Hello! It’s me.


I thought our day started off on a relaxing note … not realizing that the energy would amp-up by late evening.


But then Mom & Dad spent two hours at Wal-Mart, followed by fifteen minutes at a German Butcher featuring an impressive selection of assorted meats.


And then … it was more of this:


There may not be many jobs in Montana or North Dakota, but there’s plenty of room for ya if you need the space.

We stopped at a rest area – whew!


Then, we blew past a few wind farms on our way to Fargo.


When we arrived in Fargo, we did the first thing any reasonable person would do. We stopped at Hardees. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center, where a shrine to the movie Fargo enthralled us all.

First, there were the stars who paid homage to the film.


You prolly remember the movie, right? If not, here’s a few of the deets:

  • Jerry Lundegaard is a pathetic man, and an average car salesman.
  • He apparently needs money.
  • He contrives a scheme to get his wife kidnapped, and then will collect ransom, which he will use to cover whatever silly schemes he is involved in.
  • The kidnappers do not follow the script, and while not following the script, we are introduced to a thick, Upper-Midwest dialect that permeates the area, from Fargo to Brainerd (formerly home to Babe the Blue Ox – click here for the deets) to Minneapolis.
  • Mayhem breaks loose.
  • “Blood has been shed, Jerry” is what one of the kidnappers tells Jerry, much to Jerry’s growing consternation with his plan.
  • Jerry’s father-in-law decides to get involved in the recovery of his daughter, and pays the ultimate price, but not before putting a bullet through the cheek of one of the kidnappers.
  • Kidnapper with bullet wound in cheek comes back with some of the money after hiding money in a snow bank, splits money with his partner-in-crime (who killed Jerry’s wife), and takes the car as payment for a bullet wound in his cheek. Snappily, the kidnapper with bullet wound in cheek says “Are we square?”, and shows a gun in his pants.
  • Partner-in-crime kills fellow kidnapper with an ax (providing proof once again that you don’t stop a mad man with a gun by populating the landscape with other folks carrying guns, you stop the mad man by chopping him to bits with an ax), then grinds fellow kidnapper in the wood chipper.
  • Police officer Marge Gunderson catches partner-in-crime chippin’ his fellow kidnapper, chases partner-in-crime, puts a bullet in his leg (ax beats gun, gun beats ax, hmmm, something doesn’t tie out here) … and as a lovely going away present, tells partner-in-crime that there is more to life than a little bit of money. “Don’t you know that?” she says.
  • Speaking of more to life than a little bit of money, the movie ends with Marge Gunderson in bed with husband Norm Gunderson … Marge is humbly appreciative of Norm getting his work placed on the three-cent stamp. “We’re doin’ all right” she tells Norm. Never mind she had to shoot a serial killer earlier in the day. She listens patiently while Norm laments that his work is only on the three-cent stamp. Priorities!
  • Fade to black.
  • Fin.

Now, about that wood chipper. They have the actual one from the movie in the Visitor’s Center. But we arrived  at 6:30pm, and the center closed at 6:00pm. So we had to partake in a replica wood chipper. That’s when things got weird!


Wait a minute.

I didn’t commit a crime!


Let me out!


I’m sorry I pee’d on the carpeting at that hotel in Montana, now LET ME OUT!


Once I navigated my way out of the evil device, I tried to show Dad just what should be shoved into a wood chipper.


At this point, I was perfectly happy checking in to the Best Western in West Fargo, and without a functioning water pump for another week (Thanks Amazon Prime for setting the table for a replacement pump), that made sense to me. But Mom and Dad wanted to put more miles behind us.  So that’s what we did. We crossed the Red River, and entered Minnesota. Did you know, by the way, that the Red River drains into Canada?


An hour later, with the sun setting and pouring rain pelting off of the rig, we arrived in Detroit Lakes. Our first campground choice (with an adjacent bar & restaurant … sounds good to me) didn’t work – nobody would take our call.

So we progressed to another area campground, about ten miles away. With the “low fuel” light adorning the dashboard, we coasted in to the registration line on fumes. It was 8:50pm. For some reason, the OPEN light was still on. Here’s how the conversation went.

Dad: Do you have any campsites available for one night?

Lady Proprietor: I’m sorry, we’re all sold out.

Dad: Ok, just thought I’d check.

Lady Proprietor: It’s Memorial Day weekend, you know.

Dad: Yup.

Lady Proprietor: I’m sorry.

Dad: It’s not your fault.

Male Proprietor: Hun, they only have a van.

Lady Proprietor: We’re sold out.

Male Proprietor: It’s just a van. Put ’em in 7A.

Lady Proprietor: It’s really wet down there.

Male Proprietor: They can handle it.

Dad: We need water (remember, no water pump) and electricity.

Male Proprietor: Will 15 amps do?

Dad: Yes!

Male Proprietor: Hun, put ’em in 7A.

And that’s just what they did. They created a spot for us out of thin air. We shared a power post with the folks in site 7, and we got our own water spigot. What more do you need?

Our day ends, on fumes in many ways, camping in the rain in site 7A. Lady Proprietor came down in the dark to make sure everything was ok. You’ll never meet two nicer people. And for their kindness, they got to put $37.58 in their pocket. And we have water.

Good night!

4 thoughts on “7A

  1. Yo Dash,

    So let’s get this straight. First, you climbed up onto a Buffalo sculpture which probably had a sign saying “stay off”! Secondly, you deface public property at a rest stop and thirdly, you get into a “chipper” that says “Do Not Touch”. THEN you get rewarded by obtaining suite # 7-A.
    Sounds about right!

    Watch out for those Purple (your dad’s favorite color) clad Vikings while in the land of only 10,000 lakes ( Wisconsin has 12,000). Remember that they hi-jack quarterbacks so watch out for dog nappers too.


  2. Glad you made it to Minnesota. Best people are from there (my mom & dad included). Hope you get to see Babe & Paul Bunyun – I think they live in Bemidji. Say hi to Minnehaha falls for me if you get by there.



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