Thursday, August 9, 2001

Hello from Minot, North Dakota

Start time:  0745

Start odometer: 6355

Weather: Cloudless sky to start, with clouds rolling in throughout the day.  But still a beautiful day!

I had a very nice day driving through North Dakota, and find myself in another Super 8, this time in Minot (pronounced like "Why Not".)  It was a pretty day, with a variety of scenery to keep my interest.

I began this morning driving under a clear blue sky, and passing many sunflower fields.  The yellow against the blue sky was spectacular.

I drove in a northwesterly route, and after a couple of hours, I reached my first objective.  After a vehicle safety inspection by North Dakota State Police, who were stopping all cars on the road, I entered the International Peace Gardens.  This area is located on a large piece of land donated by the U. S. and Canada in 1933, and developed under the representation of the peaceful relationship between Canada and the United States.  I was fortunate to meet Brad, a summer worker at the gardens, who gave an excellent tour of the grounds.  It is an incredibly beautiful place, with many lovely plants, trees, shrubs, statues, fountains, and other items to enhance the experience.  Please see the link for more information on the history and ideals of the project.

Following my visit to the gardens, I headed south, followed by a short detour to the west.  Route 49 is labeled a scenic highway, so I drove on it for a few miles.  It provided a very different view of North Dakota, with many rolling hills, lakes, and forests.  There were many picturesque scenes along the road.  I continued my journey with a stop in Bottineau to take a picture of a very tall turtle on a snowmobile.  A large part of this area of North Dakota is known as Turtle Mountain, since it is a hill approximately 600 feet higher than the surrounding area and oval in shape.  There are many references to turtles in this region, including the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.

My final "tourist" stop for the day was in Rugby, N. D.  This is the location of the geographical center of North America!  There is a monument at the site, and pictures will be added soon.  While I was at the monument, I was fortunate to meet a very nice couple that happened to be on the tour I took at the Peace Gardens.  Don and Ruth had sold their house last year and bought a camper, and have been traveling quit a bit since.  They are from Ames, Iowa, and are also headed west towards Washington.  I hope to meet up with them again as I also head that way.

Click on picture for larger image, hit back button to return to this page.

A large field of Sunflowers!

Looking along the main corridor of the Peace Gardens.

The corridor behind me is along the international border between the United States and Canada.


This is Brad showing us certain plants in the garden.

There were many pretty scenes throughout the park.

I asked Brad to pose for a picture.  The Peace Towers stand behind him.

This is a bell tower, as explained in the next picture.  This part of the park is in Manitoba.

Information about the previous picture.

Looking up at the Peace Towers.

This is the Peace Chapel, just west of the Peace Towers.

A view of the Peace Towers from the chapel.

Lake Udall, looking south from the main corridor of the gardens.

Looking west towards the towers.

A small creek was built through the central area of the park.

More varieties of flowers than I will ever know...

...With very colorful arrangements.

This picture and the next were as a result of me testing my close-up lenses.

An interesting leaf up close.

The view after my return to the formal garden located near the Interpretive Center.

The Interpretive Center is the building beyond the gardens and water fountain.

Another attempt to use my close-up lens attachments.

A purple heart.

A clock made from flowers!

This panel describes the floral clock.

This cairn was located on the border.

This is the plaque placed on the cairn in the previous picture.

This explains the cairn monument history.

As I departed the gardens, I took one more snapshot, showing the entrance to the park.  I had never heard of this place before, but was very glad to have experienced it.  I hope I am able to return again soon!

The very tall turtle of Bottineau!

This marks the geographical center of North America.  Well actually, it was moved from its original position due to highway construction.  The center is a few hundred yards away, under a frontage road!  But by visiting it, I got to meet Don and Ruth again!

This sign explained the marker in the previous picture.

MOT...The Minot airport.



Tomorrow I head towards western North Dakota, and a visit to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park  Thanks for visiting, and I hope to hear from you soon...


Routes traveled today: North Dakota 17 - US 281 - ND 49 - ND 52 - ND 5 - ND 66 - ND 3 - US 2 - US 85

Hotel: Super 8 -

Gas: $1.449  (Grafton, ND)


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Copyright 2001 Igor N. Nikishin

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