Surprising City Parks

In anticipation of me learning how to use my new camera and of our upcoming trip to Alaska, I’ve changed the layout of the blog to span the full screen so that photos will be larger. The downside is that previous posts now look wonky, with small images that aren’t centered. If you’re looking at this on your phone though, no changes!

This is my complaint du jour for this summer trip to Alaska: we are putting on the miles, both traveling more often (which means staying places for fewer days) and covering more miles on travel days. When you look at our travel map for this year, you’ll see lots of moon icons, which means we stayed just one night there, and they’re mighty far apart.

Yesterday we were traveling (or doing traveling-type-stuff) for about 12 hours, which isn’t so bad considering most of that was flat, easy-driving North Dakota.

Trouble was, at the end of the trip we had to drive down three miles of dirt road, which happened to be mud. When we got to the nature preserve Tracy had picked out for the night, it had been taken over by guys who’d parked their RVs all facing each other in a compound. In case the many F**** Biden signs we’ve seen (and worse ones) indicate the rural culture out here, we turned the heck around and drove back down those three miles of mud back to the highway.

Plan B was a city park, which turned out to be lovely, like so many city (or county) parks we’ve come across. They’re frequently on the same lots as the town sports fields, so we’ve watched evening volleyball, kids baseball, and even quidditch at them. This one, Granville City Park, has a rodeo ring, although it’s entirely flooded this spring.

City RV parks are cheap, which means locals sometimes live in their RVs there. I have no beef with that; affordable housing is in short supply everywhere. But it also means drug dealing, arrests at the campground, folks pushing vehicles into the road right when we need to tow out, and all manner of mysterious behavior. But heck, we see that stuff at state parks and Corps of Engineer campgrounds just as much. See why I love boondocking?

Back to this city park in North Dakota, though. We were the only folks as far as we could see, which was awesome because by the time we got the trailer level and Tracy had rinsed off the worst of the caked mud from around the tank hatches and plugs, we were exhausted, and we uncharacteristically just turned on the damned TV. Two hours of late-night Star Trek really wipes the slate clean!

Lucky for us, the morning sunshine on the spring land in North Dakota is beautiful. Tracy went birding while Banjo and I explored.

Another long day of driving for us today, headed to Montana. Yesterday we saw seven swans a swimming, though, and where we’re headed has roaming buffalo. I love adventuring in this part of the country!

If you’re looking for actual content about North Dakota, I wrote about the lovely Theodore Roosevelt National Park when we were there last time through: