Sunday, June 2, 2013

Walking in Fargo

I came to Fargo to do the walk in order to mark off F in my Walking the USA A-Z book. This turned out to be a great walk. The walk box is held at a Howard Johnson hotel. When I asked for it, the desk clerk cautioned me that it was a very heavy box. She was right, for it holds details for three walks: two walks in Fargo and one in Moorhead, MN. I picked up all the things needed to do the Fargo North walk today and for the Moorhead walk tomorrow.

 A history of Fargo explains it was named for the Northern Pacific Railroad director and director of Wells Fargo Express. Duh! Why didn't that thought ever come to my mind!

All I had to do to begin was walk across the street to a trail along the Red River. 

The river looks very benign in this photo but it is responsible for many major floods -- or rather some strange topography is responsible for many floods. This river begins in the area where Minnesota makes a bulge to the west, on the border of North Dakota and South Dakota. A continental divide is located here. Water on the south side flows into the Minnesota River and then into the Mississippi. Water on the north flows in the Red River and dumps into Lake Winnipeg. That's right, this river flows north. And spring comes from the south. Melted water hits ice and ice dams on the river in areas where spring has not arrived and either goes out of bank or zips down a tributary and suddenly a town 20 miles away has a major flood.

The trail continued along the river for perhaps two kilometers. Part of this area is a wildflower garden, but all I saw was dandelions!

To be fair, this area has been subject to floods this year and then continued rain and shown below by mud.

It was simply a joy to be walking this morning. The temperature was around 50 degrees and sun was shining.

Soon I walked into a city park and made a loop around the park. The park has a horse shoe court and it was fun to hear the clunk of the horse shoes. The only other sound seemed to be happy robins!

I followed some twists and turns and soon was in the area of another city park. Here I was to find a trail and use the name of trail as a checkpoint to prove I was actually at this point. Never found the trail, but did find a cement footing that might hold a sign. I am wondering if either it was damaged by the recent flood or there is park renovation going on. Thankfully the walk manager had provided a map and I found my way to the next point on the route with a bit of an alternate route. This took me by the city golf course. By now I was looking for a place to rest, having been walking continuously for a bit more than an hour. I was glad to find a school playground.

Back walking, I was soon entering into the very northern edge of the North Dakota State University campus, principally an area holding athletic facilities.

I found the Fargo Dome and

the Curling Club. The Curling Club was right next to the Ice Hockey arena. That tells us what the climate is!

Then I entered into the campus proper. I particularly enjoyed seeing some of  the very oldest buildings.

The walk route turned out of the campus and there I saw the Sigma Nu fraternity house.

I laughed, remembering a song we women sang when I was a young university student that begin this way:

"Never trust a Sigma Nu an inch above your knee."

I'll just leave it there, but I'd been interested to know if any blog readers have ever heard this song, too.

The route turned south past hospital and medical complexes. The map advised me to looked for Josie's Cafe and I surely was, but alas found it was closed on Sunday.

I did notice in the same area St. Mary's Cathedral.

And then soon with a few blocks to the east I was back to my car. This is a great walk and I did manage to do all 10K!

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