Bottineau, North Dakota is at the base of the Turtle Mountains. They rise gently from the plains of 1700 feet to a staggering 2366 feet. Typical North Dakota humor, there are signs along the road signifying each 100 foot elevation change. It takes about 4 miles to reach the summit.
Its a beautiful clear and cool morning as I head into "The Mountains" and onto the International Peace Garden at the border of Canada and the United States.
I am the only one here. The Peace Garden was erected and the land donated by our governments. It is symmetrical on both sides with the border running down the middle. On the United States side, about half way, there is a pile of steel from the World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, attack. This steel will be erected into a monument and tribute by a joint effort of North Dakota State University and the University of Manitoba engineering schools.
Standing alone, I have a moment of silence and remembrance.
There has been major construction everywhere, but the best humor was last night in Minot when the ad on the radio claims people think there are four season, but in North Dakota there are only 2, winter and construction. I laughed.
Entering Devils Lake, ND, the main drag is torn up. I notice all the classic cars on the road and wonder what's up? Its the Devils Run Classic car show. There are bikes, trucks and cars everywhere. I wish there was time to check it out, but I gotta keep going. June 26 is fast approaching and I have 27 states left.
Grand Forks, North Dakota also has an Air Base. After what happened last night in Minot, I figure I will ask first this time. and there is no problem taking pictures.
I stop in Fargo, North Dakota and see good friends and college buddies, Paul and Mary. Mary's brother Jim is visiting from Germany, where he is stationed. We all went to NDSU together. We all go over to NDSU where Paul and I were swimmers. They have erected a fountain next to the entrance to the new ball park in honor of the swim team that no longer exists.
I bring Paul and Mary's daughter Katie to her soccer game in the ZO6. "I just want to arrive in style!" she tells me.
Crossing the Red River of the North, I am in Moorhead, Minnesota, my home town and state #24.
I stop by my old high school. It was only a couple of years old when I entered it. I think for a moment, its been 33 years since I've been here!
Onward to Perham, Minnesota and Little Pine Lake. My Mom has planned a dinner for this evening and I am looking forward to the smell and sounds of the lake where I grew up.