Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fargo and Jamestown, North Dakota................Fargo was HOT !

We dawdled getting on the road today.  That "chain motel " I mentioned briefly last night turned out to be a real gem.  It is called the AmericInn, and isn't all over the country yet.  We stayed there because it was there and so were we.  Turns out, it was marvelous, at least the one in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.  Clean as the proverbial pin. The beds had immaculate white comforters, oversized towels and plenty of them, a magnifying mirror by the sink, and a really healthy and delicious breakfast. Their pool was clean, there was a pool table, a hot tub, a sauna, and an ice cream machine, which you know was exciting to me. We will be looking for AmericInns some more on this trip..............and of course,  we joined their club. 

Fargo was, we think, about 160 some miles from Sauk Centre.  It didn't feel that far, as our audio book, A Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling, has become quite involved. It has many characters (we had to write their names down and draw lines to show that a sign of aging or just a lot of characters?) and some fine writing defining the multiple facets of those characters.  We listened for most of the ride today.  There is your book review for this week.
The reason we wanted to go to Fargo is because I had rented the movie last winter, since Randy had never seen it.  We had to wear electric blankets to watch the movie.  We needed to see Fargo for ourselves, even though it would not be winter there.  Not winter?  It was 94 degrees in Fargo, North Dakota today. It was almost laughable. 

 We walked around downtown, seeing the historical Fargo Theatre and some lovely stores and offices. Lunch was a wonderful vegetable wrap at a place called The Smiling Moose.  I confess that we picked it for its name, but it was really good food. The downtown area is really very upscale.  We saw professionally dressed people and some in cowboy boots. We like this city!
We'd chosen to go to The Plains Art Museum which is just a short distance from the Smiling Moose. When we got there, we realized that it was undergoing renovation.  No admission was being charged because of this, and the museum had moved a large room full of art from its permanent collection so that there was still something to be seen by visitors.  While we didn't see the entire museum, we did see a Dali,  a Chihuly, a Warhol, some very fine beadwork by Native Americans, and other interesting works. A wedding and reception is to be held there tomorrow, and the tables were all set up n the upper floor for a lovely event.
On we drove, just about another hundred miles, to the city of Jamestown, North Dakota. The towns are getting further apart from each other, so we decided to stay here for tonight.  We drove on into the city and located the Gladstone Inn and Suites. Once our things were moved into our room we asked the desk clerk where to get a good steak.  He first directed us to a very upscale place across the street, but when Randy asked him where he would go for his own good steak, he mentioned a place near to the interstate.
We saw a sign pointing to Frontier Town on our way to find the restaurant, so we turned that way.  We find some very fun places in our travels, and this was one of them.  No admission, even!  It was a little town full of antique buildings that have been gathered up to portray how little western towns once looked.  It includes stores, a law office, a jail, a saloon, a stagecoach that actually can be ridden, pony rides, a general store, and the writing shack of the one and only Louis L'Amour, a native son of Jamestown, North Dakota! Now, I have never personally read a Louis L'Amour novel, nor has any of my friends (unless they are closet L'Amour readers, of course,) but the sheer volume of this man's work is pretty impressive.

At the far end of Frontier Town was the best surprise: the World's Largest Buffalo!  We had a lot of fun making buffalo jokes, walking around underneath him and taking some pictures.

Back to the restaurant search: it was on the same road as Frontier Town.  When we opened the door, we had to climb up a flight of stairs to the place. I told Randy I felt as if I were going into a speakeasy. It was a great choice!  We had a freshly cut New York strip steak and fried shrimp, and it was delicious.  We ate dinner with the locals, apparently.  It was off the beaten path, and we are grateful that our hotel clerk told us about the place named "Bar and Grill." No kidding. See the sign!
It was a driving day, but we found several interesting things along the way. There's more to see here in Jamestown, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.
Cowboy at Frontier Town Saloon
Copyright: KP Gillenwater 2013