Sunday, August 29, 2010

Southwest Minnesota

We arrived this afternoon in Welcome Minnesota. Left the clutches of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Prior Lake and the Mystic Lake Casino this morning in very little traffic. We had a nice visit with our nephew and his wife and daughter while there. They don't build those casinos off of winners and we helped them out A BUNCH. It's the weirdest alcohol in the whole place! But the cigarette smoke will about carry you away! I wish they would ban that too! The Dakota Meadows RV Park that is adjacent to the Casino is very nice. Paved and Landscaped. I did some shopping in a Sioux Craft Shop. Bought some very nice beaded pieces and finally decided that if I'm going to take up a craft, it's going to be Woven beading. Hope I have the patience, and my eyesight will hold out. I taught myself to cook and sew, so I guess it'll be my newest learning experience! Right now I'm just in the research stage, and will be trying to acquire a small loom in the near future. We are going to be here at Welcome until Wednesday, and I am going to be trying to secure a place for us to set down over the Labor Day Weekend in Sioux Falls South Dakota. I can't believe the month of August is gone....Pretty much ends the summer. We are going to Arnolds Park Iowa tomorrow, Spirit Lake and Lake Okoboji. Another one of my favorite places. I'm in search of a few state pins for my collection. No pictures from here. This is an alright little park..on grass and gravel, lots of worker rigs, but no internet service to speak of, not enough speed to download pictures. Sorry! Stay Tuned.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All This and............

A Casino right next door!
We can just have fun until we can't stand it anymore! That is if we can survive the Storms, 99% Humidity, Heat Index of 106 and seclusion.
We got here to the Prairie View RV Park and Campground Thursday afternoon and about 11 pm a storm brewed up, they opened the storm shelter and we had a thunderstorm that provided awful strong winds and driving rain.
We didn't go to the shelter, but several did. We have been over to the Casino several times. No big winners here, but I imagine they didn't build this place on winners! The buffet was good and 99 cent breakfast was very good. We have access to the indoor pool, sauna, hot tub and fitness center in the hotel....I have been over there, just not to use it yet!
The humidity last night and this morning was 99%! Fog so thick you could cut it with a knife so we didn't get a very early start on touring the areas of Granite Falls
the parks along the Missouri River and Monte Video..with a nice new Wal Mart. I don't have much energy today to do anything, and if I get a sudden burst, I'm going to the fitness center and try out the laundry, washing rugs!They have nice commercial front loaders, so I will be able to get that done. I have been busy planning our next move. Provided that my mail gets here, we will move on next week and go to another RV Resort at Mystic Lake Casino over closer to Minneapolis. We have a nephew and his family over there and we want to stop in and say "hi" to them. It's really quiet here, even with a farm painting crew in here and a rather large family reunion going on this weekend.
This place is very relaxing and I highly recommend it. Nice cement pads and patios, great landscaping and paved streets.
One would never think they are sitting out in a field right next to a farm.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

North Dakota Facts and Folks...

As we get ready to say good bye to North Dakota, I have a few finishing thoughts. I have observed every where we have been that the people here are very friendly and accomodating. The pace here is a little slower and we have had a good time exploring this state from one end to the other.
I think this state has gotten a bad rap in that it isn't nearly as flat as people say. The Native American History is very abundant here, and people here are hard workers. Much of their tourism is based on Pioneer Days,
The legendary White(Albino)Buffalo,several Native American Tribes, The lakes and Golf Courses.I feel very fortunate that we got to see the whole herd and all three white buffalos in one place close to the museum the first day we went. The folks at the Museum and some at the Village said lots of folks come and are disappointed because the buffalo roam all over the pastures in the area and some days they are not out where they can be seen. They stay in the bottom of the draw in the trees because their eyes are sensitive to bright sunlight. People have asked me why we want to spend so much time here? Well there's a few reasons, I have learned some more about the Native American Culture and my husband has caught the most and the biggest Walleye in his entire life here! Thanks to the folks in Hazen N.D for making us feel welcome and including us in activities. We have enjoyed the beauty of Wheat Harvest close up and met some more friends! It's all good. Medora has a lot more going on than I gave it time or credit for. Jamestown in the middle of the state has everything you could want and more, history, crafts and products made right here in N.D. I went back to the Village today and bought a hand carved shoe!(picture later!) I love shoes and wanted something made in North Dakota. I got to visit with the artist and he signed my little shoe!
Jamestown is also the notorious home town of Loius L'Amour, the famous Western Artist. He wrote 120 books, including the "Sacketts" series of 18. Some of his books were made into wonderful movies with actors like John Wayne and Tom Selleck. Even though he passed away in 1988, the town keeps his memory and his stories alive!
As we will go down the road in the morning, headed for Minnesota....I'm really glad we spent this time here and hope you all get here some day. It's worth it! Some more facts:

