Monday, August 30, 2010

Bits of my Road Trip - BONANZAVILLE!

This is especially for Heidi Jo. I've sensed, in my spirit, that Heidi Jo doesn't think there is ALL THAT MUCH TO DO in North Dakota - she was NOT impressed with Salem Sue...

So, Heidi Jo, I am pulling out ALL THE STOPS with this one. I believe West Fargo is a destination that will be put on your Bucket List before long.

I visited my aunt, uncle and cousins in Fargo. And went out to the farm with my aunt. That will be another post.

On our way back into town, I saw this old fashioned looking place, and being the nerd interested person that I am, I asked my aunt about it, and she told me it was called Bonanzaville, and then she very obligingly (as only aunts and uncles really do), stopped so I could look through the fence, and she pointed different places out.

So, here's the deal: North Dakota has acquired these original old buildings from all over the state, and put them in one place. It's set up like a little town, and they tell you all about the buildings - where they're from, when they were built, etc.

But, really, let me just SHOW you how amazing this little place is. Because, of COURSE, the next day as I was heading out of town, I drove right by, and, well things being as they are, I had to stop. And go in.

Fargo's First House: Built in 1869.

Also served as a jail, hotel and home to the Martin Hector family.

Wheatland Town Hall and Jail: Built in 1905 in Wheatland Township, ND.

This is where my dad's parents would go and vote. Little jail time, little voting... and supposedly my dad's high school class pictures are in here, also. It was closed for renovations, so I could only look through the window.

Train Depot

The person in charge lived here. I think that's funny and cool.

They meant business here in North Dakota. DON'T MESS AROUND.

Old phones - yeah, just thought they were cool.

If you were a telephone operator back then, would you have listened in on the phone conversations?

Thanks for touring Bonanzaville with me. Well, Heidi Jo?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Photos of Montana

This was on the edge of the first lake we stopped at on our drive through Glacier. Reminded me of Abraham and his journey. (Although, I'm not thinking Abraham actually encountered a lot of WATER on his journey...)

Random Photos of Montana

This was on the edge of the first lake we stopped at on our drive through Glacier. Reminded me of Abraham and his journey. (Although, I'm not thinking Abraham actually encountered a lot of WATER on his journey...humor me...)

They take the Indian thing really seriously here, in Montana? Really have no other explanation. But they do sell coffee here. And I WASN'T inspired to stop for some.

I did actually almost lay on the road for this angle. Thank you.

The snow covered the path. I wasn't breaking any laws by "walking on the glacier" - I just did what I had to do. (And handed my camera to someone to pose for a photo- duh!)

Simply not sure.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bits of my Weekend Vol 3

My plan this weekend was to fill my car with gas and find a nice mechanic to replace my headlight bulb. I was told that if I flipped my hair, batted my eyes and smiled, I should have no problem.

This is what I saw when I turned my car over at 6:30 am when I was going to go running. There is no picture for complete silence, right?

After the run, I jiggled my battery cables, and more lights came on, accompanied by a half-hearted whine. (the car, not me...yet...)

So, my car is in the garage and will NOT go into neutral. Thinking I may have to go BUY a battery and replace it myself, I tried to take the cables off the battery…

I have tools, see?

I tried several of these tools. I couldn’t do it.

I finally decided to call the Honda Service center, and they told me to remove this little plastic piece, and stick my key in to manually move the gear into neutral.

Not THAT little piece of plastic...

THIS little piece of plastic...

I then proceeded to push my car out of the garage and onto the driveway. Which has a slight incline… and I was pushing from the front. So, I PULLED the car to slow it down, and then ran to the door and hopped in and slammed the brakes on and put it into park.

Fortunately I had these.

I called a bunch of people and knocked on four neighbor’s doors, and finally got a response from sweet Lauren – who came to save the day!

Ahhh… don’t they look cute? Nose to nose and all?

We hooked them up.

please oh please oh please


Off to Sams!

