27 September 2012

2012 WILD WEST to North Dakota 2 - Mighty Miss


Drove 449 miles from Eau Claire WI, through the whole state of Minnesota to Jamestown, North Dakota (about 1/3 across that state). Highest point we noticed this day on the altimeter was Alexandria, MN at 1,406 feet. Lots of construction in MN so again much driving at 45 MPH. Some spots were one lane and so narrow with concrete barriers on the left side, I told Mike "I need my bite guard--NOW" as my teeth were so clinched.


Lots of water in this part of the country, especially in the Wisconsin Dells area. And almost every hotel has a water park attached so folks can enjoy "water" during the winter months.

Crossed the Mississippi (always a big thrill for us) just before St. Paul, but we took the bypass this time instead of I-94 through downtown. The crossing was a dud. Bridge was a big concrete blob and the guard rail so high you could hardly see the river. 

But we did stop at the first rest stop after the bridge and took a lovely trail walk along the Mississippi head waters. So far MN wins it for best rest stops, usually with a "water feature." 

We also saw our first wind turbine...in the middle of a shopping center at Maple Grove MN. Just love seeing those gentle giants working with the wind and will be watching for them across the country. We also saw some long trucks transporting turbine blades and nacelles. There must be a factory close by. Will try to get a photo of that as they usually come in "lots" of three.

Stopped at Alexandria MN for lunch. It was lovely little town with a small community theatre. They let us peek inside.
Drove by Sauk Centre MN, on which I think the mythical town of Lake Wobegon is based. Passed through St Cloud and thought of old NWA friend Barry Flueger, first person we knew that died of AIDS. Corn harvesting all along the way.

Yaah, North Dakota. Legal limit on the road went from 45-65 to 75 MPH (even trucks)! Checked out Fargo. Much bigger than we pictured. A real mix of old and new, high class and low brow. Saw one of the NDSU team Bison art projects. Went into a quaint violin shop (did not "fit" the town) and tasty old world bakery


We thought we might stay in Fargo tonight, but once we got there it was too early to stop and it just did not have enough character for use to spend much time in, so we plowed on to Jamestown ND. Had dinner at Grizzly's Saloon. A big Grizzly met us at the door with a marshmallow in its mouth. Later we found a signature dessert of the joint is fire-roasted marshmallows at your table. Fun.

Just to let Jim S know, we had the best Long Island Ice Tea ever (after Gizzard City) here at Grizzly's Grill.

Antiques on Broadway in Fargo is probably the best antique store we have ever been in. Not the biggest in size, but packed with the good stuff. This is the old camera area.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.