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A Scandinavian Day

November 10, 2013

North Dakota – Friday, November 1

I woke up to a chilly gray morning, and headed over to Oak Park to start the day’s walking. Tula walked a little bit of it, and then I walked on all the trails in the park and along a river and covered 2 1/2 miles. Then I headed into the downtown area and walked another mile. Minot wasn’t as interesting as some other cities, but it’s the farthest west I’m going in North Dakota. There’s an oil boom going on in the western part of the state, and it’s likely to continue for at least 20 years. It’s driven up motel prices and other prices in the Minot area, and it’s probably even worse farther west.

I noticed another park in town called the Scandinavian Heritage Park and it flies the flags of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. I walked all  around the park and it was a really interesting place, with a beautiful full-size replica of the Gol Stave church in Oslo; a 30-foot tall Dala horse; a Danish windmill; a statue to memorialize Sondre Norheim, the “father of modern skiing”; and several other Norwegian buildings that were dismantled in Norway and reassembled in North Dakota. The buildings weren’t open because it was the off season, but it was still fun to walk around. The stave church had a donation box, and since I’ve been surrounded by so much Scandinavian family history this past week, I decided to make a cultural donation to the Gol Stave Church.

When I was finished at the Scandinavian Heritage Park, I headed over to Roosevelt Park (named in honor of Teddy Roosevelt – it still amazes me how some of these historic people got around so much without modern transportation!) on the other side of town, and walked almost 2 miles. Then, based on signs I saw in town, I headed to the big North Dakota state fairgrounds where a large craft show was taking place. I walked around the fairgrounds for a bit, then headed inside to enjoy a big craft show. There were also baked goods for sale, and I got some lefse and krumkake. That all finished off my walking for the day, then I drove still farther north to the town of Bottineau, close to the Canadian border, where I stayed in a motel called Norway House – a fitting end to a day with Scandinavian parks, buildings, food, and now the motel name. I tasted one of the krumkake and although it looked really good and the color and texture were just right, something was missing from the taste – no nutmeg! They still tasted okay, and when I looked at their ingredients, I saw they used cardamom instead of nutmeg. Krumkake need nutmeg – but I ate them anyway!


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