Short Stop In Bismarck And A New First
Oct 2, 2008
|I'm sparing you the 50+ photos this entry. We forgot the camera and just took a couple with the phone camera.
It was a long drive from Wall, South Dakota to Bismarck North Dakota. Over six hours which was probably a near record for us - our usual limit being about four. So why head north? A couple of reasons - we were headed towards Minnesota, and we were told they had a great museum.
While hosting at Redfish Lake, we came across Nadine, a nice lady who was asking where we were heading after Redfish. When we told her Minnesota for fall, she insisted that we stop at Bismarck to visit the North Dakota Heritage Center which she said was one of the best around.
So we did - it wasn’t too far off the path. The drive north took us through miles of two lane roads through fields of endless prairies. And driving that far required that we stop for fuel along the way which can be a challenge with 40’ of trailer behind us, but we found a Cenex truck stop that was wide open and empty. While there we walked across the road to a drive in for a hamburger. The sign had a ‘closed Oct 5th’ so we made it just in time.
Now for the new first. We needed a place to stay and my Trailer Life Navigator software only showed two places - none of which seemed worth it, so remembering our friends Jan & Cal who always stay at Wal-Marts we decided to give it a try - after all, we were only here for a night.
It was easy to find and we pulled into the parking lot looking for ‘No Overnight Parking’ but found none. We also didn’t find any other RV’s and driving this rig through parking lots isn’t the most fun either. But we found a spot along the east side of the parking lot that had room for us and pulled in.
It felt a little odd, do we need to notify anyone?? We walked over to the store and bought a couple of things, as if that was our payment, then came back and opened the dining slide - had a glass of wine, and headed across the street to Taco Bell. Wow - talk about a cheap night… a free RV spot and less than $10 for dinner! We watched a movie on the laptop, then put in our earplugs and called it a night. I have to say I slept well.
The next morning we followed the navigation directions to the North Dakota Heritage Center, but couldn’t find a place to park with the RV so drove around and saw a shopping center that had lots of room so parked there, unloaded the scooter and then went to the Heritage Center.
The Center was actually something else… it was on the Capital campus in a huge building. It was divided into quadrants that depicted different eras of North Dakota history - from prehistoric to the current. We learned so much - every state should have one.
Now we didn’t find Nadine, the lady who camped in our loop last summer who volunteers at the center, but we did leave her a note that we had made it, then took the scooter back to the mall, loaded it up and hit the road again.
So it was a short visit in North Dakota, but it’s a straight shot east to our next stop - Itasca State Park in Minnesota.