Sara (and maybe Josh) will update you on the latest from the Western Edge.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Tax Ass Part 1
Over the last two and a half weeks Thelma, I mean Tracey, and I have been tooling around the county with our tape measure, digital camera, map and field checklist. We've had all sorts of responses to our visits: welcoming, Debbie Downering, "you know I don't like this, Tracey"-ing, dogs barking, and cows wandering. Each photo has a story, maybe not the most exciting story you've ever heard but a story none the less. And away we go...
This is the fine establishment Tracey and I had lunch in on the first day of assessing: Jodeo's in Halliday, ND. Tracey had the cheese burger special, I had grilled cheese and fries. I especially enjoyed the fliers with four digit phone numbers attached for farm equipment and animals sales/auctions. Keep in mind that people who live in Killdeer don't go to Halliday unless the have to go for a necessary reason. It's just way over there. Oh, and HWY 8 is one of only about three paved roads in the county, minus the "in town roads" of Killdeer, Dunn Center, Halliday, Dodge, and New Hradec. The paved roads in the entire county make up about 10% of the total driving surfaces.
There were two Thelma and Louise moments when we approached two places that looked like the photo on the right:
We weren't sure if the road was going to be covered, water logged or impassable. We managed to survive through both water hazards. We spoke with two different farmer/ranchers who didn't seem bothered in the least about their only road being nearly flooded.
According to the Dunn County map and atlas this road is considered a "county maintained road." This means the road is plowed in the winter and the gravel is grated/built up in the summer. It should look a little more "traveled." I don't know how we got over a massive hill and to other side to find one of the water hazards but we did. The resident living on the other side of this hill was impressed we "braved the road from the north." We took the south road out without even the slightest hint of dirt trails or large body of water.
Scoria is the gravel used for most roads and driveways in the county. You can easily tell when it is fresh. It's a fantastic red orange color and the pieces of it absolutely should not be put in the same category as gravel. The chunks of it are more like boulders than pebbles. Some vehicles have been known to have doors rattle open on newer scoria. Maybe that dirt and grass trail wasn't so bad...
During our first days of assessing adventures we drove a massive, forest green Suburban. The driver's seat was so broken in the 5'4" Tracey could just barely see over the steering wheel (she drives since she knows where we're going... sort of). Something in the back rattled around to the point we were convinced there was a drawer of silverware somewhere in the beast. I started calling it Meals on Wheels due to the kitchen sounds. The darn thing is only two wheel drive: a big deal when driving around the county the morning after an April snow storm. Oh, and every inch of the monster suburban was covered with scoria dust and had a terrible vanilla Christmas tree air freshener. Ish. Midway through our second day of assessing a wrench was thrown into the works and we were in store for a challenging driveway and a new ride. More on that in Tax Ass Part 2.