Fort Frontier, Frontier Village Museum, National Buffalo Museum
Aug 6, 2010
|Aug. 6 Jamestown & Sisseton, ND
Fort Frontier, Frontier Village Museum, National Buffalo Museum
We stayed at the Frontier Fort last night in Jamestown, ND. We pulled in late and we were both really tired. The office looks like a big fort and we saw people sitting on the top deck at picnic tables when we walked in to register. The lady told us to come in for the BBQ rib special upstairs. The parking lot was full so it didn’t take us to decide to get the camper set up and put the meat back in the fridge and go upstairs for dinner. The place was packed and she was right. Those ribs fell off the bone and they were great! (This is the kind of local place we love to find.)
We got up this morning and called some local RV dealers to see if we could find a water pump for the coach. We’ve been trying for 2 days. At least it’s not the engine water pump. We’ve kept bottles of water in the back sink to flush the toilet when we are on the road. (Pretty good to have 115 gallons of water on board, but none of it will come out of the faucets.) We stopped at the campground purposely last night so we could be hooked up to water for everything; dishes, showers & wash in case we couldn’t find the part tomorrow. The RV place in Jamestown sold their last one yesterday. We left a message in Fargo for the Part’s man because we are on our way there next so we’ll just have to wait.
We were within walking distance of the Frontier Village Museum which is just like many we’ve seen along the way. They have 22 acres of donated buildings and furnishing from the early 1900’s. There was a fire station, printer, general store, church, home, etc. Several had stores in them selling leather and western goods; tourist stuff and the local artists had a store as well as the local crafters. They showed off what they do all winter. We spoke with a wonderful old couple volunteering at the home. They love ND and told us more about the area.
Jamestown has the largest Buffalo in the US. They built a statue with 60 ton of concrete. You can also see it from the highway. But the largest attraction is the albino buffaloes here. We walked around the back of the building at the National Buffalo Museum and never saw a buffalo at all. Then we walked down to the Buffalo statue and only saw one brown buffalo. Even though it’s only 72 degrees and early, they must be hiding in the trees down there. So we made a special stop and never saw the albino buffaloes. But we were glad we stopped because we enjoyed the area. We got on the road and watched as we passed by on the highway and I could see one little white dot way down in the field. Well, maybe next time?
We have not had good phone service out here so instead of trying to call the RV dealer, we stopped in. Boy, did he make our day! He had the part we needed and other things we had been looking for at a less expensive price than Camping World. We hit the jackpot!
This leg of the trip we noticed so many lakes on the ranches. This whole southeastern drive of ND seems so much more lush than the west. There are a lot more sunflower fields too. We picked up a flyer about the major crops and livestock of ND. 90% of ND is farms and ranches. There are over 30,00 family farms and ranches with an average of 1,300 acres each. They grow wheat, soybeans, barley, sunflower, canola and corn. Agricultural production and manufacturing is the largest industry here.
We stopped at the Visitor’s Center at the SD border. We are taking Hwy 29 south. Bob, the volunteer there, was such a big help. I had no idea we’d have the time to see the things in East SD, but. I had them listed in case we went this way. So Bob helped me find the info I needed with addresses for the GPS. He also pointed out some wonderful places off RT. 29 we should stop and see. It’s great to hear from a local and he sure was knowledgeable. .
So our first stop was Sisseton. There is a 75 ft. tower there that you can see the 3 states from—ND, SD & MN. We learned about the man it was named after, Joseph Nicollet, who was the French mapmaker of the area in 1838. He was the first to give maps such dimension and detail and show the topography. He was an astronomer from France and came here and fell in love with the prairies. There is an 800 ft. hill near the tower that is the continental divide here. All the water on this side flows east and on the other flows west. I expected a mountain, but that does make sense with the flat prairie lands.
Again today we saw so many farmers in the fields cutting, bailing and moving bales of hay. This morning the sky was blue, but we couldn’t understand the haze. It was dust. There is field after field for miles with 3 or 4 large combines and cutters out there working all at once and the dust flew. It would blow across the highway like a dust storm and many of the crossroads we saw today had large trucks barreling down them creating even more dust because they were on dirt roads to the ranches.
We pulled into Terry Redlin’s Art Museum in Watertown at 4:30 pm knowing that they were closing at 5 pm. I had called ahead and Bonnie said to stop for the special events list for tomorrow. They are having a huge open house with vendors, music, fireworks, etc. The museum is usually free anyway, but for once we were right on time for the fun. The last few places that have had special events, we’ve been too early or too late. So we are down the hill at the Walmart getting the connectors Karl needs to put in the water pump and will stay here tonight so we can go back to the museum in the morning.
Golly that man is wonderful! It only took him about 20 min. to put that pump in and we are back in business. So glad we are here. God is so good. We’ve been in places lately where we’ve been told to get gas now for the vehicles because there are no services for 200 miles. Karl went out to turn off the car while we are parked all night so as to not drain the battery and something on the car was humming. He said it was the brake pump and tried to start the car and the battery was dead. Walmart’s auto section just closed 5 minutes ago, of course. One of the guys leaving for the evening saw the car hood up and stopped to check on us. He came out with the battery tester and told us the battery was dead. We’ve noticed it not starting right up like it should lately so it must have been going. Well, thank you Lord that it wasn’t in the middle of no where or caught us off guard without the RV. Thank you for watching over us.
Got dinner and the dishes done and finally have time to catch up on the trip journal!