Bonanzaville – Life in 19th Century North Dakota

West Fargo, North Dakota.

Every community of any size has at least one attraction that locals are aware of and maybe have visited once or twice. Other than that, it’s not considered unless friends or family come to town and you are looking for places to share about your community. In my mind, Bonanzaville is just one of those locations.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – In the Neighborhood

This week, Ann-Christine asks us to feature images from our neighborhood, leaving the term with enough ambiguity for me to decide how large our neighborhood is. I’ve elected to choose items and places within 10-minutes of our home. The opening image, for example, is the depot clock in front of the former passenger depot in downtown Fargo. Continue reading

Highline Bridge – Valley City Railroad Trestle

Valley City, North Dakota.

Proud of their reputation as a City of Bridges, Valley City, North Dakota features a tour map at their information center and online here. By far, the most spectacular bridge on the tour is a railroad bridge that not only crosses the Sheyenne River but also spans the entire valley.  The bridge was completed in 1908, it’s needed due to the large changes in elevation that trains needed to transition the valley. The 3860-foot (1,180m), span gently lifts trains to the higher terrain on the western edge of Valley City. At its highest point, the bridge rises 162 feet (49 m) above the valley floor. Continue reading

The Black Viking – Fort Ransom’s Unique Roadside Attraction

Fort Ransom, North Dakota.

Just outside the small town of Fort Ransom, North Dakota is a unique hill. The town of some 75 or so residents is situated near a hill that is almost (but not quite) a perfect pyramid. Geologists believe the hill, like many others in the region, is the result of glacial action and erosion. However, it is not strewn with boulders or rocks, something unique compared to the other glacial hills throughout the region. Many locals believe the pyramid is a Native American burial pyramid about 100 feet (30 m) tall and 5000 years or greater years old. As of this writing, you can take your pick on what you believe. The link here features a video of the controversy and of the discovery of a stone with ancient markings that resemble a musical scale merged with a primitive “Morse Code.” The code has never been deciphered, so it adds to the mystery of Pyramid Hill.

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Cellpic Sunday – 11 October 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Last week’s Cellpic Sunday introduced you to the NDSU Horticultural Research Gardens on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo. I had a bit of fun “chasing” another visitor around the flower beds. This little guy would see me and duck around behind some marigolds. He was big enough, however, that I could tell which way he went by the rustling of the plant leaves. At one point, he stopped near the zinnias and picked up something to eat. Apparently, he was hungry enough that he ignored me as I took his picture.

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Painted Canyon – Scenic Views of North Dakota’s Badlands

Painted Canyon Rest Area, North Dakota.

At the edge of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in the North Dakota Badlands, I-94 carries travelers toward or away from Montana. If you are traveling this route, even only passing through, you owe yourself a stop at mile marker 32, the Painted Canyon Rest Area. From high on the scenic overlook, you will get a commanding view of the National Park that may just encourage you to delay your destination and visit the park. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 4 October 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Fargo is the home of North Dakota State University and those season-wining Bison football teams. As a land grant college, NDSU is also an agricultural research university of some repute.

On the west edge of the campus, a small collection of gardens features plants native to the climate in the upper Midwest. In early September, my wife and I stopped there for a few minutes. I came to the realization after all that Fargo does have a botanical garden, something I have always thought was missing in Fargo. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Inspiration

Medora, North Dakota.

For this week’s “Inspiration” challenge by Tina Schell, I am putting a bit of a historical twist in play. You can read Tina’s post here.

Regular readers of this humble blog know of my love for North Dakota. It was the home of my birth, and though I spent my formative years in other states, in the late 1970’s I was drawn back to the state by the opportunity of a new career. Finding a lifelong home in Fargo, I retired from that career in support of education.

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Sunflower Fields Forever – Or Was That Strawberry???

Cass County, North Dakota.

North Dakota is a small state, just over 760,000 residents estimated in 2019. Much of the land in the state is devoted to agriculture, and most people know the reputation of North Dakota winters. That fact proves the phrase, “Make hay while the sun shines.” A drive through Rural North Dakota yields many colorful fields in mid-summer. Canola fields glow in bright yellow, wheat goes from green to those “Amber waves of grain” that “America the Beautiful” reminds us. The most spectacular commodity, though, is the sunflower. Perched atop a strong stalk, a bright yellow flower mimicking the sun welcomes the day facing our nearest star, and each head turns as the day goes on, flower facing west at the end of the day… until it gets large enough that its head can no longer turn. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 20 September 2020

Fargo, North Dakota.

Last week I posted a dronie view of the Red River from Orchard Glen Park. While we were at the park to use the drone, I grabbed some cellphone pics as well. Shot on the same day, here’s a more “up close and personal” view of the lake from the shoreline. This day found the river a beautiful blue color. All of the other shots captured earlier in the season featured the usual muddy brown river. It was so calm there was nary a ripple on the surface giving a great reflection of the trees and sky. Continue reading