Sunday, June 13, 2010

Camp Trollfjorden, Day 4

Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of camp just flew by.  This morning we packed up, had a quick frukost, attended church with the other campers at Metigoshe Lutheran Church (located just across the road from the retreat center where Camp Trollfjorden is held), said our goodbyes, and then hit the road.  We had a long day of traveling and frolicking ahead of us, adventures best shared with you, Faithful Reader, via photographs!

The summer camp counselors for Metigoshe Ministries led the singing for the service at Metigoshe Lutheran Church.  And who should we see standing among the counselor staff?  My cousin's daughter Tracy!  (Abigail had run ahead of us after church, so she missed out on the photo.)

We got a photo with Rolf, who had taught the girls' language classes and directed them for the evening program on Day 2 of camp.

In the ditch of Hwy 43 north of Bottineau stands this dude!  We got his photo and then drove into town to eat at Denny's Pizza Inn, home of the best pizza in the entire state of ND.  (Try the Pizza Inn Special--delicious!)

Then the driving adventure began.  I had planned out a route that would take us through towns we'd never been to before and to attractions that I thought would be fun to explore.  All the stopping and photographing and walking around turned our 4.5-hour trip into one that lasted 11 hours, but we had a good time!  From Hwy 5 east out of Bottineau, we turned south onto Hwy 60 and drove to Willow City.

We drove west on Cty Rd 28A out of Willow City and then south on Cty Rd 51 to the ND Forest Service's only nursery, located just north of Towner.  We did a quick drive into the nursery and spied where all the baby trees were growing, covered with sheets of a protective material.

Then we drove around Towner itself.  The two murals above are painted on buildings that surround a downtown park with a gazebo and several benches.

We drove Hwy 14 south of Towner and then turned west to go to Karlsruhe, a little town that stands out in my mind because of a funny turn of phrase that my friend Nita said she once heard a rancher from Karlsruhe use: "I went out to the pasture to check on the cows, and there they was: gone."

We drove north out of Karlsruhe and then west on a gravel road to find the David Thompson State Historic Site.  I can't imagine that many people visit it, located as it is in such an out-of-the-way, you'd-have-to-be-looking-for-it-to-find-it spot.  However, it is a beautiful setting: a plot of land surrounded by a creek with trees growing in thick rows along the banks.  The sky was particularly pretty today, the landscape lush and green, the breeze cool, the birds in a chirpy mood . . . very serene.  Here are two more photos of the area:

Wouldn't you enjoy being a cow in such a lovely pasture?

We continued westward on the gravel road en route to Velva.  First, however, we saw Simcoe, which wasn't on the map but was definitely there on the north side of the road.  We crossed the railroad tracks to see the buildings on the north edge of town (that mural is painted on the side of a building labeled "Sons of Norway"!), and on our way back, we were trapped by a long train that nearly cleared the roadway for us but then stopped!  It had to let an oncoming train pass by before it could continue forward.  We had to wait almost a half-hour!

The gravel road met up with Hwy 41, which we traveled south into Velva.  Our driving around took us across a bridge and into a quaint city park, and we saw a horse-drawn buggy at one intersection!

South of Velva on Hwy 41 is Ruso.  There was a steakhouse with a "closed" sign in the window (closed on Sundays? closed for eternity?) and a post office that looked as though a private citizen may have taken over the building to use as a private residence (the sign in the photo above hangs outside that building).

At the southern end of Hwy 41 is Turtle Lake.  We saw some nice homes as we drove around the town, but what I really wanted to see was Rusty, the two-ton metal turtle statue at the entrance to Main Street!

We drove west of Turtle Lake and then south on Hwy 200A to Washburn and stopped at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.  It had just closed minutes before our arrival, but there was plenty to check out outdoors, including the three 12-foot-tall steel statues in the top photo (Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Chief Sheheke of the Mandan Nation) and dozens of steel bison (middle photo) dotting the landscape.  The bottom photo is the view of the Missouri River to the west of the Center.

