REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Spring never came, let’s plan summer
Note: Like most of us in central North Dakota and statewide, it appears that spring passed us by. In reflecting on this I tried to put a positive swing on it and start my plans for summer. I refuse to be beat down by clouds, below zero weather and the lack of morning birds in April. So I set about to plan a summer of activities. This article might help you to notify your friends or relatives who might be coming to town this summer who wonder what there is to do in North Dakota near the great center of North America.
Pierce County has a great little museum called the Prairie Village Museum that has expanded its opening days from May 15 September 15*. They are always looking for volunteers if you have a few extra hours you can donate. You can also learn about preservation of objects such as uniforms, papers and written documents. Otherwise explore their relics which include the 1907 Great Northern Depot, caboose, cook car, blacksmith shop, a livery barn, an 1885 log cabin, a general store and the saloon. The Prairie Village Museum also has a replica of Silva native Clifford Thompson, one the world’s tallest men.
The museum also has a collection of various antique cars, farm machinery and some early WWI airplanes, which are housed out of state during the winter.
The Pierce County Fair happens each summer in Rugby. This year it will be held June 28-July 1 at the PC Fair Grounds. Now is the time to start planning what you might want to exhibit at the fair. Your pie is better than anyone else’s in the county, so why not enter the fair? This year the 4-H and open class exhibits should be bigger than years before. Bands and entertainment will be headlined by Slamabama who have a country, rock and pop blend of music.
Another interesting event being celebrated this summer is the Pierce County Tribune’s 130th birthday. The Tribune has some interesting relics to share with the public including a 1957 Heidelberg press. Dates will be announced and you can schedule your own viewing.
Another great summer fun is the Annual Ragtop Festival in Rolla which brings out convertibles from all over the state and is scheduled for June 29-30 this year. The Rolla school district will celebrate its 130th year all high school reunion that weekend as well. There will be a parade on Main Street, a car show on Main Street, and a dance featuring a band “Pop Rocks” from Minneapolis. The annual art show will be at the Rolla City Hall this year, and features several local artists.
Traveling a few miles farther in to the Turtle Mountain Region there are diverse areas to visit, as well as a short ride that will take you into Canada. The Turtle Mountain State Forest has biking, horse trail riding, and hiking trails. Three popular trails are Old Oak Trail, on U.S. side at Metigoshe State Park. The Turtle Mountain Trail is 35 miles long, Strawberry Lake and Twisted Oaks are four and two miles, respectively. There is something for everybody’s activity level.
If you are planning on going to Canada, make sure you have the proper documents. Acceptable documents are a United States Passport or Canadian Passport; a Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXT, SENTRI, or FAST). If you do not have the prior listed documents, you must have a driver’s license or id card issued by federal, state, provincial, county, territory or municipal authority AND a U.S. or Canadian military ID card. All documents must have photo, name and date of birth listed on them. Border crossing stations are at Peace Garden Port, open 24 hours; Port of Carbury Hwy 14, Open 9 a.m. 10 p.m, Port of St John, Hwy 83: Open 8 a.m. 9 p.m. and Port of Westhope: Open 8 a.m. 9 p.m.
Lake Metigoshe is a local favorite, and a popular tourist destination. Camp Metigoshe on Pelican Lake has 19 cabins, a lodge, waterfront canoes, kayaks, banana boats, sailboats. The Lake has a lifeguard. Lake Metigoshe State Park is one of the most popular year round vacation spots in North Dakota. This 1500 acre park has camping, swimming, and allows jet skis. Metigoshe is 90 miles from Minot, and well worth the weekend getaway or a day drive.
Golfing is at its finest throughout ND. Rugby has a gorgeous course located east of Rugby on the north side of Highway 2. It is a 9 hole green grass course in a beautiful environment. Rolla also has a golf course, located two miles north and two miles west of Rolla. It has one of the most scenic and difficult courses in the area located in the Turtle Mountains. Both Rolette and Bottineau have their own golf courses also.
The Dale and Martha Hawk Museum located northeast of Wolford approximately seven miles one of North Dakota’s largest representation of Prairie Life. It contains many buildings which house a doll museum, the Nanson School house, tractor houses, a shed full of steamers, threshers and cars, This summer the 29th annual Antique Farm Show is June 8-10. There’s excellent food, a craft show, blacksmith demonstrations, a Friday night variety show and a Saturday night old time dance. One of the main events is the daily parade which hosted over 35 tractors last year, steam engines and antique farm equipment. There’s fresh ice cream and homemade doughnuts. The museum’s site has many camping spaces for RVs, trailers, and tent camping. Live music is on the main stage throughout the weekend.
North Dakota offers many activities for summer fun. Local dams have annual get togethers, and are a great place for camping. Over all ND summer time is stocked full of things to do, places to go fishing, and we had better enjoy it before winter comes again.
*The print edition listed the dates as May 1-September 30. The Tribune regrets the error.