Good-bye Minnesota – Hello North Dakota

Jamestown, ND

One of the objectives of our current trip is to tour states that we have never visited.  We have now crossed Wisconsin and Minnesota off that list and are on to number three, North Dakota.

We left the Minneapolis area early on Monday and drove about 250 miles to Fargo, ND, just across the Red River from Minnesota.  While we had no reason to visit Fargo, it was a comfortable drive for us and it’s always interesting to visit a new town.  There aren’t any real good RV parks in the area but they have a fairgrounds that seemed to offer everything we needed, which isn’t much.  They don’t take reservations but we called ahead just to be sure there was no big event happening at the fairgrounds that would fill the RV area.  The person answering the phone said that they just finished a car show on Sunday and a few people were staying for a Tony Stewart day, whatever that is, on Wednesday but she was sure there were a few pull-through sites available.  So we pulled into a lot near the fairgrounds, took the car off the trailer, and drove in to pick a spot.  But, contrary to the ladies belief, there where no pull through’s available, and the area was filled with run-down RVs that appeared to be permanently parked there.  So we returned to the motorhome, checked the map, and decided to call a park in the town of Jamestown, about 90 miles to the west.  After making a reservation there we re-loaded the car on the trailer and continued our journey across the prairie on I-94.

The flat prairie of North Dakota

We are now parked at the Frontier Fort Campground in Jamestown.  It turns out this was a good move, as Jamestown has a number of interesting (to us) sites.

This park is a bit unusual.  The campground office is a counter in a gift shop/restaurant built as a replica to frontier forts used by the army in the Dakotas in the late 1800s.

Frontier Fort Gift Shop/Campground Office/Restaurant

The second floor is a restaurant you enter through a door inside the gift shop and go up a flight of stairs.

Restaurant entrance inside the gift shop

Stairs to the restaurant

Small bar area in the restaurant

The restaurant is very nice and the food was good.  It has many specials and is a local favorite.

Just down the street from our site is the entrance to Frontier Village, a re-creation of a small town in North Dakota in the late 1800s.

One side of the Frontier Village street

Some of the displays are actual buildings that have been moved from nearby towns to the village.  A one room school house is an example of this.

Apparently there are still one room schools in some of the more remote areas of the state.  In the small entrance to the school house we found a display discussing the experience of a new teacher in a one room school in 2006.

A new teacher and her entire class

A bit of her story

The most famous resident of Jamestown is Louis L’Amour, the author of numerous novels about the old west.  One of the buildings in Frontier Village is an example of what L’Amour called his “writers shack” in his home in California later in his life.

Louis L’Amour’s writer’s shack

The man himself!

A display of L’Amour’s books

The village has a blacksmith shop, a lawyers office, a post office, a saloon, a print shop and other examples of small prairie town businesses.

A patron at the saloon uses one of the amenities

The local jail

Frontier Village is also the home of the world’s largest buffalo.  Who knew!

Pam checks out the front of the buffalo

John checks out the business end

Tomorrow rain is predicted so we’ll be checking out a couple small museums in town.  More on that later . . .

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1 Response to Good-bye Minnesota – Hello North Dakota

  1. Marsha says:

    I can’t believe you say there is nothing going on in Fargo. What about the Space Aliens Grill & Bar? What about Sultan of Swat – Roger Maris? What about Roger Maris’s Grave? AND the BIGGEST one…Road Cheese Graveyard. What were you two thinking just driving through that town? Oh dear!

    Oh how neat that office is. Love the idea of having a restaurant right there! Great going!

    FINALLY a monument to teachers! Long over due in my humble opinion. A school house is so appropriate! That gal must be crazy. She has to be the teacher, principal, superintendent, guidance counselor, I don’t know maybe the janitor. Heavens!

    I have never read a western so Louis L’Amour isn’t on my favorite author list. Sorry

    Who would have known…the largest buffalo? John better watch out. When that thing decides to do its business, he is going to get buried!

    I want to see a photo of Steel Eagle and Angel Wrestling. It is in Jamestown somewhere.

    Enjoy your Wednesday!

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