North Dakota

Thursday when I drove to Bismarck (south-central ND) from Havre (north-central MT) I put a total of 566 miles on the car, more than any one-day total this trip, excluding the three travel days to make a beeline to Colorado at the beginning.  This confirmed something I have long suspected – Montana is a very big state, and apparently North Dakota is too.  Saturday I traveled west of Bismarck to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and it was 140 miles just to get to the south entrance and I put a total of 532 miles on the car for the day, making a rectangle to both the north and south “units” of the Park and an 80-mile sidetrip before returning to Bismarck.

This was a lake I passed on my way in to town on Thursday:

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It is Lake Sakakawea, north of Bismarck, and I read in some information I got at the Visitor Center on Friday that the coastline around the lake is longer than the entire California coastline with the Pacific Ocean!

Here are some other fun facts about North Dakota:

The parking meter was invented here.

They have more miles of road, golf courses and millionaires per capita than any other state.

They are the leading US producer of spring wheat, durum wheat, sunflowers (I have seen far more fields of sunflowers here than I saw in Kansas either of the past two years), barley, pinto beans, canola, flaxseed, lentils, oats and honey.

They have the only synthetic natural gas producer in the country.

They have 63 wildlife refuges, more than any other state.

The highest and lowest temperatures in the state were both recorded the same year, -60 degrees in February 1936 and 121 degrees in July of that year.

Now you know!