North Dakota is generally considered one of the "fly-over states". The term is so prevalent that country singer Jason Aldean created a song ‘Flyover States‘.
Geography and topography create this flyover zone for much of the Central United States (not many people headed to Kansas for vacation…), and climate helps to further isolate North Dakota with their bitter cold winters.
North Dakota, West Virginia, and Alaska were our last unvisited states together and now we’re down to two unshared states. I worked in Rocket Center West Virginia for a while (radioactive water, anyone?) and Colette has spent time in Alaska in a previous life, but the blog is Roaming Together not Roaming Individually. Must visit together to count.
While most of our time here in North Dakota was centered around Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we are quite the OCD planners and find lots of quirky things along or near our routes to see and do while we travel. Lots of world to see, and such a short lifetime in which to see it all!
Here is a smattering of some of those things.
Nimrod, Minnesota. While technically not in North Dakota it was on our way inbound and I know too many Nimrods to pass it up. We’ll also have a Nimrod Montana coming up soon.
Nimrod in casual-speak means an idiot, but it’s actually interesting to learn the source of the word – one of the things that we truly enjoy from our travels is picking up trivia bits like this.
Salem Sue – the world’s largest holstein cow.
Scoria Pit. Free boondocking (dry camping) outside of TRNP on National Forest land. Gorgeous views and no neighbors. Mostly.
Above The Clouds
White Butte – the North Dakota high point. Not a huge draw unless you’re a highpointer.
Fields and fields of rapeseed (canola). North Dakota produces 82% of the United States’ canola, which is genetically modified rapeseed that eliminates much of the eulic acid in the plant. These fields are a vivid yellow which can stretch to the horizon and can actually be hard on your eyes in bright sunlight!
The Medora Musical. While it’s really not my thing, I know that Colette enjoys live music and performances. She had been to this show with her sister before, and when I heard about "pitchfork fondue" aka steaks on pitchforks I was sold. Still not my thing, however the performers were quite talented and they definitely put a lot of time and effort into the showmanship.
We stopped in two of the major cities along our route west on I-94 from Minnesota to Montana – Fargo and Bismark (the capitol), but there was little draw here for us.
Would we return? Probably not.
I-90 through South Dakota is a much more convenient west-to-east corridor for us than I-94 is, and we’re pretty comfortable that we’ve seen the highlights that the state has to offer for us.
We definitely recommend visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but that’s an easy detour on a Badlands or Glacier National Park trip.
We’re just over 5 weeks and 5,100 miles into this summer loop and now we’re headed west for a couple days at Fort Peck Lake and then a month in Glacier and Banff National Park in Canada.
A 360 of our clouded paradise