Wednesday, August 13, 2008

North Dakota

OK... time to catch up. How 'bout a brief review of my visit to North Dakota?

[the badlands ... Teddy Roosevelt National Park entrance]

The image above is what I thought North Dakota would look like, and I was not disappointed. There were amazing landscapes to see and terrific blue skies. OK... I'm skipping ahead of myself here though... I should tell the story chronologically shouldn't I?

I went to North Dakota for about 9 days on a business trip ... but... North Dakota *was* the only state in the US that my mom has never visited. How can you let an opportunity like that pass you by. We decided to take advantage of the timing and I tacked a short "vacation" to the end of my trip during which time my mom, dad, and sister joined me for a brief tour of North Dakota.

My trip was to Bismarck with a couple of brief stops across the Missouri river into Mandan (its sister city).

After I finished my work (very productive, thank you very much), my parents arrived Friday evening and, after a dinner, we decided to take a paddle boat ride down the Missouri river.

Did I mention it was a sunset cruise?

Very pretty views, nice cool breeze. Definitely the right time of day for a drive down the river. Saturday was the day for my preferred activity... a trip to the badlands.

We drove to a little town called Medora first, walked around the town which is sort of an old wild west set up, and then toured the Chateau deMores, a hunting lodge built in the 1800s and frequented by Teddy Roosevelt. Interesting place, very nice views.

Now for anyone in the know, I should point out that we skipped the Medora Musical (snort) and pitchfork fondue (steak fried on the tongs of a pitchfork... eww -- check out a link for a pic). These events should give you a flavor for Medora though ... very City Slicker-esque.

Then we drove into the badlands... specifically to the edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This was the view I was hoping for. Here's another perspective to go along with the picture at the top, both pictures taken from the Painted Canyon Visitor Center.

Great heaps of rock, I would call them mountains... they were at least mountainous. Very pretty.. worth the trip. Hard to imagine how the pioneers traveled across the nation going west when this is the kind of stuff they came across. A horse drawn wagon would have had a wee bit of trouble traveling this route.

We wandered around the rest of the weekend visiting museums (the Heritage Museum at the state capitol grounds having a GREAT dinousaur exhibit with bones collected in the region) and seeing the sights. Fun.

You know what sight I didn't see? No LYS. Not a single one in Bismarck or Mandan. How could this be given the general climate and profusion of snow in the winter? Boggles the mind. Next time, the knitting progress made on the plane.

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