ND or Bust: The Biggest Buffalo (Part 12)

From June 24…..

As much as we really enjoyed the Red Bank Zoo, we were STARVED.  Most every zoo on the planet has some kind of snack bar, but this zoo didn’t.  So we had a very late lunch / early dinner at a Taco Johns in Fargo.  With the franchising empire in the United States we really hadn’t seen too many chains we didn’t have in Nashville, so we were excited to see a Taco Johns and get to try it.  You can also pretty much guarantee if it has “Taco” in the title that I’m going to love it.  It really was good – basically Taco Bell with more dips, better (actually real) salsa and “Potatoes Ole” aka Tater Tots.  Nothing gourmet and definitely not healthy, but a fun change from the things we normally have.

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From there we headed over to the Fargo Visitors Center to see what fun travel guides and North Dakota swag we could get.  It was a great Visitors Center with lots of memorabilia from the Fargo movie out front and inside.

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They had a big Walk of Fame outside with a ton of different celebrity hand-prints all around.

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The girls had a lot of fun comparing their hand-prints to the celebs and seeing who was closest in size to their hands.

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Inside the Visitors Center they had a coloring station for the kiddos so we could browse brochures and Brent talked to the guide and told him it was our last continental state to visit.  The guy told him it’s very common for it to be the 50th state for a lot of people and they have a special gift for them, but for us he gave us a couple of North Dakota pins.  We’ll take it! He also gave us some tips on ways to head home – we thought we’d have to backtrack all the way to Minneapolis (and then travel a different way South), but after talking with him we decided to completely re-route our return and literally never see anything twice.

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68 degrees in June? Yes, please.  In Nashville it was upper 90’s.

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Another afternoon pop up storm.  Straight, flat roads, high speed limits, wide skies.  We love visiting the West.

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Our furthermost destination was Jamestown, North Dakota.  It was strange finally reaching that point after all our other stops along the way.  They had quite a few Western things there, so we felt like it was a good turning point for heading back South and giving the girls a feel of the West, even though we really didn’t get to get out there too much.

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Our stop was at the Buffalo Museum/Frontier Village area.  We got really lucky and the wild herd was close to the Museum area and we also got to see White Cloud, the white buffalo.  They can roam anywhere, but tend to be closer to the front in the evenings.

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More of the herd.

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And the big tourist attraction there was the World’s Largest Buffalo.  How could we pass up seeing that??

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And it was definitely huge.  So fun to see.

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Me and the girls.  Also, it dripped water.  We really don’t know why.  It was a little weird.

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Brent and I.  The girls just ran and ran and ran laps around it and all over.  And Abbi stepped in some kind of poop and we never figured out what sort of animal it was.  Prairie life, yo.

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And they had a little Frontier Ghost Village for exploring.  (This whole thing was free!) There were all kinds of little shops, churches, trains and “stuff” for exploring what frontier life would’ve been like.  They even had a couple of actual stores but they were already closed for the day.

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The saloon.

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The printing shop.

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Being silly at Frontier Village.

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Hotel Night #6.  Another room, another night.

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By the time you’re in a hotel for the 6th night in a row with a 2 year old you just give up on some things.  She loves to play in the bathroom with the door closed.  Sometimes entire rolls of toilet paper get unrolled and torn into tiny shreds on the floor.  And sometimes a bunch of stuffed animals end up on the toilet and who knows what else.  But if we get a few minutes of downtime and can prop our feet up it’s worth it!

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And we headed out for a late dinner at a nice restaurant in Jamestown.  Brent wanted a Bison Burger and strangely enough there weren’t a lot of choices in the “Buffalo City”.  The kids were tired, off schedule and hungry, but overall we made dinner work.  The craziest part of this area of the country is that it wasn’t getting dark until nearly 10 pm, so it made it a bit easier to stay out late and keep them up later.

Up next – the long journey back towards home!

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