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Friday, May 4, 2012


Please say HELLO to Terry (as in Terry and the Pirates).

We will see more of Terry a bit later.

Long before daybreak, drove SPIA from our calm overnight rest at Kathryn, North Dakota, North on Highway 21 to the town of Valley City, North Dakota, some 15 miles distant.

Rain started falling about 3:00 am - had to get out of bed to close SPIA's roof-top vents -, and during most of our first leg of the day, it continued to rain.

Highway 21 about 6 miles South of Valley City.

View of another section of the Sheyenne River...the same river flowing next to Doug's home (see yesterday's blog).

Many nice homes grace the hillsides along Highway 21 running through Sheyenne Valle.

Please say HELLO to a couple who live in Sheyenne Valley. We met shortly after the rain stopped, and stopped to chat.

As with everyone I met, these two love living in Sheyenne Valley. They told me that many older residents of the Northwest North Dakota Oil Fields are being forced out because of the skyrocketing land values and equally unreal increase in prices for just about everything... and little available to purchase in the first place.

Apparently, oil workers and just plain drifters are arriving from all parts of the World. There is little infrastructure (homes, businesses, or services) to support such an influx. One small town on US 52, which we intend to walk in the next day or two, has, I am told, over 30,000 18-wheelers PER DAY passing through their tiny village.

I am being warned by just about everyone I meet that US 2 will be a virtual death trap for walking.

CRIME SPIKES IN OIL PATCH...newspaper headlines.

A local newspaper story on rising crime in the Northwest Oil Fields...which Oil Fields are purportedly much larger than the entire oil fields of Saudi Arabia...perhaps largest in the world.

Please say HELLO to Terry.

We met Terry earlier...he's married, ladies.

Terry and his wife Lynette, own and operate the local gas station, bar, and restaurant in the tiny town of Sanborn, North Dakota.

Lynette has kindly picked up my dinner tab...and Terry has, in addition to giving me much advice to STAY OUT OF THE OIL FIELDS, has given SPIA a secure place to park for the night.

I planned to walk West on Highway 22, but it was closed to traffic because of being washed out by recent rains...which have apparently caused significant flooding throughout this part of North Dakota. The lake feeding the Sheyenne River is so overfilled that it is a major cause of the Sheyenne River itself causing so much damage down stream.

So, we drove to the small village of Sanborn, where we are parked at Terry & Lynette's Restaurant for the night.

Silos (Skyscrapers Of The Plains)...according to the article in Kathryn, North Dakota - see yesterday's blog.

Every North Dakota has a sign similar to the above which says "MAX. GVW 80,000 LBS".

Translated the sign says: NO vehicle weighing over 80,000 pounds (40 tons) is allowed on this road.

The thousands of heavy trucks rolling on America's roadways is one primary reason the road surfaces are in poor condition.

Leaving SPIA at Terry's, I walked West on Highway 22. I intended to walk for 4 hours (16 miles). My walk was, however, cut short by:

Please say HELLO to Dave.

Dave is a reporter for the Valley City Newspaper. Dave was informed of my walking and drove out into the countryside to find and interview me.

We did have a good chat...he asking running off at the mouth.

I do enjoy the closeups of my new friends.

Highway 22, without pavement...apparently recently repaired from the local floods.

Please click click...a Mallard Duck is sitting on that tree trunk very near the roots. I tried chatting with him...look closely...his beak is open...and he was making "quacks" back to me.

No, he did not fly away as most wild ducks do as I pass by.

I now face a real dilemma: To continue with Plan A; i.e., to walk US 52 to Minot...then US 2 to Washington State (and transiting through the middle of the new Oil Fields...which I have been repeatedly warned to stay away from), or take US 12 West crossing Montana, meeting up with US 2 just before reaching Glacier National Park.

I surely want no trouble or problems...a couple days ago a woman teacher was kidnapped and murdered while walking a highway near her home in the Oil Fields...

On the other hand, I cannot quite accept that our America has become again like the Wild West where everyone must fear for their life.

I will make my decision before reaching Jamestown tomorrow evening...that is where US 52 is waiting to take us into history...or perhaps not

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