Day 3: June 18, 2016
Forty-Eight Down

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Here it comes. State forty-eight. Rolling under that sign meant the only states left for me to visit were Alaska and Hawaii.

The Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center is home to what may be the most famous item in the state of North Dakota. The woodchipper sitting outside is described as a "stunt double" from the movie Fargo. The real one is inside. The movie turned twenty this year and the woodchipper, which has its own Facebook page, put in an appearance at a showing in town.

This Space Aliens Grill and Bar is really close to the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center. There are four of these places in Minnesota and North Dakota. Why, I don't know.

Reaching the Hjemkomst Center required a little backtracking but its not often one gets to see a real Viking ship. The Hjemkomst was the dream of Robert Asp who saw the ship launched but died before it sailed to Norway in 1982. The 76 foot vessel is impressive. Its story more so.

A full size reproduction of a twelfth century Norwegian stave church stands in the ship's backyard. It was pouring down rain when it was time to tour the church so my first picture of the Hopperstad Stave Church was taken through a window before we dashed across the open space. After the tour was over and the rain had all but stopped, I stepped back outside to take the last photo.

There are several breweries in the Fargo area and I had picked out a couple to visit. Junkyard Brewing had not been one of them but I changed my mind when I found it was just up the road from the Hjemkomst Center. I'm sure glad I did. Good beer and really good people. There is some sort of informal connection between the brewery and the guys fronting Project Wildness who are right now on the road committing random acts of kindness in Nebraska. I need to learn more about that.

I chose Drekker Brewing for my second malt beverage stop. More good beer and good people in a larger space. I was pretty hungry at this point but took care of that with a really good grilled three-cheese sandwich.

ADDENDUM: Jun 19, 2016 - I had every intention of including this in the original post but forgot. I record the various beers I drink with the Untappd phone app. It awards "badges" for various thing often when an increment of five is reached. I got badges at both of these stops. At Junkyard I got a new level of "Find the Source" badge for my 75th brewery. At Drekker I got a badge for my 500th beer and one for my 30th state. I'm quite proud of visiting 75 breweries. Among my small group of Untappd friends, the next highest is 35. I'm also proud of the 500 beers although it pales beside the 1391, 1221, and 1028 racked up by some of those friends. I'm also proud of the 30 states but it presents a question. Since North Dakota was the 48th state I've visited, I wonder if there are really 18 states I've visited without having a beer or if I visited those 18 states before Untappd appeared.

Then it was back to the expressway for the rest of the day. I noticed earlier that, unlike Minnesota, North Dakota signs US highways that share interstate routes. Here I'm noting that ND's speed limit is a tick higher than MN's and that the heavy rain is gone for at least awhile. The sound track for this drive was some very appropriate John Hiatt.

The last stop of the day was at the Two Rivers Inn in Jamestown where I settled into this room.

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