Day Seven – Bismarck to Regent

The conference in Bismarck on Thursday night went well. I had nine people in my workshop, and several of them showed genuine interest. I got about 10 minutes from the end of my talk and my body decided I was done. I had to reach deep and summon enough energy to finish the talk.

Sally and I spent the night with a retired couple named Marty and Fran. They couldn’t do enough for us, and we had a great time talking with them over breakfast. They live in a condo in a residential area in Bismarck, so this was the one morning I didn’t bother getting up early to walk.

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We met a local pastor at Starbucks and talked with him for about an hour and then we were officially on vacation. We headed west, past New Salem, home of Salem Sue, the world’s largest Holstein cow.

Here’s Sue from several miles away. See the tallest hill in the center distance of this shot? The white line is the name “New Salem.” Sue can be seen as a spot on the right slope.

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Arlyn offered to stop, but I felt we could get the gist of things from the highway.

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We headed south on back roads to Mott, Arlyn’s boyhood hometown.  His childhood house is gone and, inexplicably, there is no plaque to mark the site.

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Our next destination was Regent. Local resident, Gary Greff, was concerned that his town might disappear. (At the last count, there were 160 residents.) His solution was to build a series of massive sculptures along the road leading from I-94 to the town.

I’m not convinced the effort is doing a great deal for the town, but it did get us there. We bought a couple cans of pop and a refrigerator magnet to help the local economy. I picked up a brochure on the Enchanted Highway — it lists “serene atmosphere” as one of its tourist attractions.

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Another picture of downtown Regent during the lunchtime rush.

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This metal tree is next to the gift shop.

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Sally, Red Bird and Arlyn in front of the shop.

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This structure sits, without explanation or access, in an empty lot next to the gift shop.

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