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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many ponds and fountains throughout the property.
The Bell Tower is a prominent feature of the garden.
At the very West end of the park and straddling the border are the Peace Towers.
There is a small memorial to the attack of September 11 2001 with actual steel girders from the fallen towers.
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.
We wandered around the gardens for a couple of hours before leaving and entering North Dakota.
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.
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.
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.
We did see a wind farm, perhaps North Dakota and the USA needs more of these and lessen their dependence on oil.
Another roadside attraction and stop along our way is in Rugby ND. This rock cairn marks the geographical center of North America.
In Grand Forks ND we saw two more roadside attractions. The smiley face water tower.
And the Kegs Drive-In. They still use the outdoor speaker system to order your burgers.
Leaving Grand Forks ND we cross the border into Minnesota.
Somewhere in this cloud of dust is a harvester/combine working in the fields.
We passed this wide load, wind turbine blades, they are about 70 ft long.
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.
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