Friday, September 5, 2008

Bismarck - CLEAN livin'!

Sorry for the delay. Finding internet on the road (in a hurry) isn't as easy out here as you might think, particularly if you're not cruisin' the big cities. :)

Here's what we've been up to!

August 27, 2008 – After generally spoiling ourselves with modern frills, laundry, swim and baths yesterday we were ready to see Bismarck today, and I wasn’t too interested in rushing our day so we could move on to another camp. So, we opted to keep our hotel room for the night and meander through town.

First stop, Dakota Zoo. The zoo isn’t particularly large, but its enclosures are more spacious than I’ve seen at most zoos, and there were many feeding opportunities not just in the farm animal section, but throughout the zoo.
The highlight for us all was feeding the White-tail Deer buck, two does and four fawns!

We fed a Sandhill Crane (the closest any of us has ever been to one)ducks, geese, ponies, pigs, goats, Clydesdales and myriad other animals with food from the animal-food vending machines in the park.

After a few hours in the zoo, we opted to head out for lunch so we could make it to the paddlewheel boat ride on the Missouri River. We were pretty disappointed to learn that all tours for the remainder of the day (until the 8:30 p.m. sunset cruise, one hour of which is in total darkness) had been cancelled due to lack of ticket sales, though they were unloading 17 folks for which they’d taken a special, off-schedule trip. The captain said, “Come back tomorrow.” Well, we had other plans for “tomorrow” and they didn’t involve Bismarck.

So, we explored the riverside parks instead, beginning at Pioneer Park (lots of space to run), then Keelboat Park (complete with a full-size keelboat replica parked in the park for all to explore),
and then up the hill to the Mandan Village Site which had a commanding view of the Missouri River Valley in all directions. This was the best view of the river we’d seen.

We returned to the room to get another comfortable night’s rest in the hotel before hitting the road again.

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