Day 212 – North Dakota Sampler, July 16, 2011
I failed to mention some interesting sights yesterday, the
first being during long waits due to road construction. As we were all waiting for the flagger to
wave us on, it was mostly truckers and me, I was debating rolling down
VANilla’s window and turning off the engine.
As I glanced toward the driver side mirror, I noticed a trucker,
probably mid forties, brown hair, sunglasses, periwinkle blue T-shirt and jean
shorts step out of his cab, sidle into the space between his cab and trailer
and assume the position necessary to relieve himself. As he is looking from side to side, I thought
surely this isn’t the case, but as he turned back toward his cab while zipping
his fly my suspicion was confirmed! Not
too much further up the road, as I entered the town of Alexander, I was greeted
with a billboard listing the Ten Commandments.
Anyway, it was an interesting day.
I’ve survived another night of hellacious
thunderstorms. Lightning flashed in the
sky like a strobe light in a dance club.
Some of the tent campers moved into their cars while the storm
passed. Upon leaving the campground, I
turned east and continued past countless hay fields, rolling hills, and
farmland to Garrison. It wasn’t a
numbered stop in the book, but New Town, the “major” city (it’s all relative)
on the Indian Reservation seemed uneventful and frankly it was too hot to spend
much time hiking across prairielands on the sunny, somewhat humid day.
Garrison calls itself the Walleye capital of the North and
displays a 26-foot fish statue named Wally at the town park. Not far from the town park is another park
that geocaching led me to. I found a
container hidden under an old city horse trough.
After visiting Garrison, I took a short drive through Audubon
National Wildlife Refuge until the road closure in the park required me to turn
around. I got a quick glance of a
grouse, but it hopped into the bushes, but I think the animals were like me…not
We moved on the Knife River Indian Villages. The earth lodge people of the Knife River
were known as the Hidatsa and are believed to have arrived around the
1300. The tribe remained in the area for
more than 500 years. The tribe survived
by farming land, hunting bison, and trading materials. Lewis and Clark encountered the Indian village
during the winter of 1804 and they eventually hired Charbonneau, a
French-Canadian trader as an interpreter.
Along with Charbonneau came his wife, Sakakawea, a Shoshone who was
invaluable to expedition’s western travels.
Petey and I walked along the 1.5 mile path past the
undulating green field which was basically the remains of the earth lodge
village. The area looked more like a
perfect golf course fairway. The heat
index was so high, that at the end of our short walk Petey, panting heavily,
decided he just couldn’t make it to VANilla across the parking lot and plopped
down under the shade of a tree to rest.
Indian Village was a final touring spot before coming to a
rest in Bismarck. ETB