That's enough of a day, don't you think?
Well, I pulled up to Sams, not knowing if I should turn my car off or not, because I wasn’t sure it would start again. But, I kinda figured they could handle it. But, see they were out of my kind of battery.
So the car wouldn’t start. A nice man called Justin brought out the jump box. It didn’t start my battery. He brought out the bigger jump box. It didn’t start my battery. He brought his OWN CAR up to my car. It didn’t... He brought out a new battery and unhooked my battery, put this one in, got my car started, and put my bum battery back in, and I was duly warned NOT to stop my car. (A side note - he didn't seem to have ANY trouble getting those nuts off my battery cables - I think he did it with his pinky finger)

I wanted to take a picture of Justin, but I didn’t know if it was appropriate, given the heat and exhaustion. And he tried to change my headlight light bulb, but he couldn’t get the clip out…
So, I got to the other Sam’s and knew I couldn’t turn my car off. But the automotive department check-in isn’t by the garage bays, and the bays were all closed AND I wasn’t tall enough to see in the little windows. So, I kept jumping in front of the windows until one of the guys saw me... (yeah, I'm sure you don't even need a picture to imagine this...)
He told me to keep the car running, and that they would keep an eye on it. I asked him if there were any way he could change out my headlight, and he said to let the people at the check-in know. I figured they would be women, and THAT is not who I thought would be moved by the hair flip, smile and batting of the eyes…
But when my battery was changed, and I got back to the check-in, the same guy came in and told me that he HAD changed my light bulb! Yeay! And my hair was even in a pony tail.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

North Dakota

Well, there are MANY posts I could do about North Dakota, and others WILL be forthcoming.

This one, however, I thought should get first status. This is a lovely little stop off between Fargo and Bismarck... when you just need to stretch your legs...

or look at the scenery....

Traveling alone can sometimes be tricky. What with the wind.

taking your own pictures to prove you were actually there, visiting Salem Sue...

Hard to get yourself AND the object of desire (And Sue is very desirable, is she not.. just LOOK at her...)

You like that straight under shot? I've never milked a cow, so I'm just assuming that it's all anatomically correct...

For those who are wondering whether the trip to see Salem Sue is worth it, let me entice you with the FACTS...
Statue Stats:
Location: New Salem, North Dakota (I-94 exit 127)
Height: 38 feet
Length: 50 feet
Weight: 12,000 lbs.
Construction Materials: fiberglass
Special Designation: World's Largest Holstein Cow
Name: Salem Sue
Year Built: 1974
Admission: Free (donations welcomed)

So now, all my Dakota friends... have YOU been to see Salem Sue?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Glacier National Park

Wow! It is SO beautiful here. I know, dumb thing to say... but seriously. Every view was more gorgeous than the next.

I drove from Fargo to a small town in Montana called Lewistown (not named after Lewis from Lewis and Clark though it would've been a WAY COOLER story - of course, I asked). I found a really charming hotel, built in 1909 as a boarding house for the school across the street. This guy bought it and has restored it, and it was great. The nicest hotel I stayed in on the whole trip.

Then, I headed to Great Falls, MT...not a lot going on there. Not a lot going on in most of Montana, I don't really think. It's all about the scenery.

This was a mustard field we passed... I guess you can probably TELL that, huh? But isn't it pretty? And it's not even the PARK!

So, I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.

Gotta love a pretty waterfall, huh? Too many to even count.

Yes - real live MOUNTAIN GOAT - and that is not with a zoom... walked right by our car as we were waiting for traffic. I know, they're not actually scary, but they are pretty cool to look at.

I was having a really good time...

We stayed in a lodge in the Park - it reminded me of how families holiday-ed in the 50's - just old-fashioned-ish. Our room had two twin beds - and it connected to a room next door that had a king. And a balcony - so we were apparently in the Kid's room. Hence, my feeling like it was something out of the 50's.

And this is the view from the deck, where we sat all bundled up as it got cool and more and more beautiful.

Some of the pretty wildflowers.