Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 2 --> Madison, WI to Grand Forks, ND

Day 2 --> Madison, WI to Grand Forks, ND 938 Kms.
Just how far is 938 km well to compare, if you were to drive from Niagara to Quebec City it would be 916 km. This makes the two day total up to 2,018 km or the distance from Niagara through Canada to just outside of Kenora.

I know I said I would probably be skipping the Great Wolf Lodge but I had to go right beside it. I don't understand why there are so many waterpark/resorts in Wisconsin Dells. I like the look of our Lodge better than this one. Although if we could get one of the big rides like they have it would be fun. This is a picture taken from the highway going past it.

There were a few ski hills along the way and it was nice to see some different elevations as I am headed toward the prairies. There were a lot of farms as expected and it is clear to see why this state is the dairy capital of the USA. This next picture I just can't explain. I was trying to get a picture of the St.Croix River, the border between WI and MN and snapped out the drivers window. Later at the hotel when I went through the pictures after downloading them I realize what in fact I had captured. You might have to rub your eyes but that is a St.Catharines Transit bus! What is was doing 1,500 km from the garden city escaped me but there it is. I wonder if the Standard would want to do an story on this?

I decided to drive the I-94 through the Twin Cities (nearly 60% of the population of the state lives here) rather than taking the by-pass. If you are wanting to see the cities this is the way to go. you get to cross the Mississippi and you also get a pretty good look as traffic practically stops about three or four times going through the city centres. It especially slows as as you head into a tunnel that is shorter than the Thorold Stone Road Tunnel. Other than having the football stadium, I think I like the skyline of St. Paul more than Minneapolis. This is the approach to St.Paul.

Once I got past the cities the speed picked up and the sun started to set and gave a great effect with the clouds. Being in the Central Time Zone it gets dark early. Everything was going well until Todd and Douglas Counties where a light snow started to blow in. It was hard to tell what exactly what was happening with the road conditions, I could tell something was going on by looking to the I-94 South lanes coming towards us were the traffic was bunching up and slowing down. As traffic approached West Union cars started braking. This is where leaving space and not tailgating comes in handy. I am also thankful to the firefighters for getting me my new snow tires. BLACK ICE for about 15 miles! This meant slowing to about 30 mph. In the span of about twenty minutes, I counted nine cars off the road. Where the Dept. of Highways was, I don't know but I do know they weren't salting or sanding the Interstate. I got off at Alexandria for a coffee and to plan the rest of my travels for the night. I spoke with someone who had driven in from Grand Forks, ND and he said that the roads were bare but planned to wait the weather out a bit (maybe wait for the salt) in Alexandria. I re-entered the highway cautiously and headed out for the two hour drive to Fargo my intended destination. Looking behind me I was puzzled as there was very little traffic after that. Maybe (speculation) there was an accident that closed the highway behind me. Not to far along the road was bare and driving conditions excellent. Wat a relief.

I got into Fargo and was pretty disappointed with North Dakota that their Welcome Centre was closed and dark. However, I was able to park and plan out my route to Grand Forks about 70 miles down the road. This was a sculpture outside of their welcome center. Think the Bulls in Chicago or the Moose sculptures in Toronto (and at the Ontario Fire College.)

Got into Grand Forks at about 10:oo PM and decided to stay at the first hotel which also happens to have some restaurants and a mall right beside it. The hotel is actually in the middle of the mall parking lot. Tomorrow I cross back into Canada and up to Winnipeg and then across to Saskatchewan.

1 comment:

Crispin B. said...

UPDATE: The St.Catharines Transit busses are made in Manitoba and they are taking possession of 7 of them in the next little while. I have called off the media.

Thanks for the info Matt M. and Adam.