Friday, December 9, 2011

Peace on Earth, or at least North Dakota

So this week I spent some time in Northern North Dakota for some grower meetings and grower visits. Area Manager Kevin Abentroth was my host. It was plenty cold, but no snow, or not much. So have you ever read (or seen) a North Dakota license plate? Its motto is on it declaring it as The Peace Garden State. Now I didn't know what the Peace Garden was, but we were near it on the map, and I made Kevin drive us up there. And Kevin, a life-long North Dakotan, admitted that he had never been there. So we went. I thought it was inside North Dakota, but it is actually right on the black line that is the border between the US and Canada. Below is the sign for it, and you can see the Canadian border stop in the background. Below is a picture of the peace tower, soaring 120 feet into the sky. I read later that it represents the soaring ambitions of the early immigrants. (Although I would imagine that the main ambition in the winter time was to keep warm.) But I was disappointed that we didn't see any of the beautiful flower gardens like in the pictures in the brochures. And I would have thought there would be more tourists, but we were the only ones. It was a balmy 8 degrees. But this place was dedicated in July of 1932 to acknowledge the peace between the two countries and pledge that we will not take up arms against one another. That's a relief. Although some of the hockey games get pretty rough. Anyway, after my picture taking, we left and had to go through US customs to get back in. Even though we didn't go into Canada, only on the black line. Had to answer all the usual border questions and open the pickup doors so he could look inside. It took longer than our park visit. But we were finally allowed back home. (We didn't get out and kiss the ground due to the cold.) But now I can cross that off my list of things to see.