During 4 of the last 5 summers we were at Woodland Trails RV Resort, about 20 miles north of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Since we were spending so much time there, as can be seen in our earlier posts, we also established our health care providers there. Tom had the VA between Fargo, North Dakota and Fergus Falls, Minnesota, while Mary had her doctors in Detroit Lakes. In addition, we had Fargo for eye care and dental. Fargo is a big, little town that has everything we want and need, with the exception of warm, sunny winters. If it wasn’t for the winters, we would happily call Fargo “home”.

That is why we chose to route our trip to Devils Tower through Fargo, to update and take care of all the little things that happen when you get a bit older, and to visit good friends we haven’t seen in awhile. The Fargo RV parks all were closed until May 1st so we stayed in Casselton, North Dakota, about 20 miles west of Fargo. We arrived at the park on April 18th to find the water to each site was shut off because they had very cold night-time temperatures. Fortunately we had a full fresh-water tank so we were okay for a couple days. They finally turned the water on after our 2nd night there, long enough to top off the tank, then shut it off again at night. We had temps as low as 19 degrees at night and our furnace never shut off at night. We were going through propane at the rate of 1 tank every 2 1/2 days, but we were always comfortable and had a warm place to come back to after our appointments.

Summary: Mary had her diabetes check-up and she is doing splendidly. Daily blood sugar is normal and her A1C is right where it should be. She has worked very hard, eating the right foods (which we generally do anyway) and getting some exercise. Tom had hearing aids adjusted, had an annual check-up and had a mysterious lip growth removed. All else seems to be in good working order for both of us.

We also got new tires for the truck in Fargo and before leaving Casselton had our trailer brakes looked at once again. Seems like we are chasing a ghost or maybe our tail. What was a definite high point for us was meeting Wayne and Betty for lunch in Fargo. They are some of our good friends and they live summers at Woodland Trails, winters in Rockport, Texas. We are looking into possibly joining them at their park in Texas but we haven’t made a final decision yet. Our goal is to find a permanent place for the 5th wheel and purchase a small class C or B RV to travel seasonally. We hope to get this done this winter. That’s the plan.

We left Casselton with some foreboding due to the brake disconnection issue. Early Tuesday morning we pulled the RV into Earl’s Auto Repair and had him take a look at our brakes one more time. Of course the controller told us we had a short circuit UNTIL we got to Earl’s, at which time it started acting normally. Earl crawled underneath to move the wires around (electric brakes) to try to make it fail. It wouldn’t so we thanked him and drove back to the RV park, reparked the RV then headed to Fargo for a final med visit with the VA. Wednesday morning we pulled out and the brakes were fine all the way to Bismarck. Maybe Earl had inadvertently fixed our problem!

About 9 miles out from Bismarck we witnessed a roll-over accident in the opposite lane of I-94. A man towing a small truck with his larger truck, lost a tire, which came across the highway just ahead of us, fortunately not putting us in any danger. The driver of the truck was not so lucky. We saw the towed truck barrel-roll and pretty much trash both vehicles, off the highway and down a slight embankment. We immediately stopped and crossed over to see if we could help but others who had been following them called 911, and he was able to crawl out of the wreckage by himself. Hopefully he is okay.

Our intention to stay in Bismarck was to visit the state capitol, which is one of our primary goals on the road – Capitols & Presidential Libraries. We got settled in at the KOA then headed for the Capitol. Because of COVID there are no guided tours so we inquired at the information desk about a map or guide book. Much to our surprise a gentleman was walking by and asked what we were looking for. We explained that we are travelers and wanted to see the Capitol. Immediately he volunteered to give us a private guided tour and only then did I notice his nametag , indicating he was a member of the North Dakota Senate, Randy Burckhard. What an honor that he would take the time to show us everything and explain some of the history. He also introduced us to several other legislators and staff members, who all treated us like special guests. We also met Representative Bob Paulson and we had an exceptional discussion about some of the things going on in North Dakota, including the projected creation of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library. Talking with them and seeing the beautiful capitol and grounds has to be the high point of our trip. Tomorrow we head for Bowman, North Dakota, for a one night stay before arriving at Devils Tower Golf Club on Saturday for the summer.