I recently spent some time in North Dakota and the woods of Minnesota. By the way, I never could figure out how they numbered their roads. All I can think is they start from one border, and just keep going until they get to the other border. Really, 510th Street, in the middle of nowhere?
We traveled to North Dakota for a family wedding. We spent a couple of nights in an RV park next to some sort of bean field. Soybeans are the most common type of bean grown in that area, followed by pinto beans, and table beans. I have no idea why pintos are split off into their own category from the rest of the edible beans.
It has long been my husband's dream to canoe the length of the entire Mississippi River from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, MN to the Gulf of Mexico by New Orleans. He does not want to be a through paddler (the whole river in one trip.) After the wedding we headed to Lake Itasca, and he and his nephew were able to get underway. After the first day, the plan was that I would drop husband and kayaks off at a predetermined put in spot, and follow Nephew to a predetermined take out spot, then ferry Nephew back to the put in spot. The men would then spend the day on the river, while I was free to hike, write, or generally do as I pleased. This meant making an almost 60 mile round trip to resupply groceries at one point, and a couple treks to find cell service so I could take care of some business matters.
My river rat is off! Naturally, the Mississippi starts out fairly shallow and narrow. It is very pretty, nonetheless. We were forced to take a detour on one of the trips to drop Nephew's truck off. This detour was endless, and was taking us farther away from where we needed to go. Approximately 30 miles later, we finally decided to turn around, and try a two track road that led deeper into the woods. Nephew hoped it would put us where we needed to be. We slipped and slid as the road got narrower and narrower. It would have worked, except the road was supposed to make a turn into a hay field. The gate to hay field was padlocked shut. We got turned around, and slipped and slid back out. We decided to go past the detour/road closed sign, only to find the correct road right on the other side of the barricade. Nephew dropped off his truck, I ferried him back to my husband, and they began paddling again.
I spent my days hiking and enjoying some quiet contemplation. The above photo was taken at an Indian burial ground. A beautiful little trail went around the burial mounds and connected with some other trails. This was a very peaceful place, as was the cemetery where a few of the early settlers were buried.
As all good things must, our travel time quickly came to an end. We made our way home, including getting lost on the South Dakota prairie when we took a wrong turn. Now that I am retired from teaching, I know there will be many more adventures ahead. I am definitely looking forward to them!
#NorthDakota #SouthDakota #Lakeitaska #Travel #Mississippiriver #wrongturns #Minnesota
Jennie Lawrence is the author of Soap Suds Row - The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses 1802 -1876. She also writes a regular column for African Violet Magazine, and has done freelance work. She has started to dabble in children's literature as well.