North to Alaska Spring and Summer 2011 travel blog

Happy Birthday to our daughter, Kris! She is 38 today and her mother (my DW) can't believe her youngest is that old. Woke to a drizzle this morning but by the time we had driven an hour it started to break and by noon we were in sunshine. We left Minnesota and headed into North Dakota. Turned north toward Winnipeg and the Red River flooding became obvious immediately. The river in Fargo was well over the banks and we noticed that a campsite we had stayed on in 2008 when we passed through was 5-6 feet under water. North of town the highway-an interstate-looked like a causeway. Water on both sides as far as you could see and water in the median. The height of the water was very close to the road level and a one point they closed the northbound highway and detoured us over to the southbound lane so that it was a single lane both ways. The water was lapping at the northbound lane and it was obvious that at one point the water had been over the road and they were now doing clean up and repair work. This continued for about 5 miles. And the water on both sides for another 10 miles. Eventually you couldn’t see any water in the fields but the were very wet. The reason for the flooding is that the land is very, very flat and 2-3 feet of flooding would cover a huge area. We saw farm houses with their barns that were islands.

Arrived in Grand Forks home of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. They are still extremely upset about losing in the semi-finals of the NCAA Hockey Tournament (The Frozen Four) as we found out at the deli counter in Walmart when I asked a question. We checked out the downtown in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks and even though the river was well over the banks it didn't come anywhere near the 1997 levels when the water was another 10-15 feet higher and flooded the whole downtown and they had to evacuate 50 000 people. There is a monument that shows the height of the water right beside the river and today only a small portion was under water. We pulled into camp Walmart. Set up in a quiet area of the parking lot. Grocery shopped, had dinner, Skyped Kris, watched some TV and in bed by 10. Tomorrow we are off to Winnipeg to meet my cousin Lisa.

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