We’re turning our course northward to speak about building engagement with blog readers at the Midwest Travel Network conference in Medora, North Dakota.

Photo courtesy of The Walking Tourists

Ann and I have long loved the fact that we often hear from blog readers and that y’all feel comfortable reaching out, contacting us and engaging with our content. It turns out others have noticed this and want to know more about it. We’re happy to share.

A 2,500 mile road trip

I really hadn’t done long road trips before our voyage across the southeast last winter. After that month on the road, however, I feel like a seasoned pro. Which is why sitting on the porch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, contemplating leaving for a 2,500+ mile trip to North Dakota in less than a week just isn’t that daunting. Heck, this time, I only have to pack for one season.

The more we’ve prepared for this trip, the more we’ve been looking forward to it. As we’ve researched North Dakota the past few weeks, we’re finding that there is a lot to see and do there. The Medora area, where we’ll spend the majority of our time, looks to be absolutely stunningly beautiful and a lot of fun!  At Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we’ll get to take in some incredible scenery.

In addition, we love taking in the wildlife of an area. And when that wildlife includes wild horses? Even better.

The Medora Musical

The conference is in Medora, a town of only 132 permanent residents. You may wonder how a town this size can host a large conference. We did. But then we learned that tens of thousands of visitors come every summer to take in the Medora Musical. This show, performed in a 2,900 seat amphitheater, is “dedicated to President Theodore Roosevelt’s time in the Badlands and to the spirit of the Old West,” according to their website.

All the reviews we’ve heard have said it’s a terrific show, and we look forward to seeing it for ourselves!

Dot’s Pretzels

Finally, there’s one other North Dakota phenomenon we’d like to learn more about while there: Dot’s Pretzels. We were excited to see Dot’s is one of our conference networking break sponsors.  If you’ve ever tried Dot’s, you know that they are a perfect road trip snack: crunchy, salty, and highly addictive. Found everywhere from convenience stores to our local Crete, Nebraska, Ace Hardware, these mouthwatering pretzels are dusted with pure, finely powdered deliciousness. We don’t know what, exactly is in the concoction, we just know that we love it, and we want some more of it.

If you are interested in attending The Midwest Travel Network Conference, it is not too late! You can purchase a ticket to the event in advance HERE or even at the door. We’d love to meet you there! 

Stay tuned to the blog and to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. We’ll be sharing lots from our upcoming trip to North Dakota through stories and posts and hope you’ll follow along! 

In addition, some great travel bloggers will be posting about the conference and their trips throughout the week. Here are some you might enjoy following:

Travel With Sara

The Walking Tourists

Adventures of Empty Nesters

Olio in Iowa

Way 2 Good Life

Traveling Adventures From A Farm Girl

 

 

  • On the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, there is a point where you round a bend and see this view, with the Atlantic Ocean on the left, and the Caribbean Sea on the right. ⁣
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Ann took this photo several years ago when we visited St. Kitts for a day while on a cruise in the Caribbean. ⁣
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We met our friend, Mikey Tross, on the island and with the help of a local driver and guide, we toured the entire island in a day. ⁣
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We climbed to the top of Brimstone Hills, saw the beaches, at at Fredo's (a local restaurant) and toured Caribelle  Batik at Romney Manor. ⁣
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St. Kitts is a beautiful island and the people there are incredibly generous. If you haven't already been there, add St. Kitts to your bucket list.
  • The Grinnell, Iowa, Chamber of Commerce offices are located in a former bank designed by famed architect, Louis Sullivan. The architect built a series of "Jewel Box" banks, called that because they resemble jewel boxes.⁣
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These buildings are intricate in detail and rich in their finishes. The next time you pass near Grinnell, it is definitely worth the stop to step into American architectural history.
  • In downtown Kearney, Nebraska, you'll find @mccuesnebraskataproom, home to all sorts of Nebraska libations. When you visit, you can choose from a large selection of beers, wines, and even liquors all made in Nebraska. It's a fun environment where regulars welcome visitors, and fun is had by all. We look forward to going back one day and know that a visit to McCue's will be a part of our visits to Kearney in the future. ⁣
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@visitnebraska @visitkearney
  • A rite of passage...⁣
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The Swinging Bridge in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has thrilled residents and visitors alike for decades. When it was originally built in 1929, it was the only way to cross from one side of Bird Creek to the other. Today, there are other bridges, but the beloved swinging bridge still spans the creek and dares folks to cross.⁣
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Long-time residents will tell stories of rieding their bikes across it when they were kids--and it should be noted that back then it didn't have the chain link side guards.⁣
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No visit to Pawhuska is complete until you've tried The Pioneer Woman's chicken fried steak AND crossed the swinging bridge. Go ahead and try...we dare you!⁣
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@TravelOK @VisitTheOsage
  • While looking for a coffee shop in @visitkearney, we stumbled into a really cool store. @elevate.people is a locally owned business specializing in both leather goods and in helping people around the world build better lives for themselves. ⁣
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All of the leather goods for sale here are handmade by people in third world countries. Elevate, it turns out, is a non-profit that gives local artisans small, low interest loans to get started in the leather making business. When loans are repaid, the money is loaned out to another craftsperson so they can get started. Meanwhile, Elevate provides access to a market to sell the goods produced so the worker continues to be supported. They also have an online store.⁣
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We have purchased several items from Elevate, and have loved all of them.⁣
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@visitnebraska
  • After a day of tests and appointments at the Mayo Clinic, this was a perfect place to relax and unwind.⁣
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We were treated to a complimentary stay at the brand new Hilton in downtown @minnesotas_rochester. Located near the Mayo Clinic, it's an incredibly beautiful hotel with nothing but the best amenities and top-notch service. One of our favorite places in the hotel is the hot tub in the pool area. How can it not be? Look at this place. And yes, it's as relaxing as it looks, especially at sunset. ⁣
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The room in this new luxury hotel are just as nice. We enjoyed it so much that we changed our travel plans and booked a second night on our own dime. It's our new go-to hotel in Rochester, Minnesota.⁣
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@minnesotas_rochester @exploreminnesota @hiltonhotels
  • Our hosted food tour in @visitkansascityks began with a bar-b-que spread from several local restaurants. Needless to say, we had to sample a little bit of everything because it was for science. We enjoyed ribs, smoked sausage, brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, burnt ends, rice, beans, and even warm potato casserole. ⁣
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If you love bar-b-que, head to KCK. Trust us, you'll love it. Just wear your stretchy pants.
  • Steve writes: When I first set my eyes on the outside of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, I was unimpressed. In fact, I thought it was plain ugly. Construction continued, and I returned several times over the years, each time finding more to like about it. Finally, on a visit with Ann, the inside of the Cathedral was open for a visit. So we went inside.⁣
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Architect Antonin Gaudi's creation is brilliant. The way he uses stained glass to bring color to the stone inside, combined with the shadows created by the shape of the stone is breathtaking. Truly, this cathedral might be the most impressive one I've seen anywhere. This place should be on your bucket list. It's worth a trip to Barcelona to see it.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska