“And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood-chipper…”
Those words rang through my mind as I drove into Fargo North Dakota. Being born in Minnesota, and spending a lot of time in Brainerd while growing up, that movie holds a special place in my heart. I don’t know what it is exactly but it probably has something to do with the alomost perfect representation of the people from the northern mid-west. So innocent, so charming, and all with accents that will make you laugh until your britches hurt. I had explored North Dakota a bit this previous winter before any of the superchargers had been constructed. During Covid, a few opened up and I was ready to get my feet wet exploring the area. Excited to see a prop from (one of) my favorite film, I pulled into the Fargo Tourist Center looking forward to getting my lame tourist shot.
As I pulled up to the center, I noticed that it was quite empty. Covid hadn’t seemed to shut any of the city down. Everything was still operating as normal, so I was quite surprised to find the doors locked to the hall where the wood-chipper was held. A polite sign on the door informed me that because of the 4th of July (today was the 3rd), the center was closed. A little confused on why a tourist area would be closed the day before a holiday, the most likely time for tourists to be in town, I walked around the campus enjoying a replica that was displayed on the lawn. “It would have to do” I told myself, as I walked along the path that had a “hand prints of the stars” in the cement on the sidewalk, trying to replicate the famous Chinese theater from Hollywood. This was enough of the city for me. I wanted to explore the fields and farms out in the prairies. I set off north happily leaving the city behind.
Not long after exiting the city, I was surrounded by farm land as far as the eye could see. It was a bit surreal seeing so much green as the last time I was in this area everything was blanketed in the white of snow. I drove and drove, not seeing anyone besides the random semi truck. Everything was so beautiful, I had to stop a couple of times to take it all in. The green of plants as far as the eye could see, small ponds along the side of the road reflecting the blue of the sky above. It was amazing. The next small town I pulled into seemed to have been calling to me. It was named “Arthur”. I guess I was a bit famous here. I mean, how many people have towns named after them.
After a few hours of driving, I reached my destination, The KVLY TV Station tower. This is the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere and at one time was the tallest in the world. Out of nowhere, a tower pointing out into the sky able to be seen from miles away, pointed up into the universe as if pushing us to go up into the heavens. Ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but it was super cool seeing this thing get bigger as I got closer. When I finally pulled up, my car and I were dwarfed in its presence. I sat out side of it, absolutely mesmerized as I clicked away, yet at the same time being devoured by flies.
I still had one place I wanted to visit while I was up here, The Ronald Regan Minutemen Missile Silo. Back during the Cold War, THIS is where some of the nukes were. I’m an American History buff so I was excited to get to step foot and be around the old gear. Unfortunately, the site was closed due to Covid and I hadn’t checked before I stopped by. It was still awesome being outside and imagining the fort that was hidden directly beneath my feet. After taking some pictures and enjoying more of the green farms surrounding me I set off for the Jamestown Supercharger to continue my journey.
Fargo, North Dakota
KVLY – TV Mast
153rd Ave SE
Blanchard, North Dakota
Ronald Regan Minutemen Missle Site
555 113th 1/2 Ave NE, Cooperstown, ND 58425
5680 23rd Ave S Fargo, ND 58104