August 21, 2017- Travel Day #18
Sigh…… We stopped in Dickinson, a city of 23,000 souls and the seat of Stark County (haven’t seen so many seats since Dodger Stadium) for two nights for a reason- the Eclipse. We didn’t want to be on the road during the eclipse even though the sun would be only 80% covered by the moon here- most eclipses, if there is such a word, will be much farther south. We’ve heard many places are experiencing a population explosion just for this one event. We hope we didn’t make a mistake by staying put one extra day.
So we do a little research and find an interesting sounding place, the Enchanted Highway. The Enchanted Highway is a collection of the world’s largest scrap metal sculptures constructed at intervals along a 32-mile stretch of two-lane highway in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of North Dakota. I type in the closest town to the highway into the onboard navigation system, start up the perfect tow vehicle and we are off. I immediately flip out the “navigator” as I turn left down a country road instead of heading towards the interstate. “Make a U-turn at your earliest convenience!” Nah, we continue on the country road. More protests from the “navigator”. Shush!
We travel over hill and dale passing beautiful farms. Some grow cattle fodder, others sunflowers. Acres and acres of sunflowers. The asphalt road turns to oiled, then to dirt. We make a right and head towards the interstate where we catch another asphalt road that heads towards the burg of Gladstone.
At the I-94 overpass we see the first huge metal sculpture- that of a flock of geese. A little background- a young artist fella by the name of Gary Greff wanted to enhance the lives of the folks in his hometown of Regent. So how better to do that than do what farmers are good at- welding. He helped them create art one welding bead at a time. So Gary and 3 dozen farmers built the sculptures that depict local life we see today.
We continue down this road all the way to Regent stopping at each sculpture as we go. The countryside is beautiful and the huge sculptures are amazing- both a must see.
Several miles down the Enchanted Highway we see a few tree, which usually means civilization- and a church steeple rising above them. What the???? Lefor is almost a ghost town with only 60 inhabitants. It used to have a post office (closed in 2002), a bank- closed during the great depression. What still exists is a few inhabited homes lining dirt streets- and St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, circa 1929. Mass is still held there……
Sculpture on right got the blue ribbon! (just kidding, OK?)
We finish the tour in Regent. Not a lot in town. Not even a coffee shop that we saw. But it did have a nice two diamond ball park that just begged for a mutzo to enjoy. Megan ran around like crazy. She’s used to being off leash once in a while and this was it. This is where we saw as much of the eclipse as God offered. We viewed the sun with approximately 80% of it covered by the moon. Lighting was a little eerie……….
Yes, we did drive through New England…………….. (North Dakota)
We headed back to the barn from Regent. The drive to the Enchanted Highway, the highway itself and the road home put us in at 80 miles. That’s enough driving for one day. Tomorrow we travel to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan, ND.