Volume 5

The North Country Trail


(click on pictures to see a larger size)

2005-65.jpg (41702 bytes)The weather finally improved and Judy and Adele could get back on the trail. Thanks to Scott at Lake Ashtabula who was nice enough to give us the map off his wall with the new l0 miles around the lake marked.  It is new and has the posts but not the insignias of the trail yet.  Some places are not quite ready and some rolling under barb wire was required. They finished the last section around Lake Ashtabula and were happy to get out of the ticks and weeds for a while. 2005-67.jpg (38807 bytes)

The North Country Trail in North Dakota is about 439 miles long.  Only 214 miles is actually 'certified' which means it's off the road and is a hiking only trail.  The rest is a recommended route of back roads to connect to the certified sections.   After Lake Ashtabula they biked the road into Valley City.  The section through town has been certified and goes through the parks and state university there. 
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The rock circle in the picture is in Medicine Wheel Park.  It's a solar calendar and a solar system model and was constructed in 1992 by the students at Valley State University.  It's like an Indian Stonehenge.  You can get more info at:  

2005-55.jpg (47282 bytes)From Valley City south it's another roadwalk to Fort Ransom State Park.  From Lake Ashtabula for 63 miles the trail follows the Sheyenne River Valley national scenic byway to Lisbon.  Along the way there are interpretive sites to stop and look at.  2005-66.jpg (51911 bytes)The girls were stopped by an older gentleman who inquired what they were doing.  After they explained he invited them for a personal tour of the Slattum Cabin.  They were his ancestors and had started living in a cave when they arrived here from Norway before they could build the cabin.  After the tour they hiked into the campground at the state park where John and I had moved the RV's. 

2005-56.jpg (59071 bytes)We were the only one's in the campground besides the camphosts. The next day they biked the 20 miles to Lisbon and John and I moved the RV's to Dead Colt Creek 5 miles south of Lisbon. 2005-57.jpg (18572 bytes)Along the way is the certified section of the Sheyenne State Forest.  The problem was the bridge was out to get to it from the scenic highway.  This required much driving by Bob on unnamed streets??? to come in from the other side. 
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This section would have had to have been skipped if not for Bob and his support.  We ran into two park workers who were checking out the trail for a group to hike on National Trails Day.
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The next certified section was the Sheyenne National Grasslands.  The first half has a gravel path but the second half is a post to post.  Unfortunately they were putting in new trail and Adele and Judy decided to take it.  When new trail died abruptly it was necessary to do a little GPS work to find the old trail.  Anyone who knows Judy knows what a electronaphobe she is so this in itself was amazing. 2005-61.jpg (52722 bytes) It took them 6 hours to do the second half  in the rain but otherwise they arrived unscathed.

2005-70.jpg (20492 bytes)On the way to the next campground Bob and John dropped Judy and Adele off on the highway where they biked to the Minnesota Border on May 26th.  We stayed at Fort Abercrombie where the curator of the museum was nice enough to let us stay behind the museum.  We toured the museum and fort. Tomorrow (5/27) we start biking in Minnesota heading toward Maplewood State Park.2005-68.jpg (48674 bytes)
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Adele is wearing a new shirt that has a map of the trail on the back. It serves a dual purpose,  they can find themselves and Judy can point to where they are.  2005-63.jpg (45558 bytes)

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