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Lloyd Omdahl, Published March 14 2011

Omdahl: Take in the mud sledding

With gas spiraling toward $4 a gallon, chances are good we won’t be driving out to the Grand Canyon this summer, if there is one. That’s why the “North Dakota Legendary 2011 Travel Guide” has consumed all of our travel planning. (You can pick up a free copy at your friendly rest area.)

This looks like a good summer to take some short $35 trips to participate in upcoming home-state fests and festivals, so we’ve been looking over the opportunities. (All towns mentioned are in North Dakota, whether you have heard of them or not.)

Of course, we have already missed three weekends of dogsledding in Binford. Maybe more will be scheduled in May. That or several weekends of mud sledding.

With all of the professing Norwegians in North Dakota, you would think that the “North Dakota Legendary 2011 Travel Guide” would show a slew of Syttende Mai celebrations on May 17, the anniversary date of the constitution of Norway being adopted in 1814. But the Travel Guide shows nothing for May 17. Norwegian sad.

All of the Norwegians with get-up-and-go must have got up and went, possibly to Minot to wait for Hostfest. Or perhaps they’re restraining themselves until Uffda Day in Rutland on Oct. 2.

May 28-29 is the X-rated Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora. This is an opportunity for the profane to say or sing everything crude as long as it rhymes. If they bang the guitar loud enough, it doesn’t even have to rhyme.

A “Day in the Garden” will be held at the International Peace Garden on June 4. It promises a “hands-on” experience, but you can’t pick the flowers. There isn’t much else to put your hands on. If you go, don’t forget your passport, birth certificate, baptism records, communion certificate, driver’s license, discharge papers and a recent photograph in case you accidentally step across the border into Canada. Any five of the seven will get you back into the U.S. Otherwise, you may have to outrun the Mounties.

Be sure to comb your hair so you don’t look like a terrorist. In case you haven’t noticed, they all have unruly hair. It must be a faith-based thing. On the other hand, if you had a bunch of bombs strapped to your belly button, your hair would be unruly, too.

The annual Main Street dance in Conway will be delayed a week. A fresh load of gravel has been ordered for the event. If you are going, be sure to wear high-top shoes.

Grand Forks will have a big rhubarb fest June 11. It will be good, but it will be nothing like the 80-day one now being held in Bismarck.

The Lakota Turkey Barbecue will be held June 17-19, with an all-faith church service slated for Sunday. All-faith means it will represent the lowest common denomination for people who already have faith. These generic things usually open with “To whom it may concern.” What we need is a nonfaith church service. Didn’t Jesus say he came to talk to sinners and not the righteous?

That’s all the space we have today, but watch this space for more on Uffda Day in Rutland.


Omdahl is a former North Dakota lieutenant governor and a retired University of North Dakota political science teacher. E-mail ndmatters@q.com.