Monday, May 23, 2011

Rugby, anyone?

Friday evening we rolled into Rugby N.D. and were in search of the Stately Ellery Manor (mansion?) when up rolled Dan on his Extracycle-equipped bike with grocery-filled bags. While I monitored the park for squirrels and rabbits, the rest of the pack was treated to a fine home-cooked meal after a tour of Dan’s new home. As a housewarming gift we’d bought Dan a queen air mattress, so Arly & Sandy stretched out on that for a good night’s rest. 
Dan's front yard

Saturday was a gray day with off-and-on rain, so we hiked around Rugby and checked out the Geographical Center of North America at a leisurely pace. There is an Amtrak station there which is a 100+ year old building and was pretty nice. We even got to see the train rolling through town. Next we stopped at the hardware store for some home repair stuff which Arly and Dan worked on later that day. That evening we curled up to watch an old favorite, “Conan the Barbarian”, which Dan knows all the lines to.

Since Sunday was gray but dry, so we jumped into the Bread Box and headed north to see the International Peace Garden. If you are ever in north central North Dakota you should make a point to stop in. We were early enough that only spring annuals were up, but we had the place to ourselves. We all had a great time hiking around and exploring the park. Afterwards we had to go through Customs at the border, which entailed a surprisingly thorough check-over. We drove back via a scenic route through the Turtle Mountains, which was, for N. Dak., surprisingly hilly and curvy (but not exactly mountainous).
Peace towers are obscured by low clouds
Steel beams from the collapsed World Trade Center.

Monday was supposed to be mostly sunny which made us think we could head west and bike the Maah Daah Hey trail in the ND badlands. However, the clouds didn’t listen to the weatherman and have rolled in and have been spitting off and on as we travel west today. But we plan to camp there tonight and will probably have an adventure filled hike on Tuesday. After that it’s off to the great Big Sky State!

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