Wednesday, August 29, 2012
To give a little context to the quick travelogue below, I am posted for the summer in the Badlands of North Dakota, loving the opportunity to perform a daily TR matinee from 4-5PM Monday thru Friday. I’ll be returning to Medora in summer 2013. Between now and then, I will tour the country in a 2011 Ford Flex we are dubbing the Medora Mobile. The beautiful ride will be festooned with graphics and logos telling the Medora story.
Since I drove my 2004 Honda Accord to North Dakota, and since that car was just turning 300,000 miles and beginning to give up its transmission, I decided on quick notice to drive my car to DeKalb County, Illinois, where my mechanic would gladly buy it at a very low dollar. I could drop by and surprise the alumni of the Roosevelt Military Academy gathering in Rock Island on my way. That’s the sort of fun I go for, and this seemed to be the solution for the dilemma of what to do with two cars in the Badlands, needing only one to drive away. Here goes:
The Friday afternoon matinee performance in Medora, North Dakota, was like so many others – fun for me because the audiences are great. When the show was over at 5 PM Mountain, I began to drive east on I-94. I drove, and I drove. Through the night with a brief nap somewhere, I took I-35 south from Minneapolis-St.Paul and via Cedar Rapids and a visit to the Herbert Hoover Museum, eventually to Rock Island, Illinois. Saturday evening performance for the All Class Reunion of the Roosevelt Military Academy in Aledo, Illinois – great stories here. Drive to Fairdale, Illinois, and leave my old Honda Accord with my mechanic at 2AM on Sunday. Take a beautiful 3 hour, ten mile hike to the Clock Tower in Rockford, Illinois. Catch the 6AM bus to Madison, Wisconsin. My dad picks me up and takes me to the train in Tomah, after a nice visit with brother, Josh and sister-in-law, Amy. Take the 6PM Amtrak train back west to Williston, ND, arriving Williston at 10 AM Mountain, Monday. One taxi and two hitch hike rides later, I made it the 150 miles to Medora, with a half hour to spare before my 4PM show.
After the show, I hitch hiked the 16 miles to Belfield. Tuesday morning, I hitchhiked first to Dickinson, then to the Bismarck Airport, a total of 120 miles. My second ride was from a guy who was going to be on the same flight! Tuesday 11AM fly to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Midway-Chicago and Manchester, New Hampshire, changing planes for each flight and arriving Tuesday night at 10:30PM. Rental car. Drive to Portland, Maine. At 9AM on Wednesday, after a few hour sleep in the car somewhere, shave and change into TR’s tramping about costume in a McDonalds restroom. Greet guests and interact on Mackworth Island in Falmouth, ME. Attend events at Evergreen Cemetery and Baxter Woods. 5:30PM reception at the Maine Historical Society, TR performance at 7PM. Drive to Baxter State Park in the Northwoods region of Maine. Sleep in the car somewhere. Arrive Baxter State Park afternoon of Thursday, camp at Moose Wood on Kidney Pond, swim in Kidney Pond, and share a performance at 7PM in the camp lodge house. Friday morning, climb Sentinel Mountain on the southeast side of Kidney Pond and swim the pond after. Friday at 6PM begin driving south on I-95.
Saturday morning, after a nap in the car somewhere, arrive at the brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house in West Hartford, CT. Swam the pool and played basketball and some sort of “drown your uncle” ball with the nephews. Great family fun Saturday night. Sunday morning, drive to Newbury, New Hampshire, change into costume and perform at 4PM reception through 6PM dinner. Saw Sewanee friend Fred Sheperd and his mom, Mary, and the grandparents of one of Jenny’s dual sport players.
After the Sunday evening performance, I drive to Manchester, New Hampshire. Great middle of the night breakfast at the Airport Diner and a brief food coma nap in the car after. Monday, 6AM flight from Manchester, to Chicago-Midway, to Minneapolis-St.Paul, to Bismarck, each flight a different plane. Arrived Bismarck at 2PM Mountain, and Medora friend Van Larson gives me a fast ride to Medora, arriving 1 minute before my 4PM matinee. Monday night, I attempt to hitch hike to Belfield, but it’s a comedy of errors, as I head back too early to take a nap in my dressing room.
First thing, 6AM Tuesday morning, I hitch a ride to Belfield. I clean up and have breakfast, water the flowers, and begin the 16 mile bike ride into Medora. Arrive Medora in an hour and a half, play basketball with Baskhar from India, swim, perform matinee for a great audience. After dinner, I bike 16 miles back to Belfield, arriving just at dusk, headlight and tail light blazing! Home sweet home just in time to watch Ann Romney and have a PBR with Chris Christie.
Twelve days, seven plus performances in four states, thirty-six hundred miles by plane, two thousand miles by auto, eight hundred miles by train, three hundred miles hitch-hiking, one hundred and eighty miles of rides from family and friends, and thirty-two miles by bike. Nearly seven thousand miles, probably done in a manner nobody else has ever done. Crazy fun.
Time to get on the bike and head into work! Medora Mobile ready next week.Check out www.medora.com