This mural is on the side of a building in Washburn.  After driving around the town a bit, we stopped for sub sandwiches to eat in the vehicle as we resumed our drive.

We continued on Hwy 200A west out of Washburn, making a quick stop in Hensler to check things out.  Gotta love their sense of humor!

On the north side of Hwy 200A north of the town of Center is the Ft. Clark State Historic Site, an open area of grass with numerous markers pointing out what used to be located at each spot when fur trading posts and Native American villages existed on the site.  At the top of a hill sits the stone structure in the second photo above, which we went into to sign a guest book for visitors.  The third photo shows the spectacular view as we walked around, and the fourth one shows Susan and me walking from one informational marker to the next (the trees in the distance behind us grow on the opposite bank of the Missouri River).

Then we drove south on Hwy 48 to Center, which had just celebrated Old Settlers' Day and still had bleachers set up along the sidewalk for viewing the parade (as well as portable toilets here and there--tell-tale signs that a big event had just occurred).

A few miles west of Center on Hwy 25 is Hannover . . . or, rather, is the road sign for Hannover.  There is a church and cemetery and a house or two nearby but, other than a couple building-less, crumbling foundations, no real evidence that a town had been there (e.g., no city streets or buildings that could have been businesses or rows of houses).  I'm not sure why Hannover is still on the map but Simcoe isn't . . .

South of Hannover on Hwy 31 is New Salem, which was our next destination.  In the photo directly above, can you make out the city's name written on the hillside using rocks painted white?  More importantly, can you make out the gigantic cow standing on the other end of the hill?!

Yep, this is Salem Sue, an enormous (38 feet high by 50 feet long) fiberglass sculpture of a Holstein cow that looks south toward Interstate 94 and has beckoned to me many a time as I have driven past.  As you may guess, the dairy industry is important to New Salem.  Here are the girls milking Salem Sue.

There is a cluster of boulders on the hill behind Salem Sue, and the 360-degree views from its peak are amazing.  Here we can see what Sue sees as she stands on the hilltop day after day.  (The girls speculated that Salem Sue would get along well with the enormous bison statue that we visited in Jamestown last month.)

We are king and princesses of the hill!

We drove west from New Salem on Cty Rd 139, part of the Old Red/Old 10 Scenic Byway, until we arrived at Glen Ullin.  We noted lots of bars there and a place that advertised "Dakota fried chicken," whatever that is.  Might be worth a return visit to check it out.

Old Hwy 10 continues northwest from Glen Ullin to Hebron, our next stop.  It is known as "The Brick City" due to its brick manufacturing operation, so we weren't surprised to see many, many pretty brick buildings as we drove around town.

By the time we hit Hebron, we were down to our last few minutes of sunlight, and we used them to investigate Ft. Sauerkraut, a replica of a sod structure first built by German settlers who had heard rumblings of an impending attack by Native Americans and didn't feel they had time to order lumber before starting to build.  When the rumor proved false, they abandoned the fort, and--being sod--it fell apart over the years.

That's all we had time to see.  (And isn't that enough?!)  Our next stop was Richardton for fuel and a bathroom break and then onto the interstate for the few miles remaining to Dickinson.  It was fun to see so much that we hadn't seen before, but there was much more we could have seen had we been traveling on a weekday (museums and other attractions were closed due to its being Sunday).  It's surprising how much there is to do and see in ND if only one takes the time to check out the possibilities!

P.S.  Compare the fourth day of camp this summer to last year's Day 4.


  1. Camp was enjoyable, and so was the extended journey home. Such a lovely, history-filled state! :-) And I love that our daughters are such good travelers, too -- get out of the car, pose for picture, read historical marker, get back into car.... ;-)

  2. Who knew that ND has so many sites? I always heard about many of the little towns that you visited because of their sport teams or even when bad weather had hit different areas of the state causing damage. But that's the only reason I remember the names of them!