Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good morning North Dakota

This is the view I had at sunrise on Sunday, looked out at the badlands of Painted Canyon in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. After many years of being stuck at 48 states visited, now only Hawaii remains. And a fine time in North Dakota it was. I visited friends from Ketchikan, the Van Walden family, who bought an old homestead in Bismarck and refurbished it. The place sits on a beautiful, wooded ten acres near the mighty Missouri River. They did an incredible job on the house, while living in the garage all winter(this is North Dakota, remember), homeschooling the three kids, while Erik worked full time with the Forest Service. A modern frontier family. Their life seems idyllic, but they reminded me I visited in early September, the rest of the year is apparently bitter cold or hot and swarming with insects. This plus a dearth of PLU's may entice them to sell the homestead and move on.
After a great breakfast, all six of us loaded in the Fried Piper and cruised Bismarck, visiting a street fair, the Dakota zoo, and going on a successful family grease hunt through the town's alleys.

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