Sunday, August 16, 2015

North Dakota - East Side


Why Harvey? That is a question we heard a lot - in fact a question we hear about most of the places we stay. It is always said with a bit of disbelief and usually by local people. We try to find a location that is a central point of things to do in a 100 mile radius that we can travel to in the car. Usually, as in this case we are in the middle of nowhere for camping, which puts us in small, privately owned campgrounds. We rarely, if ever, use the amenities at the larger campgrounds because we are out exploring everyday, so the small no frill ones are perfect for us, and usually cheaper too.

On July 19th, when we pulled into The Haven Campground we found ourselves in the smallest one yet. There are only 10 sites and no frills. There is a swing-set, volleyball net, and a gazebo building and that's it. The sites are nice and big and they have beautiful stone fire pits and a trailer full of wood to use for free, so that was great.
The road into the campground - gps
couldn't find it - wonder why?
Barb and Larry, the owners, live about a mile away on their farm, which surrounds the camp, and offers beautiful views in every direction. They brought us fresh veggies one day, don't find that at a major chain campground.

We were a little wind blown at the end
On our drive in we encountered some very strong winds, which is pretty exhausting for Les. We did enjoy the beautiful scenery. Picture sun-glistened rippling water, in the form of lakes, rivers, and ponds, interspersed among the amazing array of greens, yellows and golds of the fields. The variety of colors was astounding, fields that looked ablaze with neon yellows and others that made us think of golden deserts. We had no idea that North Dakota had so much water, driving through Devil's Lake, there were times the road was a narrow strip with water on both sides.

Water level has increased
                Used to be a road here ---------------- and a farm here                  

Harvey is a very small town, with the standard church or two, bar or two, gas station and grocery store.

We did find two nice murals, and an old train on display. We loved the name of this bar.

Sully's Hill National Game Preserve

This is a 1,674-acre refuge in Devil's Lake, ND. It has a four mile auto tour that takes you past grazing land, prairie dog villages, wetlands, and forest. They have bison, elk, prairie dogs and a variety of birds. The day we drove through we saw bison, including a number of calves, a white tail deer, the prairie dogs who were so entertaining, and 100's of dragonflies, but much to Les's dismay no elk.

There is an overlook that you take a flight of stairs to, and once at the top you are rewarded with a great view of the surrounding area, including Devil's Lake. While we were coming down the many, many stairs we ran into a couple coming up, he had triple by pass surgery just 6 weeks prior and was out climbing a hundred stairs. Inspired us both.

We sat and watched the prairie dogs for the longest time. They were running all over, in and out of their burrows. Chipping and chirping the entire time at us and each other.

The buffalo were very close to the side of the road, which made it great for picture taking, which it seems the big guy wasn't to happy about. He started pawing at the ground and Nancy told Les that if he started to move he better drive away fast.

We loved how they surround the young calves. One of the calves was leaning against what we assumed was it's mother, and it was such a sweet sight.

Geographical Center of North America
Rugby, ND holds that distinction. It is a fairly good sized town, with about 2000 residents. We went there to do some grocery shopping and found ourselves at the center of North America. While driving through town we came across the Neiwoehner Bell Tower, a Roadside Oddity. It was built by Dale Neiwoehner, a local funeral home director. The tower is 30 feet tall and has 15 bells that he collected from around the world.

We found the grocery store at 2nd Ave S.W. and 2nd St S.W. not to be confused with 2nd Ave S.E. and 2nd St S.E. Which we did at first. With the all words, letters and numbers available you would think they could have come up with something else!
Not a Peter Toth Indian 
but a nice sculpture. 
Must be a mailing nightmare! 
We drove past a caboose that has been turned into a bar, thought of our son-in-law, Steve who loves trains. Safe bet that there is no craft beer served there.

Scandinavian Heritage Center in Minot ND. It is laid out on a walking path, that is handicap accessible.

Sigdal House, a 230-year-old two room log home
moved here from Sigdal, Norway
These are the things you find on the walking tour, a little something from each of the five Scandinavian Countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

A grass roof Stabbur, which is a 
pretty fancy storage house. 

A Dala Horse (Dalahast), a
famous example of Swedish folk art.

The name is a nickname derived from the word "Dalecarlian", which is the dialect spoken in the Swedish province of Dalarna, the place where these red carved horses originated in the sixteenth century.
There always has to be a windmill

A Finnish Sauna, that brought back memories for Nancy, of trips with her parents to the Upper Peninsula of MI. This is much fancier than any she has been in.
An historical house that was set up like a home would have been hundreds of years ago,
as well as a room with costumes from the different countries.
Why do mannequins always look so creepy?

There were statues thought the park. Nancy's favorites were Hans Christian Anderson, who is holding the ugly duckling and Lief Ericksson

The centerpiece of the display is the Stave Church.

