A neighbor about 3 RV's down the street recommended a tour of a little known North Dakota state historic site. It's not far from the base, about 45 miles south west near the town of Cooperstown, ND. The town is on maps but the site was not indicated in red as most are on any of our maps. So you just have to know it's 4 miles north of Cooperstown on Hwy 45. . It is a restored Minuteman Missile launch Control Facility. State historical guide personnel give 1 1/2 hour tours of this fascinating bit of Cold War history. We determined that we'd drive on down to it and see it for ourselves. For $10 each these tours are absolutely fabulous, if you are old enough to have lived through the Cold War or young enough to have heard about it, "this is a must do." The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown served an important role as part of the United States' strategy of nuclear detente during Cold War years. The confrontation between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) put our military on continuous alert. The U.S. Air Force started deploying solid-fuel Minuteman Missiles near bases in Montana, Missouri, Wyoming and the Dakotas in the 1960s.
This site preserves and interprets the story of the missile system as well as the people working in and living around the missile sites. Visitors to "Oscar-Zero" are given a guided tour of all topside facilities and learn how the facility managers, security forces, cooks and maintenance teams lived their daily lives in this facility. The tour ended in the underground Launch Control Center which housed a two-person crew of officers. To get to the R.R. Minuteman Missile site find Cooperstown, ND southwest of Grand Forks about 50 miles on Hwy 45, it's about 4 miles north of town. When you're done with Oscar-Zero be sure to take the short drive east of Cooperstown on Hwy 200 about 2 miles to find an actual decommissioned missile site for your touring pleasure, November-33. You'll see the massive blast door which once protected a missile, an imposing security fence the electronic security system and more. This top-side of the launch facility appears just as it did.
Also, nearby is another cool thing to see. It may not be as spectacular of an event as that what you've just read but, it is significant in the way of engineering and entertainment ! ! ! Huh? You say? It's only the tallestTV broadcasting mast in the world and the tallest structure in North America. You'll find it on most any travel map near the town of Blanchard. Yes, that's right a very big tower broadcasting for the FARGO station KVLY, channel 11. The picture you'll see was taken from about 2 miles away. We started seeing this tower from about 6 miles away and thought we were close to it. Mind you this thing is almost a 1/2 mile tall ! When you get there it's almost anticlimactic because there's no tablet or talking board near it, just park and take the picture.... The area taken up by the mounting, and all the guy wires is 160 acres, it's broadcast area is about 9,700 square miles !
Another thing we did on the way home for the day was stop by in the town of Hatton to see the Carl Ben Eielson arch. On the north side of town at the cemetery is the arch. C.B. Eielson is the fella, for which, the Alaskan, Eielson Air Force Base is named.
The next day, we drove into Grand Forks to see the downtown area. We found the famous "Greenway" created by the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1997 flood. We ate pizza at the Rhombus Pizza and had it on the rooftop seating area, nice....