Population of the state is 641,481

Bismarck is the Capital City The Capital is known as the "Skyscraper on the Prairie"
State Tree: American Elm
State Bird: Western Meadowlark
State Drink: Milk
State Fruit: Chokecherry

AAA deemed a ND vacation the most affordable in the U.S.
N.D. is one of only twelve states with a growing economy

N.D. has the highest number of millionaires per capita of any state, and not a yuppie to be found anywhere!

Agriculture is N.D. top industry, the leader in the flaxseed, canola, pinto beans, and wheat to name a few.

N.D is the 4th now the most producing oil state in the U.S.
having a huge exploration going on in the Northeastern part of the state.

The explorers Lewis and Clark spent more time in ND than any other place on their journey.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Days in Jamestown

We have been touring the town of Jamestown and the Frontier Village. After a glitch with the reservations at the rv park there, we ended up traveling on 15 miles east and are settled n a small park at the Eckelson Exit.
We have had a good time watching the Buffalo Herd, including three White Albino Calves. They are supposed to be the only three living Albino Buffalo in North America. We were lucky to be able to view them because they retreat down in the bottom of the pasture during mid day because their eyes are sensitive to the sun!
We walked through the village and looked around the buildings and shops. At the end of the village is the home of the Worlds largest Buffalo. Not a living breathing beast, but a 26 ft. high, 46 ft. long, 60 ton Concrete monument, constructed in 1958. The Village is home to the White Cloud Crafters since the year 2000. It's a good thing that I don't have much wall space and don't have room for nic nacs, 'cause I'd be in serious trouble. There's some awesome art there and handcrafted items that I'd love to have.
Tomorrow I'm packing a lunch and we will finish up our visit to Jamestown. Today we drove across the Pipestem and Jamestown Dams and had lunch at Appleby's. We will be leaving North Dakota on Thursday.
I made reservations today at a Casino/RV Resort in Granite Falls Minnesota. We would have been heading for St. Cloud, however, after the fiasco that I had with the last park I made reservations for and the condition of that place, I chose a place that was a better value for the money and we will be there for a week or so - it will be Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One Last Fishing Trip

The weather today, our last day in Hazen N.D. has been pretty rotten. Very comfortable temps, and not much for humidity, but it has showered off and on and the wind has blown with 40+ gusts all day. Ken invited DH along on one final trip to the Garrison Outlet tonight. Last night he went with the neighbor and they brought home "0" fish. They just left and said if they got into them they would be late. Beings that it doesn't look like storms tonight, I don't care! We are leaving for Jamestown tomorrow...what ever time he gets up I guess. I can have my stuff ready to go within an hour. Time marches on and its time for the next adventure! Tonight I have just a few North Dakota Facts to share with all of you. I have been amazed at how relaxed I have been here and how the fields and hills are so similar to states to the south.

1. North Dakota was the first state to complete it's Interstate Highway System.
2. North Dakota has more golf courses per capita than any other state.
3. North Dakota is the 4th safest state to live in.
4. ND had one of the highest per capita Personal Income growths for 2009.
5. North Dakota is the only state in the nation to never have had an earthquake.

