Michelle and I had a slower start to our vacation than we originally planned. We rolled through Wisconsin a little bit slower, stopping in WI Dells to shop for a few things we didn’t have during packing– we both needed another pair or two of shorts, and we needed to buy some groceries, too. Throw in a stop at the Mall of America for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and we were not nearly as far as we first thought we’d be by Friday night.

We rolled into the Comfort Inn in Jamestown, ND at about 1:00AM Saturday. We slept in until around 9 or so, grabbed some continental breakfast and were on the road again at quarter to 11.

As we proceeded through North Dakota, we realized it might be difficult to book a hotel in Bozeman on a weekend in the summer with really no notice whatsoever. Michelle made a call to AAA, and after we sat parked near an on-ramp for about 25 minutes (so as not to lose the phone signal), we had a room in Billings for Saturday and one in Bozeman for Sunday, because that was the best we could do.

The rooms were going to be more money than we wanted to spend, and as we contemplated what we should do with the rest of our Saturday, since we weren’t going to have to travel as far, Michelle dug through the Fodor’s guide and found some interesting things to see in Theodore Roosevelt Nat’l Park. The town of Medora, ND is the nearest settlement to the park, and Fodor’s mentioned a place called Custer’s Cottage as a nice little local establishment to hole up in. We thought we might as well make a call and see if we could get a room there, and as luck would have it, they had a cancellation for this weekend.

Rather than spending about $120 on a room in a Holiday Inn in Billings, we got a basement apartment with a kitchen, dining room, living room and of course a bed, for a paltry FIFTY DOLLARS. When we weren’t driving around the park or exploring some of the little shops and things in Medora, I spent the rest of the evening muttering to myself, “Fifty dollars,” and then breaking out in laughter. If you ever have occasion to visit Medora, Teddy Roosevelt Park, and the surrounding area, I highly recommend a visit here at the Cottage.

For now, though, we have to see a man about a horse, and then head out to Bozeman.

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