Sunday, June 23, 2013

North Dakota, don't ya know?

A note on local advertising:   We have seen some great signs in front of businesses we have passed.  In Massachusetts where lobster is king we saw this one:


In Maine where there are really rugged individuals we saw this one:


In the heart of New York wine country we saw this at a country hot dog stand:


Or this restaurant sign in Upper Peninsula of Michigan:

U P Chuck’s

We are now in North Dakota. We tore through Minnesota. Now that we are heading homeward we seem to be driving further each day. Yesterday we did about 310 miles before stopping near Riverdale, North Dakota. We are now camped at the state park at Lake Sacajawea on the Missouri River.

The drive was through the North Dakota pot hole lands. We must have passed a couple hundred little lakes yesterday. Most of them were filled with ducks and geese. Some were as big as 100 acres or more and some as small as half an acre. In between were rolling hills covered in spring green. It was another absolutely beautiful drive - ho hum!

There have been troubles along the way. We picked up another nail. I noticed the tire was low as we stopped for gas in Fargo. I checked it again after an hour and it was nearly flat. We found a tire shop that fixed the tire and had us on the road again in about 30 minutes.

The big trouble has been finding grocery stores. These are very small towns out here. They were all more populated at one time. Now they are mostly empty of people so the grocery stores must have all closed. 

The bars seem to be doing well. It is possible that folks eat at the bars. 

The bars may do well because of the long winters. You have to do something to cheer yourself up when it is minus 20, the wind is howling, the sky is grey, and the ground is too. Today being Sunday we thought the bars would be empty but we passed several that seemed to be well attended as we drove around today.

This is a Minute Man missile silo. North Dakota has them all over the place.

Rain has also been bothersome. We have had rain everyday for the past four days. This has not been constant. Mostly it has been thunderstorms interspersed with rain and fog. Here and there we have had sunshine. Today has been, since 5 AM, rain free. It is clouding up again.

Rain, rain, rain, rain, and so forth. 

If, per chance, you thought we were BIRDING AGAIN today, you would be correct.  Give yourself a gold star. How did you guess?

Lake Audubon - really a pretty place.

We birded Lake Audubon National Wildlife Refuge today. I have to admit that I enjoyed it. We took a seven mile driving tour which we covered in just two hours! We saw about 1,000 birds of various species. Ducks and waterfowl are what this preserve is all about and we saw bunches of them. 

The badlands tomorrow.

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