Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Iron Range

Our first stop on the Iron Range was the Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, MN.  

This is an early Zamboni built on top of a jeep.

While there, Dave and I took time to practice our slap shots.

This is the scene from Mineview in the Sky.  It looks out over an inactive open pit mine.  This is one of the tallest man-made structures in Minnesota.  Actually it is a road up a gigantic pile of scrap from the mine.

Eveleth bills itself as the "Hockey Capital" and is home to the "World's Largest Hockey Stick". 

We didn't see much in Virginia, MN but this very large loon (about the size of a garbage truck) casually swimming in one of the city lakes. 

Chisholm is home to the Ironman Memorial.  It is over three stories tall and weighs over four tons.

The biggest attraction in Hibbing is the Greyhound Museum. 

Hibbing was the sight of the first bus system.  Originally it was developed to get the miners to the mines.

We sat in bus seats to see the movie.  There was a large number of buses of different eras as well as Greyhound memorabilia.

A  docent also took us to the shop buildings and all the stuff in the back of the museum.  This was a bus from Saudi Arabia with a divider near the back.  The men rode in the front and the women rode in the back of the bus.  Later it was converted to prison transportation.

We couln't pass up another mineview so went to see the largest mine in the area.  There wasn't a lot of activity because this was the day for blasting.

Since I drive the truck and tow the RV, I thought I might as well drive this big dump truck.

Dave didn't want to be out done by me, so he took his turn.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Itasca State Park

While  in Bemidji, we took a side trip to Lake Itasca to see the beginning of the Mississippi River. 


Small enough to walk across, it's hard to believe that this river eventually becomes the Mighty Mississippi as it ends in the Gulf of Mexico.

I walked across but Dave gave some wimpy excuse (he didn't want the camera to get wet).

Lake Itasca

Of course while in Bemidji we had to stop by to see Paul Bunyan and Babe.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The International Peace Garden

Dave decided he wanted to go to the International Peace Garden so we headed north from Jamestown to the middle of nowhere at the US - Canada border.  This park, dedicated in 1932, straddles the North Dakota - Manitoba border.  Inside the park, visitors can wander freely between the US and
Canadian sides.  The campground was heavily wooded, so our satellite wasn't able to pick up a signal.  Dave managed to find one channel with the antenna but still considered that "roughing it".

This is a beautiful place with lots of walking trails, lakes and fountains.  The seven Peace Poles were a gift from Japan.  On each side of the posts is the same inscription in one of 28 different languages.

This is a clock made out of flowers, and it keeps accurate time too!

This flower bed represents the Canadian flag with a red maple leaf in the center.  A similar one on the US side is planted to represent the US flag.

At the west end of the formal garden, is the Peace Tower.  It is made up of four pillars about 120 feet tall.

This is the 911 Memorial.  The large pieces of steel beams are from the World Trade Center towers.

We were reminded several times to be sure to view the special exhibit in the conservatory.  Imagine our surprise when we found out this "special exhibit" was succulents - looks just like Arizona.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

National Buffalo Museum

Next we traveled east to Jamestown, ND.  We set up the RV in a nice campsite on the Jamestown Reservoir.  All the great fishing places were somewhat wasted since we weren't fishing.  Oh well, at least we enjoyed the scenery.  We spent the afternoon at the National Buffalo Museum.  Great museum with a buffalo herd containing many normal buffaloes and three white ones.  The most famous animal was White Cloud.  The Indians consider a white buffalo sacred so when she was born about 17 years ago on a ranch in North Dakota she caused quite a stir.  A white buffalo is an albino and they are not as protected from the sun as a normal buffalo.  Unfortunately they usually spend the hottest part of the day under the trees at the river bottom so we didn't get to see White Cloud. We did see another one referred to as an "apricot" buffalo.  This one was not white, but carried the white gene.

Of course we had to see the "World's Largest Buffalo". Back in 1959, the town decided that they needed an new identity to attract tourists traveling between Fargo and Bismarck and thus Jamestown's nickname, "The Buffalo City", was born.  This large buffalo was erected by a local artist on a hilltop near the road.  It is interesting that many years later the only albino bison in the world would reside here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fort Abraham Lincoln

Today we checked out the attractions Fort Abraham Lincoln Park.  The Mandan Indians lived on this site before the fort was built in earth lodges at the On-a-Slant Village.

 Inside the lodge

This fawn came out of the woods and we thought he was going to join the tour.

Next we visited Gen. George Custer's home at Ft. Abraham Lincoln. 

He was stationed  at the fort when the 7th Cavalry was ordered to pursue the Indians and eventually ended up at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.

The blockhouses offered a good view of the Missouri River.

View from the top of the blockhouse.  We are camped in the trees by the river.

The Post Cemetery was an interesting part of the site.  Some things don't change. 
I still spend a lot of time in cemeteries.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Enchanted Highway

We left Medora today and headed east to Bismarck, ND.  Along the way we took a little side trip on the "Enchanted Highway".  When the interstate highway diverted much of the traffic away from  the town of Regent, ND, a local artist devised the idea of giant scrap metal artwork to lure travelers off the interstate and to the small town.  Stretching 32 miles south of interstate 94 to Regent are several extremely large pieces of artwork several stories tall. The road takes you through rolling hills and lots of grassland.  The only break to this rural scenery is a giant sculpture every few miles.  Check out the artwork below.  That very small figure standing in front of the grasshopper is Dave.

On the right side of this photo of a fishing scene is a field of corn about 5 feet tall.

To give you an idea of size, I am standing on the feet of one of the pheasants and there is an RV parked on the road.

The Tin Family