US 2 in NDIn the Buffalo Commons, things widen out.
Geographic Center of North America, Rugby, NDEventually, one feels he has reached the middle of the continent and discovers a road marker to that effect.
Rugby, ND, is located at the geographic center of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This fact was overlooked when the town was platted, but, since then, residents have let lapse no opportunity advantageously to point this out.
Oil Well near Williston, NDThe year 1951 commenced with a snowstorm. A drill had been busy since August in the Williston Basin at the Clarence Iverson farm south of Tioga, ND. At 10,500 feet on January 4, weather shut down the operation. Operations resumed on April 4, and the well came in that day at about 9:30 p.m. A new industry was born in North Dakota. This was the first major discovery in a new geologic basin since before World War II. By May 20, 30 million acres of North Dakota were under lease out of a total 44.8 million acres in the whole state!
[Key, James. "The History of Oil in the Williston Basin." Williston ND on the Web N. vol. (3 June 2003): 19 pars. Online. Internet. 26 Aug. 2004. Available http://www.willistonnd.com/
Marina, Lake Sakakawea, Lewis & Clark State Park, NDThe reservoir level is low because water flow is wanted to keep shipping afloat on the Mississippi River -- especially in a dry spell.
Lewis & Clark State ParkThat evening, I drove straight west into Williston, ND, about 20 miles away on SR 1804, which is numbered for the year of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It was too late to do laundry. To console myself, I ate a fine buffet supper at:
4904 119th Road NW
Epping, ND 58843
Trapper's KettleThere is a sister operation at:
3901 2nd Ave W
Williston, ND 58801
Trapper's Kettle... where I stopped years ago on another trip west.
I 94 and US 85
PO Box 398
Belfield, ND 58622
Fort Buford State Historic SiteI spent a lot of time at Fort Union.
Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center
15349 39th Lane NW
Williston, ND 58801
Fort Union Trading Post NHS
15550 Hwy 1804
Williston, ND 58801
Culbertson MuseumI received the Guided Tour. There is much to see, to appreciate, to ogle at, to boggle at, and to exclaim over, including the Great Northern caboose. This caboose was retired to a yard where it was inhabited by an anonymous hobo before being acquired by the museum. His legacy is an illustrated and annotated interpretation of the Revelation to St. John, inscribed on every interior space with colored felt-tip markers. Doing justice to that amount of culture took some time, too. When I was ready to leave, it was much too late to seek accommodations elsewhere. In hindsight, I suppose that was the plan all along.
PO Box 95
Culbertson, MT 59218
Diamond Willow Inn... because, of all things, they offered a DSL Internet connection. The next morning, having caught up on eMail and newsgroups, I was off again into the wild blue yonder.
104 East 6th
PO Box 603
Culbertson, MT 59218
Poplar Pride Ferry, Poplar, MTThe Poplar Pride Ferry made its maiden voyage across the Missouri River in 1949. Some say it was preceded by a cable ferry that started in the late 1920 or early 1930. It ran from April to November unless an early freeze up put it into dry dock.
It was established primarily to transport agricultural products from McCone and Richland Counties to the Great Northern Rail Line. To the cattlemen during calving time -- with a north storm threatening -- it meant the difference between livelihood and disaster -- and to the people who were sick it meant life and hope!
Before the present Missouri River bridge was opened in 1969, Poplar Pride averaged 276 crossings each month. It was pulled from the river in 1969 and was transported to its present site.
Poplar Pride -- It served us well!
US 2 West of Glasgow, MTThere is a big sky in Montana.
One-Room School House, Saco, MTThis is a test: If you don't recognize the news anchorman, pictured below, who went to school here, you're younger than I. If you do, you're not.
|Chester "Chet" Robert Huntley (1911 -
was one of the most recognized and respected news reporters ever to
appear on radio or television. Raised on a sheep ranch near Saco,
Montana, Huntley applied frontier values to his 37-year
broadcasting career. After two decades reporting for network West
Coast outlets, Huntley was assigned by NBC to the 1956 political
conventions where he began a 14-year association with David
Brinkley. The Huntley-Brinkley Report won every award available to
television news. Huntley's often controversial commentaries
championed minority rights and attacked demagoguery and wrongdoing.
"Good night, Chet" -- "Good night, David" became American
["Chester Robert Huntley (1911 - 1974)." MBA Hall of Fame N. vol. (28 June 2004): 1 par. Online. Internet. 27 Aug. 2004. Available http://www.mtbroadcasters.org/hall_of_fame/chester_huntley.html.]
Chet Huntley's Grade School Class, Saco, MTHe's the one at the far left.
In most places, the roadbed of US 2 has been built up a lot since old photographs were taken, giving historians vertigo comparing them to perspectives that are available today.
Sleeping Buffalo RockThe Sleeping Buffalo Rock resides in its corral under a shed at the junction of US 2 and MT 243. Its shape is suggestive of a buffalo with its legs tucked up resting its chin on the ground. Carvings highlight the outline of ribs and backbone and probably are prehistoric.
|You should approach the rock
with respect. It will tell you what it wants. It appreciates coins
(Canadian currency is OK.) and is especially fond of tobacco --
judging from the unsmoked cigarettes that people have left for
The Big Sky West of Havre, MTForest fires in Washington were making a lot of smoke as I headed west. The opaque atmosphere impacted most of this trip's photos.
American MonetThe campground I had hoped to use at Havre, MT, was closed, so I rode on farther than I had planned. This picture was taken about 09:00 pm just east of Shelby, MT. I spent the night at:
Crossroads InnThe twilight comes late and lasts long on the land near the northern borderline with Canada.