A Travellerspoint blog

Mall of America: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Thursday, August 16, 2007

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We pack up and leave the Fargo KOA.
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Well today we are back on an interstate. It's great to be able to have regular rest stops where we can park our large rig, but the scenery is nowhere near as interesting as it was on the smaller roads :-(

We drive through Minnesota and see lots of cornfields and more farming combines. Today we also see a crop duster applying pesticide/herbicide on the fields.
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We stop at the Town and Country RV Park just south of Minneapolis and then head to the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in North America. When we walk in, we first see an exhibition being given by some local Sioux indians. They are having a pow wow in the area and the exhibition is part of the pow wow. Their dance costumes have incredibly intricate beading.
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We walk all around the mall, including the amusement park in the center of the mall and Legoland.
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We have dinner at the Kokomos Restaurant in the mall and then leave without buying anything from the largest mall in North America.

On our way back to the campground we stop for gas and the gas pumps have little televisions in them showing the local news and weather! Maybe this is common in some parts of the country, but I've never seen a gas pump with a televison in it before. I've seen several gas pumps with advertisements and monitors, but not a live television program. So I watch the weather and news while Jere pumps the gas. I usually wash the windows while he pumps, but I'm fascinated by televisions in the gas pumps :-)
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Posted by jengelman 13:22 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Fargo, North Dakota

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

sunny 0 °F

We pack up and leave the Rough Rider Campground in Minot, North Dakota.
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We drive across North Dakota today. We pass lots and lots of farming combines, as well as fields of corn and sunflowers.
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Another nice day so we have a picnic lunch at a roadside rest again. We also drive by the world’s largest buffalo statue :-)
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So now in the last 3 days we've seen the world's largest moose, largest teepee and largest buffalo :-)

We get to the Fargo KOA in mid-afternoon and immediately head to the pool for a quick dip. The air is a little cool, but the water is warm. We meet a mother and daughter from Manitoba and they tell us about a steak buffet where they plan to have dinner. We decide to try it too: The North American Steak Buffet. All you can eat, including steak and salmon, drinks and dessert for $10.19. What a bargain and the food is very good. After the high food prices in Alaska, where a burger alone costs $10, this is a great deal for us.

After dinner we drive over to the Roger Maris Museum. It's a small museum, which is free, that is part of a nice mall. Apparently Roger Maris grew up Fargo, North Dakota. For the non-baseball fans reading this blog: Roger Maris was a NY Yankee who broke Babe Ruth's homerun record in 1961 of 60 homeruns in a season. We had watched the DVD about Roger Maris' 1961 season,"61*" , a few weeks ago, so stopping at his museum is actually interesting. Of course it's very interesting to Jere.
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It's dark, but we decide to drive down main street Fargo anyway. Not very picturesque and a little rundown. I had also wanted to visit the Scandinavian-inspired church that they have here, but we simply run out of time.

Posted by jengelman 13:37 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Back in the "Lower 48": 200 Days on the Road

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

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Today is day #200 of our trip. No wonder I'm homesick.

We take our time packing up this morning.
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Before leaving the Traveler's Oasis Campground in Moose Jaw this morning, we walk across the road to Moose Jaw's claim-to-fame: the largest moose in the world. Bruce the Moose is showing his age, but we check him out and take some pictures.
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They are collecting funds to maintain the very tall moose. Jere contributes the rest of our Canadian coins to the fund. It's our last day in Canada, so no need for Canadian coins after today.

Lots of farmland scenery today on our drive south from Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan, Canada) to Minot, South Dakota. I'm still enjoying looking at the farmland and the many grain elevators.
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Our border crossing back to the states is uneventful, but takes longer than any other border crossings. We answer all the usual questions about alcohol and firearms and ground beef, but this time the border guard asks for our trailer keys and inspects the inside of our trailer. Not sure what he was looking for, but after a few minutes he comes back and gives our keys back. He then tells us to drive up to a different guard who has us slowly drive through a special scanner of some kind. We drive through the scanner and then wait a few minutes for them to give us the final okay to drive away.

Another gorgeous day with good weather, so when we arrive at the Roughrider campground in Minot, South Dakota we spend all evening outside. Joe even gets Jere to play soccer with us in the field across from our campsite.
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Posted by jengelman 13:35 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Medicine Hat, Alberta to Moose Jaw, Saskatchawan (Canada)

Monday, August 13, 2007

sunny 0 °F

What a wonderful drive today. I expected the drive across the Canadian prairie to be boring, but it was a very enjoyable drive.

We started the day by packing up and taking a short drive to Medicine Hat's claim-to-fame: the worldn't largest teepee. The teepee was built for the Calgary Winter Olympics and then moved to Medicine Hat. It looks really tacky from the highway, but up close it is a very interesting structure.
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We then start our drive across the prairie. We see buffalo and antelopes, but mainly we see lots of farms and grain elevators.
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It's a beautiful day, so we have a picnic lunch at a nice roadside rest.

Our other long stop for the day is at Reed Lake, where we look for birds and enjoy the scenery.
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We arrive at our campground in Moose Jaw before dinner and have a quick swim at their indoor pool and waterslide before dinner. Jere and Joe spend the evening at the waterslide, while I relax in the trailer. My stomach isn't feeling so good -- I think the loopy waterslides got the best of me this afternoon :-(

Posted by jengelman 13:36 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Starting the Long Drive Home to Pennsylvania

Sunday, August 12, 2007

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Our last day in Banff and Jasper national parks, so of course this morning the sky is blue with no clouds anywhere. I take a short walk in the morning. I never realized that there is a beautiful mountain behind the campground.
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It's time to start heading home. We want to be home in time for Joe to start school the end of August.

We have ten days to get home and 2500 miles to drive, so we’re driving 250 miles each day. But before we start our first 250 mile drive today, we decide to drive up to see Lake Louise one more time. Some clouds move in by the time we get up to the lake, but the lake is still pretty.
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Then a long day of driving. We drive past Banff and look at the mountain scenery that was hidden by the rain on Friday when we were here.
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The drive is uneventful, except for some minor trailer brake issues. The scenery is okay, but nothing special after we leave the Banff area.

However, it is close to 90 degrees fahrenheit today. We are not used to this heat! It was below freezing less than 48 hours ago. What a change!

We stop in Medicine Hat, Alberta for the night at the municipal campground, Gas City Campground. Nice campground. We unhook, have dinner and then get some groceries and gas. We make a few phone calls, go for a walk around the campground and then watch the first Harry Potter movie on tv.

Posted by jengelman 13:33 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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