Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Winnipeg 4 (Winnipeg to Bismarck 7/18/2010)

Sunday, July 18, 2010
Another long day ahead. Stopped for breakfast at Tim Horton's. Tim was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who co-founded this donut & coffee shop chain, now Canada's largest restaurant chain!
Another symbol of Manitoba, the polar bear (the bison is the main symbol), sat in front in his Inuit coat. Churchill, MB is the Polar Bear Capital of the World.

We drove west, making a gas stop in Portage la Prairie, also home to the Largest Coca-Cola Can in the World:
Guess, what?! We were driving across flat prairie! Some fields were tinted blue (flax) and most were tinted yellow (canola):
The International Peace Garden sits on the border of the US and Canada. Dedicated in 1932, it celebrates the peaceful co-existence between the two nations, and their commitment to world peace. At the east end, we stood by the Peace Poles donated by Japan, proclaiming "May Peace Prevail."
Brynne and Kent straddling the border:
One and a half miles of gardens line the border, including a Sunken Garden:
The Peace Chapel at the west end of the International Peace Garden is the only building to sit on the borderline.
Opened in 1970, the interior walls are made of Tyndall limestone from Manitoba, which are engraved with quotations by "people of peace" and contain fossils of ancient marine animals.
Newspaper headlines from around the world regarding the 9/11 tragedy are on display in the chapel.
The Peace Tower stands nearby, and it also straddles the border. The four columns representing the four corners of the world (from which thousands of immigrants arrived into Canada and the United States) are 120 feet tall. The height represents the soaring ambition of early immigrants. It was dedicated in 1983. Depending on where you stood, it looked like there were either two or three columns.
Every 15 minutes, the bells in the Carillon Tower ring, and we were standing next to it when it startled us. The bells were first donated to a church in Brandon, MB in 1932. When the church merged with another, the bells were given to the International Peace Garden. The Tower was erected in 1976 by the ND Veteran's Association.
The gardens along the 49th parallel:
The 9/11 Memorial is still a work-in-progress. Ten steel girders from the World Trade Center were brought to the International Peace Garden in 2002. Funding is needed to complete a winning design from a memorial competition.
In 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corp or Campers (CCC) built the Historic Lodge, as well as roads and bridges, and participated in planting in the Garden.
The Bulova Watch Company gave a gift of a large clock, a duplicate of one in Bern, Switzerland, in 1966. It was replaced in 2005. The floral design changes every year.
Although we had been meandering between Canada and the U.S. in the International Peace Garden, when we drove out, we had to go through Customs and Immigration. We drew the lucky straw to be pulled over to have our documents scrutinized and our car and belongings thoroughly searched. Apparently not many people make the sort of trip we are making! Or was it because we resided in Florida, but had a rental car with California plates?
With stomachs growling, we finally arrived in Dunseith, the nearest town, and stopped for lunch in what seemed to be the only restaurant, Dale's Cafe.
The "W'eel Turtle" was next door, a marketing ploy to get folks to stop for a meal. George Gottbreht welded 2,000 auto wheels in 1982 to create this turtle. The head itself weighs over a ton, and apparently it is mounted on a pivot so that the head can bob.
We saw a couple of wind turbine farms on this trip. This picture does not show the scale of the turbines, which are monstrous.
Our next Roadside America-type attraction was the Niewoehner Bell Tower. Built in 1999 by Dale G, Niewoehner, owner of the funeral home in Rugby, ND, it features a collection of bells on a 30-foot tower.
Apparently at one time anybody could ring the bells, but then it was done during funerals, at night, etc. So now they are rung only by the owner, and that is if you purchase a book about the 15 bells. If you want to know about the bells, go to
Our real purpose for stopping in Rugby was to see the Geographic Center of North America. The stone cairn was built in 1932 by W. B Paterson and E. B. Paterson with the assistance of some Boy Scouts.
In 1971, it was moved across the street due to widening of the road.
Now we headed west to Minot, ND, to visit the Roosevelt Park Zoo. The zoo pass gave us free admission, saving us $7 each!
A white pelican with a knobby beak:
A 4-6-2 or "Pacific-type" locomotive is on display in the zoo.
African Black-footed Penguins:
North American River Otter:
White-crested Black Polish poultry:
Three cages for the lemurs were connected with "skyways":
A 1921 Zoological Building (now used for the gift shop and education):
In Minot, ND, we also stopped at the Scandinavian Heritage Park to see the Dala Horse, but ended up seeing most of the whole park! The Dala Horse is a symbol of Sweden and this one is 30-feet tall, dedicated in 2000.
A full-size replica of the Gol Stave Church, now in Oslo, Norway, was dedicated in 2000.
An elderly docent waved us into his charge, the Sigdal House. It is the oldest house in North Dakota, because it was built in the late 1700s in Sigdal, Norway. It was dismantled and brought to this site where it was carefully reconstructed.
The decorations on the interior doors were originally painted by Guldbrand Larsen Foss about 1800. The house was dedicated in 1991.
Next door stands the Stabbur, a replica of a storehouse from Norway. It was constructed in Norway, disassembled, and reconstructed here.
A couple hours later, we were in Bismarck, ND, with an hour left to visit the Dakota Zoo. The zoo pass gave us a 50% discount on the $7 admission.
Brynne with the Black-tailed Prairie Dogs:
A Reeves Muntjac family:
More active River Otters:
Kent holds discourse with the Emu:
Funny little Badgers:
A free-living Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel:
On our way to get gas and dinner, we stopped to see the Four-headed Thunderbird, a project of students of the United Tribes Technical College. Their team name? The Thunderbirds!
Our restaurant was next door to this sculpture, but it had gone out of business. So after getting gas, we went to see the North Dakota State Capitol, "The Skyscraper on the Prairie."  It was built in 1934 and designed by Holabird & Root in Art Deco-style.
A statue of Sakakawea (1910 by Leonard Crunelle) stands on the Capitol grounds. This poor girl keeps changing her name, and Sakakawea is the latest accepted spelling for the person we knew as Sakajawea, the Shoshone teenager who acted as interpreter and guide for the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Finally dinner, at the Space Aliens Grill and Bar, a chain of restaurants in North Dakota and Minnesota.
You are supposed to feel like you are in a spaceship...
There was a popular bar for adults, and a restaurant with kids running around with long strips of tickets they won at arcade games.
Love those Space Fries!
Next: 5. Bismarck to Wall.

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