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Picturesque place

Press File Photo Press file photo of Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit mountains. Press Outdoors reporter Royal McGregor took his first trip to Medora last weekend to take in the sights and sounds of the area.

Usually when I talk about trips, it's when I venture back to Watertown, S.D.

This time is different.

With the school year over and the national holiday of Memorial Day, the McGregors packed up the minivan and took the seven-hour trip to Dickinson.

It was the second time my family has visited me. The first was back in late July during a tornado warning to bring the rest of my clothes, furniture, and other odds and ends. During that trip, they also brought my beloved Shiba Inu -- Coco -- along.

This time they wanted to see the sights of Medora. In the week approaching my family's arrival, my dad went on the Internet to see Bully Pulpit Golf Course in Medora. He only saw pictures, but soon enough he would get to see the reason why ranked Bully Pulpit as its best golf course in North Dakota on its list of North Dakota's top public and private courses.

But that trip would have to wait. You have to please the rugrats before fun can be had. Growing up in a family of three younger sisters, family trips were usually about them and I was fine with that.

On Sunday, my family (minus my oldest sister Alex, who had to work that weekend) and I took the 30-minute trip to Medora. Once we got on Interstate 94, the questions started to flood in.

"What's that?" "What's that?" What's that?" To be honest, I didn't know what half of the items that my sisters and my mom pointed out. Instead to steer the conversation into a direction that I did know something about, my dad and I talked about the Pittsburgh Pirates.

We spent the better half of car ride talking about what certain areas need to be addressed and how their season has gone so far. With me being an Angels fan, I found it sociably acceptable to start wearing my Albert Pujols T-shirt in public again.

Once we got to Medora, our first destination was Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We went on the scenic loop drive around the South Unit.

We saw buffalo, antelope and the one animal that everyone stopped to see -- mind you everyone from North Dakota whizzed by this animal -- the prairie dog. My dad hates prairie dogs and he didn't hold back on his hatred for them.

His most compelling argument was despite signs posted not to feed the prairie dogs, people did it anyway.

"What are they going to do if the prairie dog population gets out of control?"

That was his question.

My only response was, "I don't know, but I bet I will do a story on it for my outdoors page if it does get out of control."

After we took our tour of the scenic loop and hopped out to take the occasional family photo, we walked around Medora.

My dad and I had different plans though. We were going to Bully Pulpit. On the ride from downtown Medora to the golf course, my dad started spewing out yardage facts about Bully Pulpit. He did his research.

He didn't bring up his golf clubs, but wished he would have once we stepped foot on the balcony and looked over the green grass of Bully Pulpit.

After we spent about 30 minutes talking and explaining certain entities about the golf course, like holes No. 14, 15 and 16, we headed back to town to meet up with the rest of my family.

We met up with my mom and sisters, and walked around to look at the shops and sights of Medora.

I didn't purchase anything there, though there was plenty of food and other items that I wanted to bring home.

After an hour of looking around and smelling burgers and other excellent assortments of food, we hopped in the van and headed back to Dickinson.

Though it was my first time spending a large amount of time in Medora, there's no doubt that I will certainly go back.

McGregor is the outdoors reporter for The Dickinson Press. He can be reached at