In just a few days we will finish our visit to this state. We have made yet more friends and a couple of Couples here also winter in Arizona, so we will be seeing them this winter. Life is good!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fresh Walleye!

Ain't nothin' better! Quite an exciting evening and night around here. KayCee and I stayed home and attempted to have a slumber party while DH went with the camp host and they took his little boat to the Outlet of the Garrison Dam. They left here about 7:30 and by 9:30 a storm was boiling up and I knew there was no escape! While I was struggling with whether to put the slides in or not and watching the radar, DH was busy catching BIG Walleye. We had really hard rain and 44 mph winds. He caught four fish over the course of the evening, the biggest being 8 lbs 7 oz. and was 29 1/2 inches long, it was a hawg!
They got home about 1:30 a.m. and missed the storm. I was very disappointed that he didn't get any good pictures with his phone, but Ken took a few with his camera. He said he will e mail them to me, in the meantime, he went to Bismarck today and had one blown up into an 8X10 and I will frame it.
The end product was our lunch today and I do have pictures of the big fillets, hot off the grill. They were turned out delish! Our neighbor is an electrician from Minnesota and works at the power plant in the next town. He has a little bigger boat and he has the weekend off, so when he gets home later tonight, he's taking DH fishing again! I better watch out, or DH will be having so much fun he doesn't want to leave on Sunday. I don't have enough freezer space for him to keep catching big ones, and we can't eat it up fast enough. I had another friend from Nebraska look at my pics of the Enchanted Highway and tell us that's where they hunt pheasants! DH is liking North Dakota a whole lot, while I'm missing Montana! I went to the store a while ago and saw some "Flathead" Cherries. They're from the Flathead Valley in Montana south of Glacier Park. So good! The clouds are forming and we may be in for another round of weather tonight. As tired as I am, I will definitely put the slides in and go to sleep!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Native Amerian Ride

Many miles and a long day yesterday.
We headed south down the 1806, and it was early and I hadn't had a whole cup of coffee yet. I looked up and didn't think I was seeing right. I thought a guy was bicycling down a power line, so I turned around and went back! Sure enough, but he had a reason..they were restringing lines, and that was how he motivated across the lines so far up in the air with no truck. We drove on part of the Lewis & Clark Trail, Across the Standing Rock Reservation and along the Native American Scenic Byway by the Cannonball River and the Cannonball Community. The rocks on the banks of the river are almost perfectly round and therefore the name "Cannonball" exists. We made a quick stop at Fort Rice Recreation area, and then looking out over the Missouri River at Fort Yates, we took pause at the original burial site of Chief Sitting Bull.
According to folk lore, Sitting Bull was accidentally shot and buried on the bank of the river at Fort Yates, then several years later, some people from MoBridge S.D drove to the spot in 1953 and exhumed his body, taking it back to their town. The plaque claims it was done for 4 of his grandchildren. Never the less there is a sad tired memorial on top of a slab of cement to comemorate his life and death. We didn't take the extra drive to Mobridge however to look at that spot. We drove west and back north across the Standing Rock Reservation, stopping at a picnic shelter for lunch at the town of Breien.
We passed over the Hogback rock formations and found ourselves back in the city of Mandan, then on north to Bismarck. The Capital Building is a plain square piece of Archetecture that ws built in 1935 after a fire took the original one.
We were there late in the afternoon, so just got some photos of the exterior and grounds. We briefly stopped at the Lewis & Clark Intrepretive Center, but it was after closing there too, so we headed on back to Hazen.
DH is getting ready for a night fishing trip tonight with the Camp Host here. They will go and fish for walleye at the spillway of the Garrison Dam. I made reservations today at the Frontier Fort Campground and RV Park in Jamestown N.D. on Sunday. We will have a few fun filled days there and then move into Minnesota.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Enchanted Highway

