18 to 19 July 2021
Tourist might not be flocking to North Dakota but I was particularly curious since it was one of only two states I had not yet visited. We spent our first night in Fargo and the next two in Dickinson.
Fargo is on the Red River which is the border of Minnesota. It’s a small city but still the largest in North Dakota. Originally Centralia it was renamed Fargo after William Fargo, one of the founders of Wells Fargo Bank and the company that eventually became American Express.
Driving west across the state, we stopped in the capital city of Bismarck. The capitol building was built in several phases including a 21-story Art Deco tower. Nicknamed the Skyscraper on the Prairie, it is the tallest building in North Dakota. I just call it, well, ugly. It is definitely one of the least attractive capitol buildings we have seen so far. I had flashbacks of Nebraska’s and Louisiana’s similar tower features.
Continuing west toward Dickinson we diverted south at Gladstone to drive the 32 mile Enchanted Highway to Regent. The Enchanted Highway is a stretch of country roads with large scrap metal sculptures along the way. They were created by artist Gary Greff as a way to bring travelers back to his home town of Regent, normally bypassed by the interstate. They were effective, we followed the blacktop through rolling farm fields to Regent, then west to New England, before heading north to Dickinson. It was something to break up our drive across seemingly endless plains but we could have just as easily skipped it.
Scrap Metal Art on the Enchanted Highway