Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 26 Summer 2012 Road Trip

We were awake early this morning because we have a long driving day ahead of us and a few things we want to stop and see along the way.

Our first stop of the day is in Boissevain MB to see Tommy the Giant Turtle.  A roadside attraction that stands 22 ft tall.

2337 Manitoba Hwy 10 South Boissevain - Tommy the Giant Turtle 2340 Manitoba Hwy 10 South Boissevain - Tommy the Giant Turtle

Shortly afterwards we are at the border and have our passports ready for the US Customs agent.  We cleared through with no fuss, no muss, no bother.

2346 Manitoba Hwy 10 South - Manitoba & North Dakota border 2347 Manitoba Hwy 10 South - Manitoba & North Dakota border 2348 Manitoba Hwy 10 South - Manitoba & North Dakota border

Our first stop at the border is to visit the International Peace Garden.  This garden straddles the Canadian / US border.  On the North side of the garden you are in Canada, on the South side of the garden, you are in the US.

2352 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - sign 2354 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - entrance 2358 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - cairn of native stone right on border

The park plants over 150,000 flowers each year.   I won’t post each and every photo here on the blog, just a few, for the rest, you can find them on our FLICKR site.

2363 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden 2382 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - Canadian & American flags 2420 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden

There are many ponds and fountains throughout the property.

2373 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - sunken garden pool & fountain 2419 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - sunken garden pool & fountain 2470 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden

The Bell Tower is a prominent feature of the garden.

2391 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - Bell Tower 2392 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - Bell Tower

At the very West end of the park and straddling the border are the Peace Towers.

2397 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - Peace Tower 2399 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - Peace Tower & in behind the Peace Chapel

There is a small memorial to the attack of September 11 2001 with actual steel girders from the fallen towers.

2403 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - 911 Memorial 2404 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - 911 Memorial 2412 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden - 911 Memorial

There is a very large collection of cactus, they warn you not to touch any of them … duh…   We didn’t see our favourite cactus though, the Saguaro.

2434 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden -  Interpretive Center and Conservatory 2438 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden -  Interpretive Center and Conservatory 2451 North Dakota USA & Manitoba Canada - International Peace Garden -  Interpretive Center and Conservatory

We wandered around the gardens for a couple of hours before leaving and entering North Dakota.

2487 North Dakota US-281 South - Welcome sign

This is our first time in North Dakota.  Hard to believe that after over 80,000 KM of road trips over the last 5 years that we have never been to North Dakota.  Unfortunately, we won’t be staying and visiting this State.  There is no where to stay.  Every single hotel in this State is booked solid for the foreseeable future, some say booked solid right through 2017.  The reason is the oil boom.  North Dakota sits on a pool of oil that the US desperately needs and as a result, all the accommodations are filled with the oil workers.  The tourism industry must be suffering because us tourists can’t get anywhere near the places we want to visit.   We will drive through North Dakota into Minnesota where we can once again find accommodations.

2488 North Dakota US-281 South 2491 North Dakota US-281 South 2495 North Dakota US-281 South

Now I can officially add North Dakota to our “Visited States Map”.   As you can see, we just need to visit Hawaii, Louisiana and the New England States to complete the map.

VisitedStatesMap ND

We did stop a few times along our route.  This stop is to visit the W’eel Turtle in Dunseith ND.  This turtle is made from over 2,000 wheel rims welded together.

2508 North Dakota Dunseith - W'eel Turtle 2516 North Dakota Dunseith - W'eel Turtle 2517 North Dakota Dunseith - W'eel Turtle

We did see a wind farm, perhaps North Dakota and the USA needs more of these and lessen their dependence on oil.

2525 North Dakota Hwy 3 South - wind turbines 2526 North Dakota Hwy 3 South - wind turbines 2527 North Dakota Hwy 3 South - wind turbines

Another roadside attraction and stop along our way is in Rugby ND.  This rock cairn marks the geographical center of North America. 

2532 North Dakota Hwy 3 South Rugby - Welcome sign 2533 North Dakota Hwy 3 South Rugby - Geographical Center of North America rock obelisk 2540 North Dakota Hwy 3 South Rugby - Geographical Center of North America rock obelisk

In Grand Forks ND we saw two more roadside attractions.   The smiley face water tower.

2569 North Dakota Grand Forks - Smiley Face Water Tower 2568 North Dakota Grand Forks - Smiley Face Water Tower

And the Kegs Drive-In.  They still use the outdoor speaker system to order your burgers.

2571 North Dakota Grand Forks - Kegs Drive-In

Leaving Grand Forks ND we cross the border into Minnesota.

2574 North Dakota US-2 East - Kennedy Bridge Minnesota border 2575 North Dakota US-2 East - Minnesota border welcome sign 2578 Minnesota US-2 East - Minnesota welcome sign

Somewhere in this cloud of dust is a harvester/combine working in the fields.

2582 Minnesota US-2 East

We passed this wide load, wind turbine blades, they are about 70 ft long.

2597 Minnesota US-2 East - truck transporting wind turbine blades 2598 Minnesota US-2 East - truck transporting wind turbine blades 2599 Minnesota US-2 East - truck transporting wind turbine blades

We got to our hotel in Bemidji Minnesota (say that 3 times fast) around 6pm.  We would have preferred a shorter day and would have liked to spend some time in North Dakota, but that is not to be on this road trip.

To see all of our photos from today, you can find them on our FLICKR site.

1 comment:

  1. Kind of scary that ND is booked solid for so long.

    ReplyDelete