I recently took a trip to see my brother in Carrington, North Dakota.
David is the brother to whom I write my monthly letters that are part of my
column; he would seem a convenient fictional creation or literary
device but he is neither. My nephew, Jamie, balanced my new van by
riding shotgun and here is a little about our trip.
I was happy to see Jamie bright and early Monday morning; he is good
company. We left my place headed for Crookston and our first stop
which was for coffee and snacks. Jamie had the good sense to pick up some
empty calories in the form of little candy orange slices. I performed
the gustatory equivalent of throwing myself on a live grenade by
systematically vacuuming up most of those empty carbs on my own.
I considered during the trip how there will soon be a historic experience gone forever; crossing the old Thompson Bridge. No longer will you be able to enter the bridge
on the Minnesota side and have real questions as to whether you’ll ever
make it to North Dakota. It is one of those old bridges designed when
two narrows lanes were enough and it will soon be replaced by concrete
and pillars and much of that construction is complete. Here is the Thompson bridge web cam link:oxblue.com/pro/open/polkandgrandforks/thompsonbridge
During our trip, I made a call to Lisa. I haven’t been off my own porch for awhile so I was pretty fired up. I was also neck-deep into a caffeine rush so I must have been a little loud and boisterous. I opened the conversation with one of my little phone pranks which Lisa noticed immediately and to which put a stop before I embarrassed myself. I like to call her from the road but sometimes I need some adult supervision.
About 85 minutes after we passed the Carl Ben Eielson cemetery in
Hatton, we arrived in Carrington. My brother David is the hub
through which much work and many decisions must pass, so he was busy when we arrived. He picked up a pizza for us and we had dinner together with his wife, Mary. Like most people, Dave and Mary remodel their house on a regular basis so we toured their recent progress. It was a nice visit.
Dave is famous for the tours he gives of his home town and directed our travel to the large dairy farm southeast of town. This dairy is beautiful and well run; less smell than a locker room after dinner and clean as a park. The owners are Danish and a bit hard to understand but it was quite evident that their success as a married couple extended into their business. Both were raised on dairy farms but came to the United States via way of Canada as our laws are less restrictive and more conducive to starting a dairy. The dairy has even held an open house to the public with tours of the facilities.
The trip home was quiet; the orange slices were gone and I was crashing from my caffeine rush. Jamie and I talked and listened to the Twins, enjoyed the stark beauty of North Dakota and tried to keep the van from being windswept into the ditch. It was a good trip.