Friday, June 22, 2012

Canadian Border


        Light and warmth from the sun prompted us out of our sleeping bags.

        "I don't know about you guys, but I'm craving a regular breakfast," Christopher said. "Interested?"

        "Sure, Dr. Bobo said.

        "I can go either way," I said.

        "Eat," Primate said.

        "How far can we get today," I asked Dr. Bobo.

        "Well, lets's see," Dr. Bobo paused, "we may be able to make it to the Minnesota low point, or high point, they're close together.

        "Yea, there today," Primate said.

        That's settled then, I thought.

        Dr. Bobo headed us left out of the Valley City Tourist Park, as all of us watched for a suitable cafe.

        Our stomachs supplied with fuel, we headed towards Fargo, where we turned left towards Canada. The green, flat prairie of North Dakota stretched out before us.

        After being quizzed by a Customs agent, and a Border Patrol agent, we tramped through waist high grass, perhaps wandering across the Canadian border by several feet until we reached the muddy bank of the Red River where Dr. Bobo searched for the exact low point of North Dakota. After one false reading we moved along until his GPS receiver indicated we were at the correct spot. The slippery and steep bank made it difficult to touch the water, but we succeeded without falling in.

Primate Avoids Falling Into The River.
      Primate drove us south to Grand Forks where we turned left and headed east across Minnesota. Dr. Bobo made sandwiches. The landscape became flat, if not flatter than flat. Vista of green grass opened before us.

        Dr. Bobo examined the map. "Can you go another 282 miles?" he asked Primate.

        "Yea. If can't, I ask you."

        Foston and Bagley came and went.

        A large white anvil cloud developed on our left. Are we in for more rain we wondered?

        "I'm going to take off my shoes," Dr. Bobo said as we smelled a skunk.

        "Is that you?" I kidded Dr. Bobo.

        "God, I hope not," he chuckled.

        The road turned. We wondered if we would ever pass the anvil cloud. Shevlin, Solway and Bemidji came and went. Christopher slept. The grassy flatland gave way to gentle hills, clumps of forest and lakes. The smell of rain on pavement filled the air. I saw a posted sign and read part of it aloud to Dr. Bobo, VOTE FOR RIBS WHITEBIRD. We laughed.

        "We just crossed the Mississippi River," I pointed out, referring to a sign.

        "That's right , we're at the headwaters of the Mississippi," Dr. Bobo said.

        We continued on towards Duluth, realizing we were running out of time before sunset.

        Dr. Bobo and Christopher consulted maps and the internet for a suitable campsite in Duluth. Primate's car acted up and we were delayed in Grand Rapids, but carried on to Duluth, although we detoured to a campground as local roads were closed due to flooding.

        The restaurant/bar at the campground park served as a needed respite from the day's tribulations.

        We drove 564 miles today.

        Low points - six; high points - one.

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