trip down memory lane - to Glacial Ridge

Grand Forks Travel Blog

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great place for birding - in summer

It was such a beautiful, sunny day that I didn't want to waste it in the basement working.  So I decided to take a drive.  I wasn't sure where to go so I started out driving to Crookston.  I had spent many nights here at the Country Club Motel while working out at Glacial Ridge.  The Crookston landslide had ocurred there in 2003, causing the motel to eventually close.  I remember spending a couple nights there after the landslide wondering if the room I was in would tumble down the hill side into the river below (it didn't).  I wanted to see what the damage looked like now, over 5 years later. 

Turns out, everything was gone.  The motel and damaged neighbor house was gone.

cool snow drifts
  The slope had been stabilized and looked even, from what I could tell under the snow.  There was concern about damage to the highway, but that seemed stabilized as well. 

I decided to keep on driving out to Glacial Ridge near Mentor, another 20 minutes away.  I used to work out here and I would get filled with anxiety once a month when I had to stop at 100 well and surface water sites to collect measurements.  I worked alone, far from any roads or people so if anything happened I was on my own.  I had to drive through wet fields, even cross a ditch filled with water.  I drove in rocky fields, fields where the vegetation was over the roof of my car.  I encountered moose, skunks, bees and other wildlife.

snowdrifts along road
  I slid off a muddy road.  I got stuck in the mud.  I got stuck on a rock.   I got stuck in the snow.   I got the snowmobile stuck in the snow.   I almost drove the snowmobile off the trailer when I was trying to load it.  I had to walk half a mile each way just to get to a well.  I walked through wetlands and swamps.  I walked through ditches.  I swatted bugs.  I dodged mining trucks in the gravel pits.  I drove down minimum maintenance roads.   I went in fields with cows and bulls.  I had to enter the fields without letting the cows out onto the highway.
Glacial Ridge sign
  I had to lift old windmill pumps.  I had to cross barbed wire fences.  I worked when it was lightning.  I worked when it was 20 below zero.  I worked along the railroad tracks.  I worked along the highway.  I worked in abandoned gravel pits.  I worked where people were hunting.  I worked alone. 
No one knew where I was or if I didn't return.  It was a little scary being out in that big place all alone.  Overall it was a pretty cool place to work, but there were a few sites that I dreaded going to each month. 

Even as I turned on to County Hwy 45 I began to get those same anxious feelings.  Butterflies in the stomach.  Dread at the thought of driving off the road into a field.  And then I remembered that I didn't have to.  It was hard to tell the differences over the years since I'd been here last because everything was covered in snow.

soap bubbles on my windshield
  I did see some cool snow drifts and was glad I didn't have to go through them.  I saw several of my field roads and wondered if my wells were still at the end of them.  But not enough to drive down them.  It was so nice to drive along here and not have to get out and do anything.  My anxiety slowly washed away.  It felt good.  It was good to be back.  I kept on driving all the way back to GF. 

I decided to splurge on a car wash since my car was all salty.  I haven't gone through one for awhile and was quite amused by the different sprays and colored foam thrown at my car.  The water dripped on my car and sounded like rain almost putting me to sleep.  And don't forget the smell of wax or whatever that clean carwash smell is...

And with a shiny clean car I finally arrived at school, about 4 hours after I intended to get there.

vances says:
So the moral of the story is that when attending college in ND, you have to survive negative degrees to earn a degree that might prove positive???

:^)
Posted on: Feb 19, 2009
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great place for birding - in summer
great place for birding - in summer
cool snow drifts
cool snow drifts
snowdrifts along road
snowdrifts along road
Glacial Ridge sign
Glacial Ridge sign
soap bubbles on my windshield
soap bubbles on my windshield
sprayer
sprayer
colorful foam
colorful foam
water on my windshield
water on my windshield
Grand Forks
photo by: asz2020