Saturday, August 28, 2021

Goodbye North Dakota

Location: Beaver Creek Recreation Area (Corp of Engineers Campground) near Linton, North Dakota

This campground is on the banks of Lake Oahe which was created by daming the Missouri River at Pierre, South Dakota. I’ll be there tomorrow to check it out. I have no cell signal, internet connection or over-the-air TV stations at this campground. I’m glad I’m only here for two days. I should have stocked up on DVD’s in preparation for a place like this. I have some books, somewhere, but don’t feel like unpacking for just two days.

Hay fields are everywhere up here. I've never seen so many. It is like corn in Iowa and Kansas, except it's hay. I didn't find a farmer to find out if it is for their own use or if they export it to other states. 

Nice drive-thru campsite. That is Lake Oahe in the background. As I was walking around the campground, I waved at a guy sitting by his RV. He hollered back, "Do I know you or are you just being strangely nice?" I stopped and we talked for about 30 minutes. He lived about 15 miles away and comes to the campground often. Awww, the life in a campground. :)

Although this is an isolated location with the nearest city about 15 miles away, there is a great cafĂ© about a mile from the campground. I read the reviews online before getting here and saw they served a Reuben sandwich. Well, you know me, I have to try it. It was excellent and will be placed in the top five of Reubens from around the country. This one, however, will need an asterisk beside it. Unlike other Reubens that have sliced corned beef and sauerkraut, this one had the corned beef and kraut chopped up and combined with each other. It was different, but very tasty. Whenever I attempt to make a Rueben in the future, I’ll try this method. By the way, a celebrity was at the cafe. I'm not sure if she worked there or owned the place. Anyway, her claim to fame which is really neat, is that she road a companion pony at the Kentucky Derby. They are next to the racehorse and are there to keep them calm before the race. She knew of and had been to several horse tracks in Louisiana. Pretty neat the people you meet.  

This will be the last campground I’ll be staying at in North Dakota and I doubt that I’ll be back in the state. It is a very sparsely populated state. Once you leave the big cities, homes are scattered randomly along the highways. I have seen this in other states as well, but the difference here is the distance between homes. It is much greater here. I traveled about 18 miles on a gravel road yesterday and there were maybe three or four houses within that distance. Except for school and church, the children around here must lead a very isolated life. This highlights the difference in childhood environments at different places around the country. Imagine a child moving from the North Dakota countryside to a population center like Chicago or New York City and also in reverse. It could have harmful effects on the child.

This was the beginning of the long gravel road. This is looking to the west and Lake Oahe in the background. The road department did a good job of grading the road and there were only a few isolated locations of washboarding. They could have chosen a better gravel though. This one was all the same size and spherical. In places it was like driving on ice.

Wouldn't you know it,,,, a school bus. The driver was flying too. I came to a complete stop to let them come by.

One of the few farmhouses along the long stretch of gravel road. By the way, the road didn't have a name. It was 90th Street. About a mile south was 91st street, etc. 

Intersecting roads are Avenues,,,usually with a letter. Such as Ave B

There is another one of those flat top hills. I think they are following me. They are everywhere. The aliens must have gotten a lot of stuff from the Dakotas.

I took the gravel road to see where Lawrence Welk was born and raised. You know Lawrence Welk,,,, “a one a and a two a”. I never was a fan of Welk but back in the day if your parents watched it, you watched it. The man did well for himself coming from such humble beginnings. I like seeing places like this and try to imagine a child running around doing chores and playing. Then as an adult being on TV leading an orchestra. Wow.

Homeplace of Lawrence Welk

The Weld homestead. Can you imagine a young Lawrence running around this place back around 1910.

This part of the state is suffering from a drought that's going on one year. This part of the lake is down about 25 to 30 feet. There are farmers that are concerned about their crops catching fire like a wildfire if it doesn't break soon.

Looking out over the lake from the boat ramp area.

The water is 25 to 30 feet low. It is normally up to those rocks below that RV on the right. The dock on the boat ramp is high and dry.

The thing I’ll remember most about North Dakota is the endless miles and miles of hay fields.

Ya’ll take care of each other. I’ll Cya down the road.


  1. Thanks for the pictures. That is a lot like parts of south eastern Washington state.

    1. I agree Barney,,,, parts of it does look like it

  2. I have a free program called "Handbrake", it puts a dvd on my hard drive as an .m4v file, I can watch it later on my laptop.

    When I lived in Minnesota my son had a little league tournament in North Dakota (Grand Forks was the "big city" when we wanted to go shopping, a couple hour drive).
    I'm driving across the plains and driving, nothing visible in front of me, then we come to a coulee. Down in this good sized canyon that you couldn't see until you got there is a river, trees and a town. Kinda neat!

    1. I forgot who said it,,,, but it was something like,,,,, you can hide an Army in some of the valleys on the plains.

  3. I was born and raised in ND. Larry Welk sold corn to my parents before he moved to California. The Hazelton, Linton, and Strasburg area is my family roots. The best breakfast sausage is in Linton, and when I was almost 8, we laid my daddy to rest in Hazelton. I was just back there the 6th through the 12th, and I think I will likely have one more trip to the old home state to bring my mother's belongings down to AZ. As a child back in the day, we had a lot to do, and although I grew up basically an only child, it was a time where we never met a stranger like we often do today. I miss the 60's and 70's but this last trip, did not feel like "home". It all has changed so much, except for the Linton area, that whole area is just as it was when I left it 44 years ago. SD has some really nice things to see and experience too. Enjoy yourself, and dodge the tornados.

  4. Hello MCA. I hope my post sparked some good memories for you. I was just quickly passing through that area but it sure felt isolated. It may have just been me though. Be safe on your next trip to ND, I have a feeling it will be an emotional one for you.