Day Four — Outside Dickinson, North Dakota

A slice of western North Dakota is in the mountain time zone. Dickinson is just west of the line, and my phone never got the message. When I went to bed on Monday night, I did the math and set my alarm accordingly. But when I woke on Tuesday, my brain wasn’t up to the calculation and I was up and about an hour early.

I haven’t stayed in stranger’s homes often enough to know the protocol in situations like this. Wandering room to room seems inappropriate. Sitting in a common area staring at the family as they start the day felt a bit creepy. So I went for a walk. It later turned into another hot day, but this early in the morning there was a cool breeze.

The country started in my host’s backyard. Beyond his fence there was a wheat field. When I walked up to the fence to take this photo, I flushed a male Ring-necked Pheasant.

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About a quarter mile from the house, the road turned to gravel.

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I arrived back at the house just as breakfast hit the table. We chatted with the host and watched his youngest daughter, Grace, put on a show. This young lady enjoyed life to the fullest, and when I offered her a chance to get her photo taken with the chair and the bird, she was thrilled. At her mother’s suggestion, she had her sock monkey kiss Red bird.

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