Alaska, the Last Frontier - Summer 2012 travel blog

world's largest sand hill crane

ND sky scrapers

Heading west through Minnesota we saw numerous signs for the Lake Woebegone Trail. A bit of research revealed that it is for biker riders who are above average. Garrison Keillor fans will understand this reference. This flat area dotted with trees looked like an easy ride. Duly noted as a possible stop on the trip back home in September.

The population of the entire state of North Dakota is only 672,000 people. The state encourages full time RV'ers who need to have an official address somewhere, to select a fictitious spot here to call their home and many of them do. A large number of folks who are also here temporarily are the oil workers who are fracking their way through the oil shale, creating tremendous sudden wealth. Housing is insufficient for all the workers and most of our fellow campers tonight appear to be laborers rather than geezer tourists passing through. We intended to stay a bit further west in Bismarck, the state capital, but campgrounds there are still closed due to the bad floods of the Missouri River in 2011. Who would have guessed that we would feel lucky to have a place to stay in such an empty state.

Many states have banned bill boards because they are unsightly, but here there are groves of them any time we near any significant population center. It's rather sad when you look forward to the bill boards, because there really isn't much else to look at. Perhaps if we weren't so interested in covering lots of miles, we might see more if we took advantage of the POI's (points of interest) programmed into the Rand McNally GPS for RV'ers. It chirps regularly as we drive, pointing out that the largest buffalo, or largest collection of oil cans, or largest statue of a sand hill crane are nearby. Worth a stop?

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