John and Janet 2012 Oregon travel blog

World's Largest Sandhill Crane

Steele, ND

Close-Up

Dakota Thunder

Jamestown, ND

Good Buffalo

Roadside Giant

Close-Up

Is That A Rock?

Albino Buffalo


We make a difficult decision this morning. If we use the Interstate, we can be in Minnesota by noon. We grit our teeth. It is only three and a half hours.

We do not have the best start to the morning. The GPS takes us to a housing development instead of our restaurant. I have to learn how to report these errors. We cross Bismarck to where we know the restaurants are and enjoy breakfast out.

We head east and leave the sunflowers behind. North Dakota leads the nation in sunflower production, growing about half the nation‘s total. North Dakota grows the large striped-shelled varieties used for snacks and the smaller black-shelled varieties used for oil and birdseed.

On the Interstate, we see a sign. Steele: World’s Largest Sandhill Crane. John turns to me. “What?”

I am on high alert. I do not want to take us thirty minutes off track for a roadside giant, but . . . “There it is!” John is ready. We leave the Interstate. It is going to be a good day after all.

Steele in located in the Prairie Pothole Region. This does not refer to their roads. They are in the direct path of the migration flyway. The sand hill cranes are not currently here.

We continue to Jamestown. We visit the Buffalo Museum and Frontier Village. The museum is small. There is a viewing deck where you can sometimes see the buffalo herd. Today is not one of those times.

The real draw here is Dakota Thunder. This is the world’s largest Buffalo. North Dakota is great for roadside giants. Do not forget that the Tire Turtle and the Enchanted Highway are in North Dakota!

We continue to look for the buffalo herd that includes three albino buffalo. I see a white rock in the distance. I zoom in with my camera. The rock wags its tail. The picture is not great but it is the best my camera will do.

We walk through the frontier village. There are restored buildings and a few shops. Everyone is friendly. This is a good stop for stretching the legs.

Back on the interstate, we look again for the buffalo herd. Can you believe it? The white buffalo is standing up. We do not go back. Again, it is all about timing!

We arrive in Casselton, North Dakota. There are not many choices in RV parks. This is a parking lot with hookups by the hotel. There are showers, WIFI and a restaurant in walking distance. We are fine. This is our last night in North Dakota.

Campground: Days Inn Casselton RV

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