North Dakota has many scenic byways, and one of the most unique that I have seen is the "Enchanted Highway."
We combined a couple of drives yesterday, heading east and south through Buelah, past many fields and the Coyote Branch of a Coal Strip Mine and Electric Generation Plant.
We continued on south of I 94 to the town of Regent, that the sculptor of these Giant Metal Tribute Pieces calls home.
The 32 mile stretch of highway is between Gladstone on the Interstate and Regent, that holds a Convenience/Cenex Store and a Gift/Ice Cream Shop. Every few miles, one of these sculptures has a groomed spot, a parking and picnic area.
They are a delight to see and a salute to the land and this state. There's The World's largest Tin Family, Pheasant's on the Prairie, Teddy Rides Again, Grasshoppers in the Field,
Geese in Flight and Fisherman's Dream.
Wheat Harvest is in full swing. DH always enjoys getting out and watching the harvest equipment and crops being worked.
He hails from a farm family in Western Kansas and before he started his career, he used to work on a Harvest Crew, so is in the blood. On the way home we drove the Sakakawea Scenic Byway and stopped at the Knife River Indian Villages.
Too hot to leave KayCee in the car, so I went in for a quick tour of the Museum, watched a quick film about the tribes that inhabited the area, the Mandan and Hidatsa, and walked through the Earth Lodge on display.
I'm still undecided how long we will stay here. A road construction crew pulled into this park this afternoon, and I think it will be a little too active for us! I'm almost thinking that we will move on over to Jamestown on Friday or Saturday. Tomorrow we will do another big loop tour.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Too hot to fish...too lazy to drive anywhere. Went to the show here in Hazen last night. Not too whoopy of a theater. Stale popcorn and flat pop. Spent $24.00 and could've stayed home. I guess I'm just grouchy today. I did enjoy the show..."Grown Ups" and can say that's one off my list.
It's 95 degrees today. It's supposed to be yuccky all week. Think we'll stay home and have ice cream later. DH kicked back and watching Pheasants Forever on TV. The season is getting closer! KayCee hasn't even left the couch today. She's being her typical House Frau self. We've seen some Pheasants up here, and there's more pheasant country where we're going in Minnesota. Just too bad that the season isn't on nowI have planned a big trip south for tomorrow. We will go south and back east. It will be a big loop and we'll explore some Native landmarks and Indian Villages I can hope it's cooler, but don't think I'll get my wish.
Wheat harvest is in full swing up here now, the fields and roads are full of semis and combines. The fields are HUGE. They have a lot of Canola fields in full bloom too.
I spent part of today planning for the future moves into Minnesota. Lots of miles yet to go and at least I have general direction. Now we have some ugly clouds overhead and we will probably get some rain. A cool down will not hurt my feelings, just keep the hail away!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just Like Riding a Bike!

I wondered if Fishing possibly could be like riding a bike, when you haven't done it for a long time, does it all just come back to ya? Well Yes it does....We went to town this morning and visited with the city folks becaise I will get mail at their address, and just as I expected, they are really nice! We then found the car wash and tried it out. I started a pot roast in the crock pot this morning and did a couple loads of laundry, then loaded up the dog and the poles and headed for Hazen Bay at Lake Sakakawea, 15 miles north of here. We drove around checking out the boat docks, bought some nightcrawlers and found a spot. Check out the BBQ grills under water. They've had so much rain that this lake is super full. This picnic site is unaccessible from the road that leads to it, so we are set up as far as you can go. I went about setting up the lawn chairs and getting settled, DH rigged the poles. I started out with my heavy trolling pole that I use to fish from a boat with. Hadn't sat down with it for 10 minutes, had a bite and the line broke and I lost the fish! So I promptly took it back to the car and traded for my new "Ugly Stick" that I got last year for my birthday.
It's much lighter and lighter line. After two or three minutes I had the familiar tap tap tap....ah ha Gotcha!
............Yes it comes back. It was only drum.....I wondered what kind of fish I would get!I played catch and release today. I wanted Walleye, should have prayed harder to the Walleye Gods, but that's yet to come. I think I had a biggie on later and he got away too. It's a tricky place to fish. Lots of weeds and rocks....but ah does come back to ya. I am planning on getting up early and washing the outside of the coach. I would rather just go fishing again!
That will be the second item on the agenda tomorrow! Maybe DH will catch a fish next time too!!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Small Town Wins