The craftsmanship of these churches is amazing. All of the detail and history is pretty awe inspiring.

All the posts had faces carved into them and the last supper
was carved into the side of the altar

Doorways and the altar

Both the outside and inside are equally decorated.
The carvings around the outside of the door had so much detail on them.

They have a large information center, with a gift shop and lots of historical information along with a friendly troll that you can sit and have a chat with. We loved that they had a coffee-bean "candy" machine. The Scandinavians do love their coffee. The fact that the defibrillator is right next to it only makes it better!

Nancy loves going through places like this and finding out more about her heritage. The best part is that it is dog friendly.

International Peace Gardens

The gardens run the boarder of the U.S. and Canada, in fact the main garden and fountain is directly on the boarder. The property itself is considered international property, but the State of North Dakota and the Province of Manitoba provide equal funding to the garden with some assistance from the American and Canadian Governments.
There are no passports needed to get into the gardens, or through customs on your way out, just a photo id. You do need to go through customs when leaving, but there is no charge. The entire complex is handicap accessible.

Dedication of the Gardens took place on July 14, 1932, with 50,000 people in attendance. A cairn, built of stones gathered from North Dakota and Manitoba was the only boundary maker and is located right on the 49th parallel. Inscribed on the cairn are these words:

To God In His Glory,
we two nations
dedicate this garden
and pledge ourselves
that as long as men
shall live, we will
not take up arms
against one another.

The flag from each nation flies on either side of the cairn.

You enter the gardens at a raised walkway that is lined with peace poles in large flower pots, and the words "May Peace Prevail on Earth" inscribed on each side, in many languages.

From there you can see across the gardens to the Peace Towers. In the center of the gardens is a long creek with a fountain. A sidewalk borders both edges and the entire area is filled with amazing flower beds. They plant 150,000 flowers each year.

As you are walking up the Canadian side of the gardens you pass a bell tower that chimes every fifteen minutes. The 14 bells, that were cast in Croydon, England in 1931, were purchased by Lady Arma Sifton's sons. She was a successful business women in Manitoba, and the bells were donated to the First Methodist Church of Brandon in her memory. They chimed there for 42 years. The bells range in size from 250 to 2,000 lbs and were valued at $150,000 (CDN), in the mid '70's. when the church donated them to the Peace Gardens, they had merged with another church and could not afford to move the bell tower. The North Dakota Veterans organization raised $48,000 to help move the bells to the gardens. 

The garden walk ends at the Peace Towers, which are no longer open to the public as the cement is crumbling. There is a set of towers on the U.S. side the other on the Canadian side. The construction of the Peace Tower was put on hold during WW II, and delayed for many years after. They were built to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Gardens in 1982 and are a symbol of the strength of the two countries.

As you turn to make your way down the American side you find a quiet and peaceful place to rest and reflect. The Peace Chapel has a center fountain with benches surrounding it. The marble walls have quotes of peace and love engraved in them.

On the American side is a 9-11 Memorial. The metal cairn is made from beams taken from the wreckage of the World Trade Towers.

They have a cafeteria and gift shop in a beautiful glass building adjacent to the greenhouse. Dogs are allowed and welcome every where on the property including all the buildings.

We had our picnic dinner on the Canadian side over looking a lake and surrounded by birch trees.
As we were waiting to go through customs we could see dark clouds south of us and one of the officers came up to our car to tell us that a tornado warning was in effect for Minot. We followed the storm all the way home, with some interesting clouds along the way. We made it in just before the rains hit.

Angels guarding a cemetery 

Dunsenth - Wheel Turtle 
Once again we came across our share of Roadside Oddities, some from the website and others we stumbled upon ourselves.
Get your tickets in Dunsenth!

And the cow jumped......

Memorial to 4 chaplains, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic and Jewish.
They gave up their life jackets to drowning soldiers on the
military transport "Dorchester"  on Feb 3, 1943.
They joined hands in prayer and went down together.
They became known as the "All American Brothers". Bottineau ND

Tommy the Turtle - Bottineau, ND

We were treated to many beautiful sunsets while here.

We had a few extra days off on this trip to rest up some, but we are just not good at lazy days. We washed windows, the car, the RV, and the dog and gave her a hair cut. We laid in the sun a bit but all in all we worked more than relaxed. Nancy celebrated her birthday week while here, which is a family tradition started by her father. A gift or card/ note every day for a week, the best way to celebrate getting older.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to you.

Tips and things we have learned along the way. 
~ Laundry hack. Clothes racks have a tendency to blow over very easy in the wind (and it is very windy in the mid-west). So to stop our clothes from always laying on the ground we used bungee cords to secure the rack. Easy fix.

No comments:

Post a Comment