Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mini-Series Part 3: North

Continuing my little points-of-the-Compass Mini Series, we head north.
In the 7½ years Mistah and I have been On The Road in our Westy, our northern-most point is either Kiowa, Montana or Rugby, North Dakota, but for my purposes, the choice is clear:
North Dakota, after all, has north in its name.

Talk about a town's claim to fame

We were in North Dakota early in our travels – in September 2001. Early September 2001, a week before 9/11. And we didn’t have our digital camera then, so these are photos of photos.

Talk about, um, another town's claim to fame.

North Dakota is the 17th biggest state in area (70,703 square miles, according to our bible National Geographic road atlas), and the 47th biggest in population (642,200). Only Alaska (48th), Vermont (49th) and Wyoming (50th) have less people.

We traveled across the state east to west – Minnesota to Montana – on the Lewis & Clark Trail.

This trail:
Quite a trip for the Corps, eh?

We had it a lot easier than poor ol’ Meriwether and William though. First of all, we didn’t have to stop every few weeks to let our stuff dry out and mend our moccasins – we could do that while we were driving. And second of all, no one got shot in the butt.

I have 2 anecdotes about North Dakota.
We were talking to one young park ranger at Lewis & Clark state park in Williston, telling her about our travels. She was so interested and wanted to hear all about it. Bill asked her if she'd had the opportunity to travel. She said yes, she had . . . to South Dakota.
We spent the winter of 2003 in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, and spent some time there with a couple our age – Bev and Gregg and Bill and I all turned 40 that year. Bev grew up near Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, and they used to go south into the United States to do their big shopping runs . . . to North Dakota.
Bev and Gregg with Mistah, miles and miles south of North Dakota . . .
North Dakota is also the place, when Jacquie and I went cross-county in 1988, where we woke up and the condensation of our breath had formed ice crystals on the outside of our sleeping bags.
In the summer, though, it's a beautiful state to travel in. There are no people, the scenery is beautiful, if barren, and it's really fun to tell people you're in North Dakota. Plus, North Dakota's the Flickertail state. Or the Peace Garden state, depending on who you talk to.
It's just that kind of place. Where Flickertail squirrels can romp in a park shared by the US and Canada.

And the Westy rolls west along the Trail, into Montana.


Kathy Rogers said...

South Dakota gets all the glory, doesn't it?

Springer Kneeblood said...

I was in North Dakota once. I spent three days in Fargo for a meeting of all things. I liked it.

Unknown said...

I'm boycotting ND until I get a reader from there. It's the only state I have no reader from. It's a shame, it looks like a wonderful place too ;)

Lola said...

Your travels are unbelievable! Ever cruised through MA?

Me, You, or Ellie said...

My favorite line: "In the 7½ years Mistah and I have been On The Road..."

Ellie when are you two going to get back on the road????


Me, You, or Ellie said...

that would be have been


King of New York Hacks said...

Thanks for letting me tag along in North Dakota with you. Now I want to go.

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky - I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be making this trip! I love your pictures and it seems like you're all having a truly unforgettable time. Good for you!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Captain Dumbass said...

I remember crossing the border into N Dakoda years and years ago. Wife, being Asian, caused some suspicion. Suckers let us through though, muah ha ha haaaa!

I gave you an award the other day.

Captain Dumbass said...

Oh, and please substitute "Captain Dumbass" with Bridgeburners.

NucMEd is Hot said...

Again, loving it. The whole road trip, just makes me crazy jealous!

Anonymous said...

Love the weird 1970's movie colours

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I love the look of those photos, and will never forget that frigid first night of camping on our trip!!