Day 7: Fargo Woodchipper. Seriously.

First off, Fort Abraham Lincoln is an idyllic setting for a campground. Lots of trees for shade, very few bugs, on the bank of a river, and the campsites are all level. I don’t want to leave. I thought about staying another day (since I’m ahead of schedule anyway) but looking at the map I decided to split up my drive to Winnipeg into two shorter days rather than one long day.

I was pretty lazy getting out of camp and it was around 11 before I hit the road. A quick stop by the unimpressive, and rather office building style North Dakota State Capital and then I was on my way.

The drive from Bismarck to Fargo is directly East. Yes, out of my way, but hey, I’m this close, I might as well check it out. The drive itself was unremarkable. More rolling green farmland. The highlight of the day was seeing the actual woodchipper from the movie Fargo. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Get off my website and go watch ‘Fargo’. Or I’ll sum it up with this image:

And here’s the woodchipper in the Fargo Visitors center, complete with a prop foot sticking out.

After taking pics of the woodchipper I used their internet to find a hardware store (menards!) and a campground. Today’s bus mystery is that the solar panels stopped working. My guess is that something jiggled loose on those dirt roads yesterday and I just have to fasten down the cables better. As for a place to spend the night, unfortunately, Fargo is limited in the camping options so I opted to splurge on a night in a hotel. Staying in a hotel with Pepper for the first time will be an adventure on it’s own! And it gives me a chance to catch up on some stuff that needs high speed internet.

As a side note: it’s been a week in the bus. Here are some random notes and thoughts I’ve had about the trip thus far.

  • Going into this trip, I don’t think I appreciated how much adjustment it would take to get used to living in a bus.

  • I also didn’t appreciate how much work it would be to have a dog with me, but I love having her with me, so it’s a good trade off.

  • Campgrounds vary in amenities (obviously) but also in atmosphere and friendliness.

  • Campground wifi is basically useless. I was hoping to be able to update YouTube with videos, but no wifi I’ve found will handle the upload.

  • Speaking of friendliness, the reaction of people in campgrounds to the bus is split into two groups. A. They love it and come over to learn more. B. They are snotty and think their $200,000 rig is the only way to camp. Kids however are all 100% excited by it. Yesterday two boys from a neighboring campground were so excited they kept wandering over to ask me questions.

  • The coffee pot, not the fridge, use the most electricity in the bus

  • The solar panels are doing well keeping up with the demand on sunny days (except today, but I think I have that fixed)

  • Charging off the alternator on the engine (like how the engine charges a car battery) works well, but will over charge the batteries. So I need to just use it in small sections. More testing is needed.