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North Dakota Veterans Home

November 14, 2013

North Dakota – Monday, November 4

Today I was going to see some of southeast North Dakota, and I headed west from Fargo through prairie land. At one point I passed an old abandoned church with broken windows – that’s not something one sees very often. I stopped in the town of Casselton where I got out and walked 2 miles. From there I headed southwest to the town of Lisbon, which is the location of the only veterans home in North Dakota. I had called ahead and spoken to Margy to see if there was anything in particular that they needed, but she said a donation toward anything on the wish list would be good. I took a look at the choices and decided I would like my donation to go toward the “Resident Christmas” program. The veterans home staff goes out shopping for a Christmas gift for each of the residents, and since it’s already November, I thought that might be a timely donation. When I got there Margy called someone else down, and that person (whose name I’ve forgotten) showed me all around the veterans home.  It was very warm and inviting, and set up sort of like a large home, with a kitchen for each group of about 13 residents (so they can help themselves to snacks and drinks in addition to the meals that are provided), and a hallway of “storefronts” that are set up to look like different shops – a pool hall, a theatre,  a barbershop, a town hall, a museum, a chapel, etc. They also have a separate wing for patients who need additional nursing care. It was fun to see the place, and it’s so nice for the veterans to have a place to go. After making the donation, Tula and I set off for some walking in town, and I covered a little over 2 miles. I passed a “little free library” which looks like an overgrown birdhouse with paperbacks in it, and anyone is free to exchange books there. I’ve seen several of those in various towns – a fun idea!

Then I set of for Valley City. I stopped for a walk in Medicine Wheel Park, which featured a replica of a Native American solar calendar, although I didn’t quite understand it! There was a central stone calendar of some sort, and a long path leading by rocks which had the planets’ names on them, although I couldn’t find Pluto even though I walked to the end of the trail!  Valley City also has one of the longest and highest single track train bridges in the nation – 3860 feet long and 162 feet high over the river; built in 1906 and still in use. (Although I’m pretty sure my mom, Taryn and I saw a higher train trestle in Kentucky a few years ago but it wasn’t as long).  I wanted to see a train cross the bridge, but no luck.  And then I walked a mile and a half around the campus area of Valley City State University. By this time it was dark, and I still needed to get some miles in since this was my last full day in North Dakota. So I stopped by a big indoor mall near Fargo and walked a few laps to cover 2 1/2 miles. I think this is only the 3rd time I’ve walked a couple indoor miles! Then  I stayed in Fargo again for the night, since I had a vet appointment for Tula in the morning.

 

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