Sep. 2-5 2010

ND 200 meets US 85 north of Alexander, ND. The road ahead is an unpaved section line road.

US 85 goes through this wildlife management area in (drum roll, please) Wilbur Township.

US 85 crosses the Missouri River.

It's the Mighty Mo (river, that is)!

US 85 merges with US 2 around Williston, ND.

This is US 2, US 52, and Byp US 83 around Minot, ND. This stretch here is for all intents and purposes a freeway. We could've just taken US 52 all the way back to Cincinnati - but we opt to do things the hilarious way instead.

US 83, about 15 miles south of Minot.

South on US 83 near Underwood, ND, we go under this giant pipe. It might actually go to some sort of mine.

Looking over at a power plant near Underwood.

Crossing the Missouri River at Washburn, ND, along Alt ND 200 - a branch of the same ND 200 that formed from MT 200 so many miles back.

Unpaved road near Hensler, ND. See what I mean about taking the long way? This road may bear the oh-so-countrified name 27th Avenue SW.

The skyline of Bismarck, ND!!! The tall building seen here is the North Dakota State Capitol - one of a handful of skyscraper capitols throughout the U.S. The 19-story structure is also the tallest building in all of North Dakota. This capitol replaced the old capitol that burned down in 1930, and (like Cincinnati's Carew Tower) it owes its unadorned appearance to the Great Depression.

I-94 east carries US 83 south in Bismarck. But that's not the big idea of this photo. Look at the overpass where the blue police lights are flashing below. Some moron tried towing a boat that was twice as high as the vertical clearance through here.

A better view of the boat incident. I can tell exactly what happened here: Some guy purchased a brand new, very expensive boat and was taking it out for the first time for Labor Day weekend. He hitched it upright to the back of his car so he could tow it to his favorite weekend getaway spot. He probably made it about a mile before dragging it through this overpass that was too low. I actually did see the driver sitting along the road and crying - so I know that's what happened.

What an idiot!

Entering Emmons County on US 83. If you can't read the sign on the bottom, it says that this is Lawrence Welk Highway.

This sign along US 83 is for the Lawrence Welk birthplace near Strasburg, ND.

A young Lawrence Welk lived a life of hard work and few amusements. The primitive standards of this road leading to his family homestead tell much of the story.

He lived a simple life, that Lawrence Welk.

My high school library had several biographies of the famous bandleader. After all, that was 1990.

The Welk homestead. When the Welks first came here, they lived all winter under an upside-down wagon. Too bad some of my high school classmates missed that part of Lawrence Welk's bio, because that would've taught them to appreciate what they had, wouldn't it?

A statue of a young Lawrence Welk playing an accordion leers at us from this farmhouse.

Another view of the Welk homestead.

Heading away from Welk's birthplace.

South of Zeeland, ND, we cross into South Dakota. At the state line, 26th Avenue SE becomes 317th Avenue or SD 271. You'd think 317th Avenue would be in a big city like New York - not the rural Dakotas. We also enter Campbell County, SD - which was not named after the same person as Campbell County, KY.

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