Thursday, September 27, 2012

Back From North Dakota

Last night I returned from 4 days in Bismarck, North Dakota.

I know. You are asking why.

For all you UC Santa Cruz Community Studies and History of Consciousness majors, Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota. This is the land Lewis and Clark traveled through and home of various tribes of the Sioux Nation. (Is that the proper way to put it?)

So what did I do in Bismarck since I was not there for work and had no friends or family there?

Well, after breakfast, I spent some time on my laptop keeping my loyal readers happy. I went to the hotel gym for an hour. I ate lunch. I explored the city, and one day, I traveled to the Mandan Indian Resort and Casino, which is located on the Flat Rock Indian tribe reservation about 50  miles away. On my last day, I checked out Bismarck State College and their gift shop looking to buy some gifts for the family and a BSC polo shirt. They have a beautiful green shirt with their logo and yellow trim. It was on sale but not in my size.

Bismarck State College. If you can make out the bottom line of the sign, it says, "Mystic Advising and Counseling Center". I thought I had a story here, but then I learned that the BSC mascot is a "mystic", and besides you probably can't read the sign anyway.

I also spent about an hour at the state capitol building and their Heritage museum.

Took that picture myself. Reminds me of Moscow.

Did I mention I visited a few bars and checked out the upper Midwest craft brews? One day, I met the head chef of a local restaurant and bar, who apparently is about the only Mexican in Bismarck. He attended college in Salt Lake City and married a North Dakota gal. We spoke in Spanish for about 20 minutes in the bar and boy was everybody impressed. Well, not that impressed.

"Ah wunnerful, ah wunnerful, ah." 

(Lawrence Welk was born in Strasburg, ND.)

On a serious note, North Dakota may not be a tourist trap, but it is working. Unemployment is about 3%, and a burgeoning oil industry is creating thousands of jobs. (Are you reading this, President Obama?)

So, do you really want to know why I went to North Dakota? The truth is that I had been in 48 states, and only North Dakota and Alaska remained. I am determined to hit all 50.

Alaska, you are next.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

With such low unemployment, I'm sure everyone in North Dakota is voting for President Obama. Isn't that how Republicans want people to decided who they will vote for?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Perhaps that photo reminds you of Moscow because so many Russian-Germans settled North Dakota. The Plains and cold winters reminded me of home.