We knew the middle states would be long. Today was about 12 hours of driving.
Did you know that some gas stations have tiny TVs set into their pump screens, so you’re forced to listen to broadcast while you pump gas. “Thanks for making us America’s No. 1 Network at the Pump!” is something a cheery gas pump LCD newscaster actually said to me. At the rate that corporations keep colonizing every spare moment in our days, I’m surprised they haven’t come up with printed ads on the back of toilet paper (yet).
One thing you notice on these long driving days is the varying gas prices in the states. In Wisconsin we paid $2.599/gallon; in Minnesota we paid $2.549/gallon; in North Dakota we paid $2.949/gallon. Small things, but when you’re driving steady for hours on end through agricultural flatland, things like this seem to take on an added significance.
Today had the added esteem of being the day we arrived in FARGO!
Fargo being one of Rob’s favourite movies, we were excited to see the town. We spotted our first Bison!
It turns out it was Pride Week in Fargo, and they had pride flags lining every major street, and sweet words of encouragement written in chalk all over the sidewalk. We had lunch at a swanky place called Ho Do (mostly pulled in by the chalk Batman advert) and at the bottom of your bill you could choose to donate to the local pride organization the same way you’d add a tip at the end.
[white_box]If you want to read about a sad but real story from the town of Fargo that involves the movie “Fargo” and a Japanese businesswoman (Takako Konishi), then read the linked Wikipedia entries and watch the documentary “This Is A True Story”, and the movie “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter“. [/white_box]
Once we left Fargo, we drove pretty much straight west until we hit the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Literally. One straight line heading west into the Badlands. Bison territory.
Driving through the sunset we passed dozens of sunflower fields in North Dakota, stopping at one to take photos.
Across the sky were strewn pink, purple, blue and gold clouds, like giant pieces of cotton candy, sugar stuff pulled across the sky, like some giant had just pulled off a section of the sweet stuff.
It was dark when we reached Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We couldn’t see anything but stars when we arrived in the park and had to set up in the dark to avoid mosquitoes and moths flying into the van. We were so tired we just flopped onto the mattress in the back instead of setting up the tent.
In a way, it was kind of nice driving into the park in the dark, because it meant we would have a beautiful surprise when we woke up.
Day 11 Costs:
- McDonald’s Lunch and coffee for 2 (wifi!): $15.03 USD
- Gas in Hinckley, MN: $42.19 USD
- Subway Sandwich: $4.82 USD
- Supper for two at Ho Do in Fargo: $23.65
- Tea at Starbucks: $2.75 USD
- Gas in Jamestown, North Dakota: $48.82 USD
- Camping at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, 1 Night: $14.00USD
Total: $151.26 USD