We have moved in the center of North Dakota to the small town of Hazen. Medora was on the edge of the "BadLands" with the town basically being a tourist hub with lots of lodging and shopping and museums.
DH took int he Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum, got a look at a "Colt" firearm that Mr. Colt gave to Buffalo Bill Cody. It had the Serial number on "1" on it. I went shopping. The shops were almost overwhelming with western gifts and jewelry. We didn't take in any of the performances or visit any other places there. I was just planning on one night and we spent two, and it wasn't enough time to take everything in. The RV Park was a City Run Campground.
Certainly not a destination campground, very powdery dust, kids driving too fast and cacti on the edges that KayCee didn't get along with. Only o.k. for a short stop. One of the good things that happened yesterday morning.
I saw all these people coming over toward me with cameras, and I thought they were coming to take pictures of KayCee! There were 20 Elk feeding on the hill above us. Glad I got some pics, as they weren't there this morning. We were going to stop at Dickenson N.D. and decided that we would forgo the bigger town, and the park that caters to the Oil and Pipeline workers. We did pull in and stock up at our favorite "Stocking Up" store, Wal Mart, and then drove north on Hwy 22 and then east on 200, part of the Sakakawea Scenic byway. Our move today was 123 miles to the northeast.
Here at the Lewis and Clark RV Park there's 28 spaces and a brand new meeting room, laundry, bath and clubhouse. This is a Passport America Park, and pleasantly affordable.
I feel as if I can relax a little. Lots of water activities at a reservoir 15 miles north of here. Lake Sakakawea, with 1884 miles of Shoreline, and lots of things at surrounding towns to keep us busy too. DH is going to get some fishing and golfing in. Who knows, I may dabble around and try to catch a fish or two. I've been known to outfish the master more times than not! Walleye is my favorite and this is supposed to be the best Walleye lake in N.D. The reminder's that Sturgis Bike Rally is not very far and coming up very soon are all around us! It's a beautiful evening, the breeze has died down and the sun is setting low in the west. DH and KayCee are out for a walk and a few tosses of the tennis ball to use up some of her pent up energy. I have no pent up energy, I will retire to the bed in short order!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Change of Scenery

We spent our last full day in Montana yesterday in Miles City. We toured the Range Riders Museum, a place that gives an in-depth look at the history, artifacts and people that made Miles City the place it is today.The Range Riders Organization was founded in 1939 by a group of stockmen who wanted the area's history preserved. They have done an excellent job! Great museum.
DH enjoyed the extensive gun and ammo collection, all of the early pioneer's tools, stories about the early formation of the area, and interaction with the Native American people there.
Monday morning we continued east, amid the intermittent showers, crossing into North Dakota before noon. We have been on Virgin Roads since Billings, having never traveled this way on I 94 before. The scenery changes drastically,
The skies are not so blue, the water's not crystal clear and Turquoise. Theres plenty of rocky cliffs, beautiful golden Canola and fresh cut hay and wheat fields. We stopped in Medora, having heard excellent things about this area, situated amongst the Beautiful Bad Lands and Theodore Roosevelt's National Park

After a little poking around tomorrow, we will be pressing on over to Dickenson N.D. and settling down for a week. We've been on the road for 4 days in a row and I'm getting a little weary. I've decided it's almost a full time job to travel and sightsee in the same day! Oh good, I'm ready to turn in and I hear the train whistles in the not very far distance. I used to sleep through them, but not being used to it any more, they kinda keep me awake now. Hopefully they won't wake me up all night.