CANADA OR BUST, CHAPTER 4: IN WHICH WE EARN OUR DECODER RINGS
Day 4: Sioux Falls, SD to Winnipeg, MB. With nothing on our agenda today except getting from point A to point B, we slept in a bit and didn't leave the Hilton Garden in Sioux Falls until 8:30. Not a cloud was in the sky, and the temperature was a pleasant 65° when we set out north on I-29. This Midwestern freeway, which originates in Kansas City, offers a straight route to Canada along the eastern border of the Dakotas, never straying more than 30 miles from the state lines.
Just as we saw in several other states, gigantic cornfields were situated off both sides of the road. Unlike in the South where dry weather has left its mark, crops here are verdant green—lush vegetation with virtually no signs of irrigation. North of Brookings, SD, occasional herds of cattle could be seen in roadside pastures. Another fifty miles north, the corn had played out, and livestock pastures dominated, as the land became a little hillier with more trees in evidence.
|Flat land in South Dakota|
We were back into flat lands, vast corn and wheat and soy and sunflower fields. At 1:00, we stopped in Fargo to fill up with gas and search for a couple of letterboxes. With a population of 105,549, Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota, encompassing nearly 16% of the state's population. Founded in 1871, the city was named for William Fargo, the same railroad executive who founded Wells Fargo Express Company.
|Fargo, a North Dakota metropolis|
|Tom, the security guard|
It came as no surprise that Manitoba Highway 75 (MB-75) looked very similar to I-29—divided highway, well-maintained, kilometer markers (rather than mileage). Signage was in English (and French), and the speed limit was 110 kph (about 68 mph). Just off the shoulder on the right side of the road, spaced about 150 feet apart, were 4-foot snow poles with reflectors, to show drivers where the road is when the snow is deep.
As in the Dakotas, round bales of hay were a frequent sight along the right of way and in the median. By 6:15 we entered the Winnipeg city limits with another ten miles to go to our hotel. Between construction issues and rush hour traffic, we didn't make it to the Homewood Suites for another 40 minutes.
Daily StatsMiles driven: 477 (Trip total: 1,824)
Letterboxes found: 3
States: SD, ND
Hay bales: 2,616
Gas: $2.759 (premium) in Fargo, ND