the steak, because even though they used warmers, it's still held outside and the cold wind couldn't keep the food hot. And there were flies everywhere, crawling all over the food in the buffet.  It was very unappetizing.  But, North Dakota is very well known for it's flies.  In fact, we had to deal with them constantly the whole time we were there.  If we didn't close our motel room door fast enough, the flies would just swarm in.  I'm just not use to that coming from Wisconsin.  I honestly can't recommend doing the "Pitchfork Steak Fondue" because it's so expensive and the food wasn't very good.  The steak was tasty, even though it was cold.  The bread was the worst.  It was as hard as a rock.  I couldn't even chew it.  However, if you really want the experience and you don't care about the cost, go for it!


And would you believe the $34.00 didn't even include drinks?  They only offer lemonade, water, or coffee for free.  The drinks were $3.00 a piece.  Oh well, we tried not to let it bother us and make the best of it.  We are very frugal people and knew we could have enjoyed a much tastier, HOT dinner in town for half the cost.


Unfortunately, we ended up throwing a lot of the food away.  Even the dessert was terrible.  Then we took another walk enjoying the sunset.




Finally it was time to get to our seats to enjoy the musical.  I was so excited!  I love musicals!  I couldn't believe they had an outdoor escalator to the amphitheater!


I thought it was so cute that the stage lights were hidden inside barn silos.  How clever is this?


I was able to get my tickets months ahead of time.  You can pick exactly where you want to sit on line.  Prices are based on how good or bad your seat is.  I chose a mid price seat, and picked the first row in the balcony.  I thought I chose very well because no one's head was in front of me!

Tickets for adults start at $34.95 (students 7 -17 $18.95, children under 6 FREE).  I don't remember what I paid for our seats, it's been so long, but it was somewhere in the middle of the least expensive and most expensive seat price.


The stage is so cute, looking like a vintage old western town.


The middle of the stage separates, allowing a space to open up.  I loved it when this American Flag took center stage.

The show is very patriotic, and they have horses, singing, and dancing.  The clog dancing was my favorite.  They were incredible!


Here the stage opened up to reveal another "stage" which housed a country western band.


The musical is a variety-type show that tells the history of the town and the life of Teddy Roosevelt.  The scene below depicts Teddy Roosevelt in one of his war battles.


They use lots of special effects like canyons and fireworks. 


This is the clog dancing below.    The costumes in all the scenes were stunning.  If you do ever visit Medora, seeing the Musical is a MUST!  I was glad that it was the first thing we did, because the next day when we visited the park, I had so much knowledge in my head about the area's history and Teddy Roosevelt.


The last scene was the best part of the musical.  I don't want to tell you what happened, because I don't want to give it away and ruin it for you, but all I can say is "WOW! Was I ever surprised.  I did not see that coming!"


Did I think the musical was as good as Broadway?  No.  Some of the singing left much to be desired.  But having musicians in my family,  I am kinda biased. I've also seen a lot of Broadway shows in my lifetime, so I'm a bit spoiled.  I'm sure "normal people" would have thought everyone's singing ability was incredible.  But it is definitely worth the $$$$ for it's a lot of fun, the amphitheater experience is incredible, and you learn so much about the areas history.

I plan on covering a lot more about the town of Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the week's to come.  Medora was one of my favorite towns I've ever been too.  Who knew a small town in North Dakota would be so much fun?

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


52 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that about the food! And I would have issues with the flies too! We have flies here trying to come in the house all summer long and it is a pain. The area does look beautiful! There are many states I would love to visit. I should start a bucket list!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. We have flies in Wisconsin, but it seems that there was a lot more in North Dakota, but it sure is a beautiful area and worth a look-see!

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  2. That is a hefty price to pay for the food you were served. And not much ruins the appetite more than flies around the food. We left restaurants before for that reason!
    But the musical looks like so much fun! And pretty scenery around! I've never been to North Dakota, maybe something to plan when we visit the Badlands/SD again. Theodore Roosevelt National Park sounds really interesting too!

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    1. I know. It really wasn't worth it. Especially when I think of what I could have purchased in a real restaurant or at the grocery store. But if I wouldn't have done it, I know I would have regretted it. It's considered one of the highlights of Medora. And actually, all the restaurants in town had flies in them too. It was just that bad. They fly in when people open the doors. We loved Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I can't wait to tell you about it.

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  3. So sorry that the dinner wasn't up to snuff; I was thinking outdoor eating in North Dakota must be pretty chilly and hard to keep the food cold. I hadn't even thought of the bugs which I remember were just horrible on our trip.

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    1. It's actually pretty warm in the summer, but we were there in the early fall. The outdoor eating area is on top of a bluff, so there is a lot of wind which cools the food.

