Bob & Bonnie Martin (22598)
North Dakota/South Dakota State Directors
As those dreaded Covid years seem to be in the past, and as life returns to what we knew pre-Covid, we can look forward to gatherings, meeting new friends, and renewing our social lives, such as attending Newmar Kountry Klub rallies. We attended five rallies this year, including the Region Four Rally hosted by Paul & Judy Swing, our Region Four Directors. Always a fun experience at the Amana Colonies in Iowa, Paul & Judy did a great job in showing all the Colonies have to offer. Thank you, Paul & Judy!
We hosted our North Dakota/South Dakota State Rally in Medora, North Dakota, this year, with a good turnout, and feedback indicated that everyone enjoyed the experience. Medora is all about Teddy Roosevelt. The charming town sits just south and west of Roosevelt National Park and includes the North Dakota Badlands. A drive through the park provides a unique landscape (north end of the park) with sightings of a variety of wildlife (south end of the park), and, the ranch house Teddy lived in and claimed, “I would not have become President if not for the time I lived in North Dakota”. Known as the conservation president, Teddy Roosevelt mandated much of the public lands in the U.S. be set aside as preserves and parks for the enjoyment of future generations, thus starting our National Park system. In a new theater in town, re-enactors portray Teddy & Edith Roosevelt, talking of their experiences in the White House. In a small city park, Teddy & Edith engage the crowd in popular games for children and families that were prevalent in early 1900. Of course, no visit to Medora would be complete without a stop at the Joe Ferris General Store or Cowboy Lyle’s Candy Barn. The pitchfork steak dinner was delicious and the Medora outdoor musical, celebrating the 125th anniversary of Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill, was a spectacle to see.
We had a very enjoyable drive through South Dakota on our way to Medora, North Dakota, traveling the “Blue Highways” (U.S., State, and County Highways). The South Dakota Department of Transportation has an interactive map online that shows all the road construction areas in the state. When you click on any indication of road construction, a pop-up indicates the type of construction, anticipated delay, and time to completion. Using this map, we charted our route, and although not the most direct route, we avoided all the road construction. The slower speeds added to our enjoyment of the scenery passing by that big windshield of our coach. Anticipation of what we might encounter keeps us alert; like the hotel that looked like a castle in Regent, North Dakota, which, by the way, was at one end of the Enchanted Highway. The other end of this highway is Gladstone, North Dakota, at I-94. This 32-mile county road highlighted eleven stops to take in the world’s largest metal sculptures. Traffic was a non-issue, and, at one stop overlooking a small valley, was a farmstead with three silos and a few other buildings, all with shiny metal roofs, and clumps of mature trees, which added to the enchantment. People around here are very proud of their little piece of earth, and it shows in their attractive farmsteads. The fields along here are absolutely huge, and they grow wheat, canola, sunflowers, corn and hay. We hope all Newmar owners are enjoying their travels. We encourage you to slow down and explore the Blue Highways wherever you may roam. Take your time and Happy Trails!