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Saturday, July 28, 2012

North Dakota

Here we are exploring a new state.
Our first stop is Fargo, ND, the largest city in the state, actually we are staying in Casselton Inn & RV Park 20 miles west of Fargo.  Casselton has it's own little fame as it boosts of having 5 governors coming from this little town.  What made us stop here was a PBS program about Robert Asp and his dream of building a Viking ship.
 Well he did build one, he started in 1972 and in 1980 he sailed his ship on Lake Superior but he didn't get to do his ultimate dream of sailing it to Norway as he died  of leukemia in 1980.  But in 1982 his family and friends sailed the Hjemkomst 6,100 from Duluth to Bergen, Norway it took them a month and five days.   The ship was brought back to Moorhead, MN and a museum was built around it.  (Moorhead is Fargo's sister city.)
Arrow wood NWR
 Guy Paulson had a dream of building Viking church, so he did and donated it to the museum.  It took him five years to build and carve Hopperstad Stave Church a replica of the one in Vik, Norway.

Of course we have to do some birding and ND is a destination for birders especially in May and June for the spring migration and breeding season.  But since we are here in the summer we'll catch what we can.
Tewaukon NWR
 The glaciers carved out 'pot holes' which are great places for ducks, pelicans and grebes to breed.  In fact, ND has 63 National Wildlife Refuges more than any other state in the lower 48, and we are going to visit just a few.

In fact, we can find the birds just driving along the county roads it is where we spotted this Upland Sandpiper.
This morning we spotted a life bird for us at the Tewaukon NWR, a black tern.  We may have another lifer but we didn't really get a good look just a passing glance as it flew up and into the grass I was guessing it was a Sharp tailed Grouse.

I was asked what our goal was and I answered to see all the National Parks and of course as many of the North American birds as we can.  Then I was asked how many Parks there were, well there are more than 360 Nat'l parks, monuments, byways and battlefields but we have seen only 59 so far.  As for just National Parks there are 51 of which we have visited 30.  We would also like to visit all 50 states of which we have been to 35 so we have some traveling to do.
So I hope you will follow along with us via my blog as we explore our fabulous USA.

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