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  4. We would have thought the same...it wouldn't be worth the money for the food, but entertainment is entertainment. Sure, it may not be Broadway quality, but it can still be fun and it was something different.
    OXOX
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Yes, we are frugal when it comes to food. There are some things we're willing to spend more money on, but I always felt was a waste of money because it goes in one end and out the other.

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  5. It's a shame that you didn't enjoy the food but great that you liked the setup for the musical and found it was worth the money :)

    Hope that you are having a good week :)

    Away From The Blue

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    1. Oh, the food was a disappointment but it was a fun evening!

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  6. What a beautiful area and sorry that the food wasn't great.

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  7. Oh noooo! I don't really like flies on my food and so I can agree with you... ew! And, cold food? No thanks! That is quite a price for all of that. BUT, I guess it was fun otherwise and you def. have a story about it to remember! Ha!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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    1. Yes, we still had fun! Making memories, as we like to say.

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  8. Sorry about the food but it does look very entertaining...Something that we do not have here in the northeast...Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  9. beautiful view

    https://www.nadhifaadzkia.com/2021/11/xavi-hernandez%20.html

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  10. Great post! I like your blog, Dear ♥

    I invite you to take a look at my blog
    Shkvo Space | Instagram

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  11. It's a shame that the food was horrible but the rest of the experience sounds like so much fun!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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    1. Oh, the steak and the potato were ok, but it was still a fun evening.

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  12. What a great place with such amazing scenery all around.

    Thanks for sharing your link at My Corner of the World this week!

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  13. A viagem que descreve, profusamente ilustrada por fotos, é bem uma imagem da imensa América que faz parte do nosso imaginário.
    Obrigado pela partilha.
    Abraço amigo.
    Juvenal Nunes

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    1. I'm not sure exactly what you're saying, even with Google Translate, but thanks so much for stopping by.

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing with us your journey. That show must be very interesting. I hope so that you have a lot of fun.

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  15. Sounds like you had a good time....exept for the food!

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  16. oh, i was all excited to read about the pitchfork steak ... i hear your disappointment! but i also hear the joy and excitement of your journey, your discoveries.

    we'll do steak another day.

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    1. Ha ha! I can't believe how upset my readers are by the food. More than I was I think. People must love good food and want recommendations of great places to eat.

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  17. Sorry to hear the dinner was so disappointed.
    The town sounds like a treasure.

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    1. Oh, that's ok. We had a fun night. I think it was mostly disappointing because of how much we paid for it. We are the type of people that never go to fancy restaurants and spend a lot of money on dinner, and the ONE TIME we spend a lot, it was pretty awful. It's kinda funny actually. Now we will be really hesitant to spend a lot of money on expensive restaurants.

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  18. I've never visited North Dakota and Roosevelt National Park is definitely on my list of places I'd like to see. TR visited our part of Colorado often and my husband even portrayed him at a historical celebration we were part of.
    I never knew flies were a ND problem! It seems odd as I would think a more humid and wet place would have them. It's sad your pitch fork steak was not tasty. Since we've always lived in cities we are sadly used to high steak prices in restaurants but expect them to be good.

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    1. It was my first time in North Dakota as well, if your hubby loves TR he will LOVE Medora and the park. It is full of history! That's what made it so special.

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  19. The musical sounded like so much fun and how stunning is the view! That's a bummer that food went to waste. I would be disappointed as well since food is just an essential for any travel experience.

    Maureen | www.littlemisscasual.com

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    1. Yes, the musical was fun, and I think I enjoyed the view more than the musical. And you are so well about food being a part of the travel experience. That is why we did the pitchfork steak fondue...it seemed it would be an interesting experience of the Wild West area.

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  20. That was s great experience.
    I was hoping to see a really good looking steak
    and for you to say that it tastes really good.
    Oh well, everything else seems like a great time and full of fun.

    Ann
    https://roomsofinspiration.blogspot.com/

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    1. Oh, the steak was ok. Just cold and not very juicy after being left out in the air to dry. It was the rest of the meal that left much to be desired. But yes, the rest of the evening was fun.

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  21. Stopping by again, Amy, to thank you for taking the time to visit once again and leave such a kind comment! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  22. Looked like you enjoyed this outing. Love your views of the stage. Your hubby has a theatrical flair, lol. Emille

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  23. I’ve never heard of Medora. How fascinating! Ugh about the meal. That sounds truly awful, even for meal half that price. But it does look like entertainment was a lot of fun.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

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    1. I never heard of Medora before this vacation either. Yes, the meal was a waste of $$$, but if I never did, I would have always been wondering about it.

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  24. Gorgeous views! I am sorry you didn't enjoy the food. That is always very disappointing. I loved reading about the stage and you took some fantastic photos. I look forward to reading more about the NP and Medora.

    Thanks so much for linking up on Wandering Camera, Amy!
    -Soma

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    1. They sure are. yes, the food was disappointing, especially for the price. There will be lots of posts to come about Medora.

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