July 5

The stereotypical view of ND

Sometimes you have to see things from another point of view to understand their perception.  Crossing North Dakota from south to North on I-29, a visitor would think that North Dakota is a flat, monotonous state with few if any features to the landscape.

This photo is what people see coming in to North Dakota from South Dakota, and yes, it appears flat and featureless.  The eastern 70 miles of North Dakota is the some of the richest farm ground in the world. It is the Red River Valley.  It once was the bed of Lake Agassiz, a prehistoric lake that sat here.  As the lake disappeared downstream on the Red (which flows to the north) the land left behind is rich and fertile.  It has the production capability that is the envy of farmers elsewhere.

However, to say that this is what North Dakota looks like is a grave mistake.  While the Red River Valley of North Dakota is a great place to live and work, it is not representative of the landscape of the Roughrider state.  I live in the hilly region along the Missouri Breaks. Some of my photos here on this blog give an idea of the landscape around me.  That’s why I had to snap this photo — it looks like a land with which I’m not familiar, but represents the mis-perceptions of North Dakota’s landscape.

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