Thursday, June 17, 2010

Valley City to Devils Lake, ND. 2010

Tue - June 15th - Fri - June 18th

Valley City State University, our alma mater. Valley City is known as the "City of Bridges". There are 8 bridges and there is a walking tour to see them. They have a very nice visitors center with a preserved train car inside. It was the Superintendent's Coach and is really nice. Just behind us here, is the walking bridge over the Sheyenne River to downtown.

Back in 1972 one of our friends drove his VW over the bridge. Someone else tried it in 1992, causing the bridge to be closed down for two years due to structural damage. Before it was reopened in 1994, these brick flower planters were placed on both ends to put a stop to further pranks.

This is the Veteran's Memorial on the main drag downtown. Jay's Pizza Corner is on the right with the blue awning. We went here for lunch to relive a date from long ago. The place is about three times bigger, but the "Triple P Pizza" is as delicious as I remembered it, loaded with chopped dill pickles.

The Medicine Wheel Park is on a hill on the east part of campus. It was built by the science classes on campus. The sun is at the center and boulders representing the planets are spaced from the sun on a scale with one foot equaling 3 million miles.

The first three closest planets are shown here with the earth's orbit represented as the outside of the circle. If you follow the walking path around a curve, down a valley, up a hill, down another valley and across a parking lot, you will come to pluto. Along the pathway are the rest of the planets.

The wheel's circle measures 213 feet around. 28 spokes radiating from it's center represent the number of days in the lunar cycle. Six spokes extending way beyond the wheel are aligned to the horizon positions of sunrises and sunsets on the first days of the four seasons. So it's a calendar and a clock. It's really pretty cool.

Fom the top of the walking path this is a view of the High Liner Bridge. The big building just to the right of the big center tree, is the hospital where our little "Dawnie Marie" was born.

The Valley City High School, where we did our student teaching, is known as the Hi-Liners. John and his crazy roommate walked the train trestle bridge one night when their judgement was somewhat impaired, if you know what I mean.
Although, he may not be the only one to have walked this bridge, he thinks he might be the only one, who has also run with the bulls in Spain and bungee jumped in New Zealand.

Baldhill Dam and Lake Ashtabula north of Valley City. A very nice recreation area.

Here's where we camped just on the eastern edge of Hannaford. A nice little city campground.

Sully Hills National Game Preserve Overlook at Devils Lake. We did the auto tour drive thru the preserve.

We saw this herd of about ten bison with one calf and a white tail deer. There was supposed to be elk, but we didn't see them.

There was a little prairie dog village. These little guys were so cute, standing up with their ears perked for danger.

This is the Devils Lake Vista from the preserve. It's so huge, it looks like the ocean. In March 1993 the lake area was 44,230 acres. In April 2010 it covered 177,100 acres, 208 square miles. 1n 17 years it has grown by more than six times. It has overflowed into the Sheyenne and Red Rivers at least twice in the last 4,000 years. The last time occurred less than 2,000 years ago. If it rises 7 more feet without some diversion project, it could wipe out the towns of Lisbon and Valley City. I walked down here from where we were camped at the casino. Gives some idea what's happening.
I don't know if you can tell in this picture from the casino parking lot, but the road continues all the way to the other side of the lake and there is another one that intersects with it near the horizon. The water doesn't have to come up very much further and these main roads will be under.

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