Day 72, Jamestown to Hope, ND, 104 miles
"All great achievements require time."
We struggled to say goodbye to Aunt Bette-she had so looked forward to our visit, and planned three days of visiting, touring and spending quality time together. However, '50 States in 50 Weeks,' we gotta go!
After a nice night's sleep on the floor of her spare room-and I can say with assurance that her floor was the softest floor we'd slept on during this adventure-we enjoyed breakfast with Aunt B and took off. We couldn't leave
Jamestown without two very different visits.
I'm pretty sure The World's Largest Buffalo is actually The World's Biggest Rendition of a Buffalo, but that's splitting hairs. It was big. Additionally, the National Buffalo Museum displayed houses and shops that had been moved to the grounds. Very cool! It featured a barber shop, dentist, insurance, lawyer, grocer, livery, blacksmith and more. The icing on the cake-all free, they would sure appreciate donations. No problem, good job.
Next we stopped at St. James Basilica. What history. This place dates back to the early nineteen hundreds and is the place where my dad received his first communion and confirmation, the earliest stepping stones along his spiritual path. I stood in awe at the back of the church, thinking of my dad as an eight year old, entering that magnificent facility, taking some of his first baby steps of faith.
We fired up the MotoBago and headed to... well, near Hope, North Dakota to meet Margaret Rose and her husband, who live 25 miles North of I94 and 3/4 of a mile down a gravel road to their farmhouse. Now we're seeing rural America from the inside out. Walk a few steps North from the house and look over farmland to the horizon. And South, and so on, every direction. The quiet is incredible. Our hosts were most friendly and took us to Hope for a town tour.
Hope is about to celebrate its 130th anniversary, along with two other cities that will turn 100, but are too small to celebrate on their own. They'll combine forces for a big (relatively) party. And, of course, we'll miss it. Must keep moving!
We drove south (in their pickup-with air conditioning!) to Eggert's Landing for a relative's birthday party. We felt like party crashers, except everyone treated us like-well, family.
The place sits on a lake with dense forest growth. The family hung out at their massive fifth wheel trailer and after a fine meal they lit up the campfire. Good food, good fun, good fellowship. Midwestern people move slower, love deeper and know how to soak in natural beauty.
Tonight we sleep in a bed, and tomorrow we head North and East for Minnesota.