This month, we asked our readers to submit replies to the following...
What is your favorite place to explore or visit in North Dakota and why?
SOOTHING STATE PARK
When it comes to favorite locations to explore in North Dakota, I’ll have to go with Lake Metigoshe State Park. Nestled in the Turtle Mountains, it is an extremely popular vacation spot for many families, including my own.
Taking a trip there with my family has always been a wonderful experience and I always look forward to those weekends when we decide to pack a picnic and pile into our van, ready for an afternoon of swimming and hiking.
The hiking trails in Lake Metigoshe State Park are the best part for me. The atmosphere as you stroll under the trees is soothing, like a bubble away from the chaos of daily life. I am able to relax, and focus on soaking in the sounds and sights all around me.
Visiting Lake Metigoshe State Park is always an opportunity for living in the moment, and one for which I am grateful. I would highly recommend visiting it if you can’t think of a place to visit; I can guarantee it will be worth it.
Leona Petrovic, Parents are members of Verendrye Electric Cooperative
QUIET CAMPING AREA
One of my favorite places to visit in North Dakota is Mount Carmel Camp, near Denbigh.
Mount Carmel Camp is a quiet little camp, hidden away in the trees. When I was a little girl, my family would visit for a church retreat or a family reunion. I loved playing on the HUGE sand hill (it is not so huge anymore!) or trying to complete the obstacle course (which is still difficult!). There was also a zip line that was a favorite of many.
I love the solitude it offers, surrounded by hills and trees, so far from busy towns. The green of spring, or the oranges and browns of fall, are always breathtaking, with nature showcasing God’s creativity. Even with all of the fun things to do there – the obstacle course, the zip line, a shooting range, a basketball court or the fire pit – I think my favorite thing about Mount Carmel Camp was the people with whom I was blessed to spend time. Having a fun, laughter-filled conversation, an intimate heart-to-heart, or simply spending quiet time with God are the memories I treasure.
Kate Karges, Member of Roughrider Electric Cooperative
BACK IN TIME
The Sargent County Museum in Forman is the place to visit. It has more than 36,000 square feet of buildings to explore. It is a great trip on a rainy day, since you can stay inside the buildings that are all connected. It is also handicapped accessible throughout. It is well-lit and has nice walkways.
They do a good job with their flip books and signage, so you know what you are looking at and can learn the history. The first building has a nice military collection, along with a bedroom, kitchen, toy collection and a nice research area. Building two is filled with cars, Bobcat and Keller collections, along with a dentist’s office, general store, old newspaper machines and many other booths.
You also have areas where you can touch and learn, like the furs, manual typewriter, stereoscope and phone exhibit. They also have a World War I area where you can even try on the uniforms.
The next building is full of tractors, large and small, from early years to about the 1960s. The next building has exhibits on fossils, railroad, small engines, tools and horse-drawn equipment.
You can also enjoy the monitors in each building that tell you about the items in those buildings. In building three, it sounds like the steam engines are going.
For more information and photos, visit www.sargentcountymuseum.org. It is well-worth the trip, because you will spend two to three hours or more.
Pat Olofson, Member of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative
BEAUTY OF THE ABBEY
I think Assumption Abbey is North Dakota’s best-kept secret. Whenever I’m traveling on I-94 between Bismarck and Medora, I pull off in Richardton for a rest in one of the most serene spots in the state.
The Benedictine monks who live here are rarely in sight, but you can see their handiwork in the quiet courtyard garden and in the monastery-made pottery and goat’s milk soap for sale in the gift shop. The brothers also chat with guests who stop to buy fresh bread and wine.
The abbey itself towers above the surrounding prairie. The exterior is impressive, but the interior is soothing and still. The sanctuary is painted in colors that prairie people know well – the gold of wheat fields, the bright blue of the sky and the deep rusty red of the scoria roads of western North Dakota. It’s a beautiful place. And when you stop, there’s a good chance you’ll have it all to yourself. Visit www.assumptionabbey.com.
Alicia Underlee Nelson, Member of Cass County Electric Cooperative
FUN IN MEDORA
Although our great state has so many special places to visit, our family’s favorite state destination throughout the years has been Medora! We’ve only missed one summer – one annual visit – since 1967!
I started visiting Medora as a single teacher, continued visiting as a young married couple, then as young parents (carrying our two little people up the winding hill out of the amphitheater at the conclusion of our annual visit to the Medora Musical), and now take my grown children and five grandchildren (who now enjoy many of the same activities their parents did).
Many of the attractions and amenities have changed, expanded or improved over the years. The Medora Musical didn’t always have an escalator, and the wooden benches of the amphitheater were replaced with more comfortable seating about 25 years ago. Our children played miniature golf, but didn't have the nice community playground that our grandchildren now enjoy.
The Medora Musical and afternoon walk to one of the local ice cream parlors have been essentials of the 50-year tradition, and our family enjoyed the 4-M Review numerous seasons. We now also enjoy the Medora Gospel Brunch. With far too many special activities to squeeze into a three-day weekend, we've annually rotated among a host of other Medora-area attractions, including the Chateau de Mores, the N.D. Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Billings County Museum, Bully Pulpit Golf Course, the pitchfork fondue, the Maltese Cross Cabin, and a leisurely drive through the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, among other attractions.
Most years, we’ve towed or driven an RV to Medora for the weekend in a local campground, but occasionally we’ve stayed at a local motel. Regardless of where we spend the night, we always take advantage of the unique local dining adventures.
There's something in Medora for everyone. That’s what has kept us coming back year after year. No matter where else we travel, the Selbys will continue their annual weekends to Medora and the surrounding area!
JeAnne Selby, Member of Capital Electric Cooperative
NORTH DAKOTA HAS IT ALL
It is difficult to specify one particular place to be a favorite in our beautiful state of North Dakota. The state has numerous parks, the International Peace Garden and Medora.
North Dakota has always been a favorite for our family vacations. It has many more activities for all ages. We enjoy the sightseeing, Medora Musical, Theodore Roosevelt Park, wildlife, hiking and biking. During each visit, something new has been added in the town of Medora for us to explore and enjoy.
June Dokken, Member of Verendrye Electric Cooperative
JUNE: What has been one of the best examples of economic development in your rural community?
Deadline for submission: May 14
JULY: Whether it’s a local county fair or the North Dakota State Fair, what’s your favorite memory of a fair in North Dakota?
Deadline for submission: June 13