2008 Trip to Virginia travel blog

Jun 30, 2008 – Monday – DL to Menoken, ND

The alarm went off this morning but I sure did not want to get up it felt so good just laying there. When I got up I checked the thermometer and it said 55 outside so no wonder I didn’t want to get up. I made coffee then had breakfast then proceeded to dump all 3 tank as they were about ¾ full from the week here. The 3 Manitoba couples camped here were up and out of here at 0700 this morning for a tee time on the golf course but no one else was moving in the campground.

I had intended to leave by 0800 but it was 0900 when we got away so now I know I need to set the alarm earlier to allow for tank dumping. It was a beautiful sunny day as we drove west toward Fargo, ND with very little traffic on US10. We saw a couple of trains and the farmers out spraying or fertilizing their crops. Even saw a crop plan coming down and spraying. We turned off of US10 in Dillworth and took the short road over to I-94 so we did not have to mess around with going through Fargo’s stop and go traffic. It also picked up a lot of time by doing this even though we kind of wanted to go through Fargo just see how much, if any, it has changed since we were last here in 1999. I think it was 1999 and not any earlier than that as after the kids left that area we had no reason to go back to Fargo. We did see quite a bit of change on the west side of Fargo along I-94. There was not much traffic on the interstate today which always makes for nice travel. I did not stop at the Fargo Flying J as I had enough fuel from DL that we could make it to the Bismarck area before I needed to fuel up again. We did stop at the first rest stop east of Valley City as our coffee bladders were giving out on us.

We thought we would stop at the rest stop at MP 254 and have lunch but decided that was too soon and we were not hungry yet. This was about 1130. We were going to stop at MP 224 rest stop but no, it was getting a make-over so it was closed. So we did the trucker exit ramp stop at MP 217 exit. The trucker exit stop is where you take the exit to the stop sign and then go across the road to the on-ramp to get back on the interstate but pull over to the side of on-ramp and sleep because the rest stops are full or closed. This where we eat lunch while we watch a farmer in a nearby field cut his hay and another using a brush hog to mow weeds along a roadway.

We arrived at our campground Prairie Breeze Campground at MP 170 exit for Menoken, ND. This campground looks it was set up by a farmer who took a chunk of his property and made it into a 42 site campground with water, electric and sewer at half of the sites. It was $17 for the night without sewer hookup and $20 with sewer yet I can go to the dump station in the morning and dump and go at no extra charge. There is no shade as there is no trees anywhere around the camp sites. There is a row of trees on both the north and south side of the entire campground which is used to block winds or snow. It was pretty windy out of the southwest today but here in the campground you did not get much of that wind so it can be a nice thing. All sites are pull-through sites so it makes it really easy to park. The water pressure and power were very good here also. We un-hooked then got cooled off then we headed into Bismarck 9 miles to the west of us.

We headed for the capital grounds to take pictures of the North Dakota capital. I could not believe the building. North Dakota had to put up one of the most non-descript capital buildings of any state in the union. The capital building looks more like a tall business office tower than a capital so it does not have any “Wow!” look to it at all. Then we walked on over to the Heritage Center and that was a very nicely done history of North Dakota from the 1850’s onward. We spent about 1.5 hours in the center reading the history and perusing the displays. After we were done on the capital grounds we then drove down to the Kirkwood Mall and walked around in there for a while. We went to the Scheel store and this has got to be the biggest Scheel store anywhere. Scheel is also in Fargo but when we were in that store it was tiny compared to this one. This Scheel looked like a Cabelas and was every bit as big as a Cabelas. Day and I spent 2 to 3 thousand dollars but walked out with nothing so it does not hurt to look once in a while. We then headed out for supper and I decided I wanted a Burger King as I had not had one for a long time.

After we got our meal at Burger King I started looking at the receipt and could not figure out how they came up with the price. We both ordered a No. 5 value meal and yet the receipt showed each item of the meal listed separately. Then after we added it all up we found out the meal came to 43 cents more than the value meal price on the board (including the tax). So Day went back to the counter to ask how they figured up our meal and real quickly the young person called for the manager. The manager all too quickly new there was a problem and without apologizing or saying anything reached in the till and gave Day our 43 cents overcharge. We figure this is being done everyday at this particular BK and they are making a killing off all those people that are not taking the time to look at their receipts. A lesson learned here today to start checking this more often at the fast food joints. It has been quite a while since we have eaten out at fast food place so we don’t know if this was just a quirk or if it’s a trend. Time will tell.

We came back to the trailer and it was 95 inside as we did not leave the A/C on…bad mistake. So it took a while to cool if off. The high temp here today was only 85 and when the sun started going down the temp was falling very quickly. By 2200 the temp was down to 69 so we opened up to enjoy the sounds of the prairie which might be counting the numerous trains that will be going by on the main east-west line that is less than a mile south of us. I sure have a knack of picking these good train listening campgrounds which I’m sure are not so nice for a lot of people.

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