August 29 Visiting Killdeer

The rest of the photos for this day of travel are here.

FortPeck_to_Dickinson (107) Yesterday the skies were gorgeous, but after a wild night of lightning, thunder, and rainstorms, the morning dawned gray and quiet.  I had planned to do laundry early, but the cool rain made sleeping perfect, and when I rose, it was daylight.  Camp on the Heart advertises free Wi-Fi, but it is only available very close to the office.  I packed up the dirty clothes and the computer and headed for the laundry room.  There the Wi-Fi worked reasonably well and I finally uploaded our photos to Picasa and managed to write a bit more about our travels.  Even though we felt crowded last night, today most everyone left and we had the entire row to ourselves.  Sunday calls for a good breakfast, so Mo made bacon and I poached eggs while we made good use of the excellent cable service to watch some of Mo’s favorite Sunday news programs.

Kildeer_Dickinson Chores completed, we headed north to Killdeer a little before noon, although we still aren’t sure if this place is in Mountain Time or Central Time because my phone keeps switching.  The trip north was uneventful and a bit dreary with the low gray skies.  Once in Killdeer, Mo drove around searching for old home sites and remembering some of the family stories associated with her birthplace.  Mo was born in Killdeer, but her family left when she was three or so and moved to Oregon.  She came back often later in life because her parents returned to their roots here in Killdeer after they retired.  I looked around the very small quiet town, imagined the winters of North Dakota, and wondered aloud just why they felt they wanted to return.  Did they still have family here? Did they miss these wide open skies and low rolling landscapes? 

Kildeer_Dickinson (5) Mo pointed out the building that once housed her uncle’s sweet shop, and the home where her father’s parents lived when he met her mother.  We had no clue how to find the Oakdale Cemetery, with no address Garmin Girl was useless, and of course the phone had No Service.  Being Sunday, everything was closed up tight, even the police station.  I finally found a mechanic working in his shop on a back street and hopped out to ask him where the cemetery was located.  In true North Dakota fashion, he said, “Well, it’s about 4 miles north on 22.  I think there is a sign there, but I’m not sure.  Let’s see…it’s past the Robert’s place, I think. Been there a lot, but can’t remember how I get there.  You turn west, and go a ways.”  I wish I could put that accent in writing because it was classic.  Solid and true high north country man. 

Kildeer_Dickinson (8) We traveled north, and yes, there was a sign, so we went “a ways” and actually found the old cemetery.  Mo thinks there was a small community there at one time, but no more.  We tramped through the grass and weeds until we found her grandparents and their baby son, the Ross family, a common name in “these parts’”.  By the time we drove back south through Killdeer it was after 3, or 2, depending on which time zone we accepted.  The line goes through here somewhere, but by tomorrow we will definitely be in Central Time on our way to Minot.

On the way home we stopped in at the big WalMart Supercenter to pick up some milk, some bolts, and some wine.  I couldn’t find wine anywhere, and when I asked, I was met with appalled stares and aghast comments.  It was as if I were asking for drugs!  People informed me quite vehemently that of course they didn’t have wine or beer in the store, you had to buy it at the liquor store!  Well, I know it’s not California, but at least in most states one can usually buy a bottle of wine somewhere other than a liquor store. For supper we opened the one good bottle of Pinot Noir we brought with us.  We can’t take wine into Canada anyway, and what better time than a stormy evening in Dickinson to have some very good Pinot Noir!

Kildeer_Dickinson (15) Back in camp, Mo put the Montana and North Dakota state decals on our map and we commiserated about how big the South Dakota hole looked.  Although South Dakota is just 70 miles from here, we decided that unhooking the MoHo and driving it for several hours just to bag a state was dumb.  We knew we couldn’t drive the baby car there and legally claim the state, and I think that maybe just driving through the state doesn’t count either, so we decided instead to hang home, play with the animals, have a nice dinner and RELAX!  ahhhh.

After supper I again went down to the laundry room to hang out with the internet and post photos, write a bit, and catch up with my emails to family and comments to friends. My truck driving daughter told me about Points Of Interest that I can locate for my Garmin that will include all the things I am missing like campgrounds, rest areas, and cemeteries.  She also said that this part of the country is well known for sporadic to almost non-existent internet and wireless access.  So it isn’t just my ATT iPhone, but her Verizon didn’t work here either.  Good to know. The skies cleared up in the afternoon, but by evening the clouds were forming again, and now as I write late at night, it is storming.  I love hearing the thunder, watching the lightning and listening to the wind.

The plan tomorrow is to travel north to Devil’s Lake and Graham Island State Park by way of Minot, where I hope to meet some rv’ing friends for a short hello.  Looking forward to another State Park, which much of the time seems to fit our style of traveling.  I love the openness, the trails, and the dark nights of these parks.  I know state parks differ from state to state so it will be interesting to see how North Dakota does in this regard.

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

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