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Flinging French fries in Fargo

There are things to do in Fargo, North Dakota.

There’s the Celebrity Walk of Fame at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, where Garth Brooks, Neil Diamond, Debbie Reynolds, Jesse Ventura and others have left their signatures, handprints and footprints in cement.

There’s the Plains Art Museum, the Fargo Air Museum, the Red River Zoo, and just across the way from my motel, a big mall.

Yes — despite the stereotype of it as a place where boredom reigns, where temperatures lean toward the bitter extremes (and we won’t even go into woodchippers) — there are things to do in Fargo.

We’re just not doing any of them. Instead, we’re holed up in a Motel 6, where I’m flinging french fries into Ace’s mouth.

Why? Because it’s so damn cold.

Just as John Steinbeck, on his trip west with Charley, worried about getting across the northern states before winter set in, we’re beginning to fret as well; only we have ample reason — predictions of a October blizzard.

All night long, the wind rattled the windows of my motel room. The three-to-five inches of snow the local weatherman predicted hasn’t fallen — at least not here, not yet — but the warnings were enough to get me to book another night.

Just walking to the Burger King next door yesterday was bone chilling. Ace thought so, too. As eager as he was to get outside, he was even more eager — once experiencing it — to get back in.

Back in the room, for entertainment, I set aside half of my French fries and, in what’s become a habit during our travels when I get fast food, tossed portions to Ace. He gets the discolored ones, and the pointy ended ones. For some reason, I don’t like my fries to have pointy  ends. Though he was on the bed, four feet away, he missed but one fry, snagging each of the rest with a snort.

So far I haven’t seen much of Fargo, and that which I have has been through fast-flapping windshield wipers. The night I arrived, after checking in, I went off in search of downtown Fargo. On my only other trip here, three years ago, I didn’t explore at all. I did, during a stop for lunch, ask a waiter where downtown was, and he informed me there was no downtown. Maybe he was new here, or it was his way of saying Fargo’s downtown didn’t meet with his standards. Maybe he was having fun with tourists.

But I can report there is a downtown, and that the road to it, at least from my motel, is lined with pawn shops. Once there, I couldn’t see much, because it was so dark and rainy, but I sensed tall buildings.

It has remained grey since then. That alone normally wouldn’t keep me inside, but the wind is downright cruel, and the rain is a stinging one and the one time I did go out in the car — to buy dog food — my car door, powered by the wind, attacked me both when I got out and when I got back in.

Even the wildlife thinks it’s too cold. Tonight, when I went downstairs for ice, I saw a rabbit huddled between a trash can and the wall by the motel’s side door, seeking shelter from the wind and rain.

I was going to offer to share my room with him — invite him up for a discolored French fry, maybe suggest he consider relocating to warmer climes — but he ran off when I approached the door.


Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time October 28, 2010 at 7:39 am

Hmm. It was windy, rainy, and chilly on the one night we spent in Fargo while driving to Banff. We didn’t have a dog with us, Spencer not being part of the family yet, but we did spare a few thoughts for woodchippers. A bit north of there, in Grand Forks, we found a nice visitors’ center with hummingbirds in the flower borders. The ladies’ restroom stalls were decorated with little printed posters for our reading pleasure that listed the “Top Ten Reasons You Know You’re From North Dakota.” The one I remember was, “You know you’re from North Dakota when you dress for a formal party in long gown, jewelry, corsage, and knee high fur lined boots…” You have to be tough to live there. I hope you and Ace will stay safe and warm in the Motel Six.

Comment from kelly
Time October 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

Love the Ace pics & rabbit story… stay warm!

Comment from Brian
Time October 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

First of all, thanks for visiting the FM Area. So sorry that it had to be right when we had our first winter weather experience. It has been very cold and windy…but we’ll take rain over snow any day! I hope you come back to visit us again when the storms are not brewing. You’ll love the downtown once you see it. 🙂 nice post.

Comment from Peggy @Peggy’s Pet Place
Time October 28, 2010 at 10:53 am

It seems like Ace enjoyed his time in Fargo!

Comment from Sam
Time October 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Those are great pictures!