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I love winter!

Sundogs photographed at the University of Mary, Bismarck - photo by Erica Hager

The headline is 100% completely true in my case. Winter is my favorite season. I love the snow. I love the sparkle. I love the cold. “What?!!” you ask, “You love cold?” Yes – I love the cold. North Dakota was making some headlines this week for being colder than some places in Antarctica. Here in Bismarck this morning it was -25°. (As I write this at noon, it’s already warmed up to 11°. A 30/40/50-degree temperature shift is not uncommon here.)

You might wonder how anyone could love the cold. This morning on my way to a workshop, I drove over the Missouri River.  The River hasn’t completely iced over, so a thick fog was rising from the open water (which was obviously warmer than the air temperature). That fog is cool. The crispness of the air – literally cool. It makes your senses alert, and you hear how loud the crunch of footsteps become. There’s a sharpness to your breath. The air is so clean that the sun dogs around the sun seem to make it twice as bright.

Without winter there wouldn’t be snowmobiling, sledding, outdoor skating rinks, ice fishing, snowkiting, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding and much more. What’s your favorite winter activity? Where do you find the beauty of this season?

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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Winter Fun

 

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The time zone puzzle of North Dakota

According to the History Channel, at exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies.

There is often confusion about the time zones in North Dakota – which does indeed have two.  And one area of greatest confusion relates to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  The Park is divided into two units – a south unit (with entrance in Medora) and a north unit (with entrance near Watford City).  The south unit of the Park is in the mountain time zone, while the north unit (at least at the visitor’s center) is in the central time zone.

So how does the time zone boundary work in North Dakota?

The eastern and central regions of North Dakota are in the central time zone – same as Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, etc.  From the South Dakota border, the boundary follows Highway 65/31 and the county lines of Sioux, Morton and Oliver Counties to the Missouri River near Hazen.  From that point the area on the west/south side of the Missouri River/Lake Sakakawea is mountain time zone, while the area east/north of the Missouri River is in the central time zone.

At the southwestern border of the Fort Berthold Reservation, the boundary jogs west, through Dunn and McKenzie Counties (and the north unit of TRNP) until the Montana border where it follows the border into Canada.

Stand in the right place – and you could be in two time zones at once in North Dakota!  Your cell phone won’t know what to think!!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Family Fun, History

 

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So much to do this weekend, so little time!

As we sit and discuss upcoming events in our tourism office, and what everyone has planned for this “hopefully nice weather” weekend that kicks off today, we started realizing that (in our opinion) the kickoff of summer is happening this weekend! This is when we all realize there is much to prepare for, so we scurry back to our offices to get some work done. Both the Fort Union Rendezvous (19th Century fur trading fair)- Fort Union, Williston and the North Dakota High School Finals Rodeo in Bowman started yesterday goes through until Sunday (20th). The 20th Annual Missouri River Bluegrass Festival at Cross Ranch State Park starts tonight, as well as Happy Days Festival in Lisbon and of course, Lewis and Clark Days in Washburn. It doesn’t stop there…. Rally in the Valley kicks off tonight in Valley City and goes until Sunday and Aneta is celebrating its 50th Annual Turkey Barbecue on Sunday only. Save the best for last for all you motorcycle enthusiasts, Cavalier will be holding its 14th Annual Cavalier Motorcycle Ride-In on Sunday that will attract more than 600 motorcycle travelers. Wooff… that is a lot of events so I hope all of you are ready for North Dakota’s first official crazy- fun summer weekend! We all sure are!

 

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Cruise the mighty Missouri River

The majestic Lewis & Clark Riverboat has started their schedule of dinner cruises and weekend specials.  Board the Riverboat at the historic Port of Bismarck for a cruise along the mighty Missouri River.  Hear the history of the river and the journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.  See the beautiful sights along the Missouri River – along with a peek of Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.

The Lewis & Clark Riverboat often has specials – including the upcoming Memorial Day Celebration.  Military personnel, veterans and their families can ride free with a military ID.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2010 in Attractions

 

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Alex Mergen – U R Legendary!

An unidentified angler stands with the record paddlefish caught by Alex Mergen

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has confirmed that a youth from South Dakota has landed a new, state-record paddlefish.  Alex Mergen, 16, of Rapid City, SD can now claim he’s caught the largest fish in North Dakota.  The paddlefish was confirmed to be at least 130 pounds.  (The rumor is that the Game and Fish scale only goes to 130 pounds.)

The record fish was caught Sunday morning on the Missouri River near Williston.  It reportedly was 74-inches and took 10 minutes to land.  The paddlefish season opened this past weekend and continues through the end of the month.

Congratulations Alex – we think You Are Legendary!!

 

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