Saturday, July 21, 2012

North Dakota: Arrive a Guest, Leave a Legend

North Dakota:  Arrive a Guest, Leave a Legend is the current ND tourism advertising campaign. I’m not too sure I “get it” but that is what it is :) Their state slogan is: Legendary

You never hear too many people talk about traveling to North Dakota.  In fact, I don’t know hardly anyone that’s ever been there. North Dakota conjures up record low temperatures in my mind from places like Bismarck, Minot and Fargo. With that in mind, and because the current temperature in Pierre, our current location was 109º on Sunday, we took off and headed north.

It was a pretty uneventful and boring drive up US Hwy 83 passing wheat, corn and soybean fields until, all of a sudden, the asphalt just stopped and we were driving on dirt. Usually they’ll close one side and divert traffic. Not here. They just chewed it all up at once. Luckily, it only lasted a couple miles but it was slow and rough.

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About the most exciting thing we saw was the town of Strasburg, the birthplace of Lawrence Welk :) We eventually arrived at our destination, Hazelton Recreation Area, after turning left onto another dirt road, this time intentionally. It was pretty obvious 40’ motorhomes generally did not come that way. Even the cows looked at us like we were foreigners! Anyhow, 13 miles later we arrived :)

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We really liked this place and aside from one other RV, had it all to ourselves. The sites were all nice and level gravel, plenty long and nice and wide. Each was separated by small trees. This is a COE park that is unmanned so you do a self registration, put your money in an envelope and put it in the slot. It was nice and quiet and adjoined the boat ramp for Lake Oahe, the very same lake we loved in SD! It’s over 250 miles long and we basically followed it all the way here.

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This park is small, has 50 amp electric but no water, no dump station. We brought water with us and were good to go in self contained Lucy :) It’s kind of like Boondocking with power :) Which, by the way, is a good thing because those visions of coolness were short-lived. When we arrived it was 98º and it reached 100º before the day was out. We gave that 50 amp a good workout!

During our time there, we only left once and that was to drive 30 miles north to Bismarck. We needed a few groceries and stopped at Lowes to pickup a replacement window shade for one of our day/night shades that fell apart the other day. But that’s a whole different story for another day. While in Bismarck we did the 25¢ tour just driving around. This is the capitol city and at 62,000 people, a very nice sized city with plenty of shopping and nice neighborhoods.

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Later in the week, we also spent a night in Jamestown, which is about 100 miles west of Fargo. It seemed like a nice little town but we didn’t see much of it. We checked in to Frontier Fort RV Park with their full hook-ups and caught up on the  laundry. They had their own bar and grill so we also grabbed a bite for dinner. Cooking and doing laundry is multi-tasking and I no longer do that :)

We are now at Eggert’s Landing, another COE park on Lake Ashtabula. Lake Ashtabula is 12 miles northwest of Valley City, which is about 60 miles west of Fargo. It’s in one of the most scenic areas we’ve seen in ND. This park is beautiful! It is heavily wooded, has 30 amp electric and there is water available around the park to take on prior to parking. Each site is very private and most will accommodate a large rig.

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The only issue with Eggert’s Landing is that it is so nicely wooded we can only pull in one TV channel and internet required us to set up our amp and antenna. Even so, internet is very, very marginal and we had to drive to town to post this blog. I hate to admit that I’m addicted but I am. I have a difficult time when I’m not connected and I really hate it when my favorite type of camp sites are marginal, to say the least :) I know, I’m spoiled. I want beautiful COE parks and TV and internet! Yes, we could spring for satellite but it’s so wooded here I doubt that would work either :)

We’ll be here through the weekend, internet and TV or not. Then we move onto Minnesota, another new state for us.

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

16 comments:

  1. Wow I've got whip lash. You've been a lot of places in a short period of time. And they look like very nice places. Thanks for the smiles about the cows looking at you strangely and no longer "multi-tasking".

    I actually was in North Dakota back in the tent camping days and spent one night in a sod house B&B ala Little House on the Prairie. What great fun that was. Also went to see that GIANT thermometer that is always on TV. Is that in Fargo? Or Bismark? Or Minot? I don't remember.

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    1. Sherry, I'm not sure which city has the Giant Thermometer! I don't think I've seen it...or have I? I always remember the record low temps in Minot. Maybe it's there :)

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  2. Hope you enjoy MN our home state. We also enjoy ND and visiting relatives there.
    We now base out of Spicer on the lakes. Where will you be going thru MN.

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    1. Bob and Vicky, we will be staying close to Brainerd and then moving into Wisconsin around the Superior area. We have a family reunion in August in WI so it will limit our time in MN. I've been to the Twin Cities several times when I was growing up but this will be our first trip in Lucy.
      Thank you for commenting. I found your blog and look forward to following you through retirement :) We are spending the winter in TX also, but around Corpus, not as far south as you.

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  3. Thanks for the ND tour... we never got that far;o)) Can't believe you are as hot as we are. What is going on?!?! Enjoy that family reunion and safe travels!!

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  4. You're going to love MN. We like WI too. So much to see! I'm glad you posted, I was thinking about you the last couple days. Have fun, take it all in.

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  5. when i was in the service our greatest fear was being stationed in Minot or Grand Forks...

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  6. You sure don't let any grass grow under your feet. That's quite a few campgrounds in a short time.

    Admire your addiction, er, I mean dedication to driving to a place to get an Internet signal. ;c)

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  7. Thanks for the tour of North Dakota. I grew up in Winnipeg so North Dakota was a favourite shopping destination for my parents.

    That was an odd campground configuration - 50amp power but no water. I don't think I've ever heard of that before.

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  8. We've never been to North Dakota either, but it's on our list. Can't believe it's hot there too! Unbelievable!

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  9. I was in ND a long time ago- lots of corn and soybeans. I am glad someone else does not have the patience for restringing those day and night shades. We just tossed them and went to Lowes :). They don't have water at the sites because they don't want to mess with the frozen pipes in the winter.

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  10. "I want beautiful COE parks and TV and internet! Yes, we could spring for satellite but it’s so wooded here I doubt that would work either :)"

    Me too -- we looked into satellite, but couldn't justify the cost, especially if we wanted a speed better than dial-up.

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  11. I do hope that you are planning a trip to Theodore Roosevelt NP. We enjoyed our visit to this small, yet beautiful National Park. The town of Medora (south entrance) is unique and interesting. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!

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    1. Thank you for the recommendation. We had planned to head there from western SD but were warned by several people that it was difficult to find campgrounds in the western part of ND due to all the oil workers currently in the area. We are heading east so will have to add western ND to our list for the next time we come through this area. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Thank you!

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  12. We have not made it to North Dakota yet but hope to one day. We do love South Dakota though.... Sounds like ND is a beautiful state also. Enjoy your travels and be safe!!

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  13. like you I"m hooked on being connected...at what point did we even notice this happening to us..its sure a great way to stay in touch with family and friends...looks like a lovely area you are in tho...

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