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Just outside the small town of New Salem, North Dakota on School Hill stands Salem Sue, "The World's Largest Holstein Cow." She is 38 feet high, is 50 feet long, and weighs about six tons. New Salem, population 900, is a leading dairy center in North Dakota. Salem Sue was built in 1974 for approximately $40.000 by local residents, dairymen, farmers and businessmen. The local Lions Club maintains the site. The New Salem High School athletic teams are all named Holsteins as a tribute to the area's main source of commerce.
You may see Salem Sue for free, but visitors are asked to drop $1.00 on a milk can to help pay for maintainence. There is a small seasonal gift shop for your Salem Sue Souvenirs.
New Salem is 34 miles west of Bismarck on I-94. You will be able to see Salem Sue for about 5 miles before you reach her. She is on the south side of the interstate.
Updated May 24, 2007
Take some of the backroads in North Dakota. Many old farmsteads have buildings still standing, and you can practically feel the old ghosts talking to you. Even many of the current farms have a bucolic quality. This farm is on a scenic drive that follows the Sheyenne river from Valley City to Fort Ransom.
Updated Apr 20, 2007
I would never have gone to White Butte if it were not for my goal to visit the highest point in every state. White Butte, 3,506-feet, is not in a park, but on the private Van Eason Farm. No road or established trail leads to the top of White Butte. The only way to get there is to park at the Van Eason home and hike along a cow trail, about 3/4 mile across the prairie and up the side of the butte. The Van Easons are congenial people and allow "highpointers" like myself to traipse across their property for a small fee. Please be respectful of their privacy and their property if you do so. Close fences behind you.
From the top of White Butte you can see miles of cultivated fields, however, the butte itself resembles some of the most the severe terrain of the Badlands, 100 miles to the north. Local folks say there are many rattlesnakes in this area, and for that reason some locals are afraid to climb the butte. I was not fortunate enough to encounter a rattler on my trip.
HC1, Box 4
Amidon, ND 58620
White Butte is in the southwestern corner of North Dakota, just east of US-85, about 7 miles south of the tiny town of Amidon and 18 miles north of Bowman.
Updated Feb 14, 2005
It certainly is out of the way, on the border with Manitoba just south of Brandon. It is west of the (so-called) Turtle Mountains, actually mere lumps that are one of the few places in the eastern half of the state that goes up. The gardens are lovely in the summer, and anyone who goes there gets their picture taken on a bench on the border, one cheek in the US and the other in Canada.
Written Jan 1, 2005
This road runs from Gladstone (exit 72 on Interstate 94) south to the town of regent. It is filled with various metal sculptures and is actually adds some excitement to an otherwise boring drive. This falls into the "Ball of Twine" category for me, that is: If you would drive somewhere to see a ball of twine, you will probably like this, if not, you probably won't.
Written Aug 10, 2004
Always a family favorite. Prairie Dogs are highly socialized rodents. They live in communities of up to hundreds of members. They tirelessly tunnel under the prairie, building an interconnected complex of warrens. The communities are known as prairie dog towns. It is useless to try to approach prairie dogs because they will pop down into their underground fortifications. However, if you are polite and quiet it is possible to observe hundreds of prairie dogs as they go about their business in their "town".
Updated Jan 16, 2004
At the southern end of the "Enchanted Highway" is the smaller than small town of Regent, population two hundred and change. The only sight that I could make out in Regent was this ancient thresher. Interestingly enough, it was purchased by H.G. Anderson in 1925 (I could have sworn old H.G. bought it back in '23). Oh well, you find your fun where you can get it.
Written Aug 23, 2003
Stanton, North Dakota: population 516. Seventy miles from Bismarck and hundreds of miles from anywhere else. A pleasant enough place in the summer, but one wonders what do the locals do in the dead of winter when the winds roll across the prairies and the temperatures dip well below zero.
Written Aug 23, 2003
I love this place. No, it is not a service station circa 1954. It is a rest stop circa 2002. In Minnesota and in most states in the U.S. we have very bland rest stops with the requisite map, drinking fountain (by the way who is brave enough to drink from a fountain at a rest stop?) and bathrooms. In North Dakota they have decided to jazz up the rest stops. I'm all for it. Good on you, North Dakota.
Written Aug 4, 2003
It seems odd that there would be a Ukranian Catholic church in the boonies of western North Dakota dozens of miles from the nearest town. But we had learned at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck that as of 1900 Ukranians comprised the second largest ethnic group in North Dakota (Norwegians being the frontrunners), therefore while pleased with the little church, we were not surprised..
Updated Aug 4, 2003
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