Over the weekend I went on a trip to Fargo, North Dakota to visit my sister who is working at North Dakota State University for the summer. We ultimately ended up visiting Winnipeg as well but we’ll start our journey at day one.
Friday began for me at 5:00AM with an alarm and some last minute packing and prep work. We ended up leaving at 6:20AM precisely 20 minutes later than planned. Nonetheless we had 14 hours of driving to do and I took the first shift. I drove from our home in Grosse Ile, Michigan to a welcome center in Wisconsin. I drove for a total of about 6 hours (which ended up counting as 5 because we crossed time zones).
Our ride for the trip started with about 35 miles on it
About an hour later we stopped at Subway for lunch which was a bit of an ordeal due to it being in a tourist area by some waterparks and there were screaming kids everywhere but we needed the food and we were on our way.
I got this shot after experimenting with shutter speeds
It could use gripper tires I think as it takes constant corrections to keep it going in a straight line, I also think the suspension is a little too soft and would like it to be a bit less bouncy and ride a little more stiffer. I found that the tires were much better later in the trip after they got wore in a bit.
The Air Conditioning is really strong even with the temps in the upper 90's. The interior space is pretty well laid out and spacious. Despite everyone being over 6 foot tall no one complained about the room in the front or the back.
I really like the black interior of the Escape it is laid out well and everything worked well. I like the sync system but with so much of it being touchscreen you have to take your eyes off the road a lot to use it and that makes it pretty distracting Love the steering wheel it is very attractive and feels great. The seats are also pretty great and have lots of adjustment which is good for my back especially since I dislocated a rib the day before we left. The car also has a 110v outlet which is great because it allowed me to use wall plugs and a three prong plug to charge my laptop.
We arrived at North Dakota State University at around 11PM and stayed at my sisters apartment there for the night.
I like North Dakota because of the speeding laws pay how many over you are 5mph = $5, which is brilliant. It was raining on the way up to Winnipeg and I was riding shotgun so I took some shots in the wet.
I got this one out the passenger window with the window rolled down.
We arrived in the province of Manitoba at about 12:30PM. We were expecting the border to take a little while because of our Michigan licenses in North Dakota but it went very smooth and we felt it was faster and easier than the Detroit Windsor crossing.
The Royal Canadian Mint
After clearing the border much faster than we were anticipating we arrived over an hour early for our scheduled tour at 3PM but the nice folks at the Mint moved us up to the tour at 2PM. As you drive in your pass a row of flags for every country the mint makes coins for. They make coins for Canada and 75 other countries. The tour was interesting but a little underwhelming because on weekends they aren’t making coins so the machines are stationary but it was cool nonetheless. We learned about the process and some trivia about coin making like how the looney (Canadian $1 coin) was originally supposed to be voyagers in a canoe but they lost the stamping and changed to the loon so that no one could make counterfeits with the master stamping. We also leaned about coin design. They design a lip onto the rim of the coin that goes slightly farther out than the image on the coin like the head so that when the coin rubs on surfaces the rim takes the abuse making the image last longer. This rim means the coins last an average of 30 years in circulation.
The Mint from the outside
Anderson, Scott. “Tossing a Coin.” Summer 2016 University of Toronto Magazine Tossing a Coin Comments. University of Toronto Magazine, 2016. Web. 31 July 2016.
After the mint we drove to Fort Whyte Alive and got there at 3:40. I was exited to see the Bison they had there and get some shots but we ended up not going because it was outside and no one else was interested. Then we went and drove around downtown Winnipeg and went to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The Museum was definitely interesting but as I was expecting was a little bit of a downer because the struggles for human rights are a battle and it brings out the best and worst of humanity; those fighting for and against the rights of others.
That said it is a beautiful building inside and out and it is very well done and thought provoking. We only had about 40 minutes to see it before they closed but you could easily stay for hours to take it all in.
We ate dinner at a fancier restaurant called Mon Am’ Louis which was very good. I had a honey barbecue burger and fries. The most interesting thing about the restaurant is that it is located on a bridge near the human rights museum.
Side profile of the restaurant
After dinner we returned to the Escape to find that I had left my sunglasses on top of the car and that they were still there! Oh it’s good to be in Canada sometimes. Then we drove around downtown Winnipeg.
MTS Centre the home of the Winnipeg Jets
Then we drove the back the 4 hours to NDSU and my sisters apartment to sleep for the night.
On our third day we checked out Fargo. We started with going to downtown Fargo.
They have these painted buffalos placed throughout the Fargo area they are all painted differently.
Downtown Fargo is smaller than I was expecting and is full of little shops that were very interesting. We had Lunch at Rhombus Guys who make some seriously good Pizza and have a cool bar atmosphere with paper tablecloths that you are encouraged to draw on with provided crayons. I had the Busey pizza which is pineapple with Canadian bacon and I think it is the best pizza I’ve ever had.
Next we took a tour of North Dakota State University. It is a very cool campus with a mix of old and new architecture for the buildings.
The Bison is the NDSU mascot
They have these wonderful engravings on all the trashcans on campus.
They have several of these logos in the tile floors across campus.
After touring the campus we went to a local mall and then returned to the apartment and played cards until we were ready to sleep and prepare for the drive home on Monday.
Day 4 started much like Day 1 I woke up at 5 and we were on our way at 6:20. My brother took the first shift and I took the back seat to try to sleep some more because at this point I was pretty exhausted. I wasn’t too successful but it helped pass the time. I also watched a movie while I was in the back seat. Then my dad took the second shift a couple hours into the drive and I took the third shift as we got close to Illinois. My shift was busy because I had to navigate through the toll roads and Chicago afternoon rush hour traffic. I was fortunate enough to get this section on both the way out and in. Then I switched over with my brother in Kalamazoo Michigan and he took us the rest of the way home. We arrived at about 11:30PM.
Overall, I’m glad I we went on the trip it was a lot of time in the car which can be boring and frustrating and we had our share of that but it was also good to spend time together doing something. I got to take my camera and take a lot of pictures and we made some good memories along the way. Perhaps my favorite was from about an hour in when my brother said in a joking way “well, we’re getting there”, but I’ll remember the new states, provinces and places we went to and the people I went with.
You can find this post and others like it on my personal blog momentumkr.blogspot.com thanks for reading!