Fargo and Points West

Headed to downtown Fargo this morning before hitting the road to Bismarck. Fargo’s “Downtown, Baby!” campaign to revitalize the historic town is moving along well. With a combination of retro style new buildings and preserved icons of the past, Fargo is a stroller’s paradise whether for shopping or dining.

Downtown Broadway

I also took a look at the Red River which has been a flooding concern for the past several weeks. Although the river had receded from actual flooding, there was evidence of where it had been:

Underwater last week

River still moving quickly

Earthen dikes in the background to protect the city

Crime is low in Fargo – no wonder with this patrol on the job:

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On the way to Bismarck, I stopped in Dawson, ND:

Nice Veterans Park

Their Veterans Wall

It was nice to see a small town like Dawson spare no expense in honoring their veterans.  Kudos to their American Legion members!

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In Jamestown, ND, I found the beef!

At 60 TONS, this is the World's Largest Buffalo

That's a lotta burgers....

And, in Steele, ND, someone gave me the bird:

World's Largest Sand Hill Crane

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Blast From The Past:

A dearly missed friend of mine once told me how some solitary time spent on a beach allowed for a surprising amount of personal reflection. For me, I love the time spent on a long drive – one of the things most looked forward to on this trip. My mind wanders to past experiences and I am often surprised at the clarity of the memories and the occasional epiphany as I drift along 40 years ago.

Today, on the long empty roads of North Dakota, I was thinking back to my first car. It wasn’t really mine. More of a family car shared by my parents, my brother, Mark, and myself. But, it was the first car that I was able to take out on my own and it was great.

1964 Plymouth Valiant wagon

Things are different with today’s kids. Back in the day, we were happy to have anything that gave us some freedom. Didn’t matter what it looked like, sounded like, or ran like…as long as it was ours. Today, kids are much choosier about what they are willing to be seen in.

This wagon had a tiny engine, a push-button transmission, and a top speed of about 50 miles per hour with a trailing wind. Didn’t matter – Mark and I loved this car. It took us to many drive-ins, dates, and fun times with friends.

I, of course, treated the car with the love and respect that a faithful steed deserved. Mark? Not so much. Like the time he had to call my Dad because he had driven the car over a railroad crossing at high speed, went airborne and, when he landed, the tires were splayed outward like one of those old cartoon cars. To this day, he swears that he was only going 5 miles an hour.

We fixed up the car and got it back on the road again but, soon after that, I was heading down a steep hill when the left front wheel FELL OFF and was actually rolling alongside the car as it canted crazily down the hill. To paraphrase comedian Ron White – “I guess the guy putting on the wheel missed lugnut class that week in tire college.”

Still, it wasn’t dead yet. We fixed it up, Mark enlisted in the Navy and drove it to California where it was loaded on a submarine tender heading for Guam. He put 10,000 more miles on it on that tiny island and then sold it just before he left – to a Marine from our hometown of Norwood, Ohio.

Best we can figure, it’s still wheezing its way around Guam in the hands of some crazed U.S. serviceman. She was a good ol’ girl.

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Today’s Travel:  236 miles

Total Travel To Date:  2524 miles

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