July 13

Headed west on Old 10 in Mandan

I love the traffic in Bismarck and Mandan. It is easy and peaceful, perhaps sometimes too easy and too peaceful. Some times people drive like they have no place to go.

Other times, you’ll get passed by an ’07 Road King on Memorial Highway in Mandan.  It used to be Highway 10, and before that The Old Red Highway or Old Red Trail.  After Interstate 94 came through North Dakota, the old 2-lane scenic route through the state was abandoned. 

Before you get to Mandan (provided you are headed East to West) you ride down Bismarck’s Main Street that was once a bustling traffic zone on Highway 10, or the Red Trail, or even before that some unmanned mud road in Edwinton which proceeded Bismarck.

There is almost nothing left of the old muddy road, or Highway 10 but just the four lanes of Bismarck’s Main Street.  It looks pretty much like every small town “Main Street” with pre-planned landscaping and building structure. You’ll see the same kind of look in Fargo, or Dickinson.

On the former “western edge” of Bismarck is Washington and Main. It once was a tricky dog leg through a railroad underpass, but modern design dropped the historic romance in favor of a more efficient design.

The intersection replacing the Hwy 10 dog leg under the RR tracks

In this photo, the right street in the intersection is “Front” which becomes Old Highway 10 or Memorial Highway.  It leads down the strip in Mandan as the firs photo shows.

Once you get to Mandan Old 10 becomes Main Street for that city. There you will find riders cruising “Main” on their bikes or their hot rods.  Further west and your out of the city, headed to the Scenic Highway of Old 10 across North Dakota.

On this summer evening, I drove from one city to the next and spotted cruisers on two wheels, all good to photograph.

May 23

Old rest stop

There along the road is a rest stop that once was very busy back when Highway 10 or the Red Trail was the coast to coast transcontinental highway.  When I-94 came through, rest stops were upgraded and not quite as homey, nor like the park that this one is near Steele.  It’s a good place for a couple of riders to pull over and chill for a bit, even take a nap.

A friendly engineeer

But the nap is short-lived.

Highway 10 runs along the BNSF rail line that hauls coal from Wyoming and points west to power plants east of North Dakota.  The train is just noisy enough that any nap is disturbed.  But at least the engineer was friendly when I took his photo.

The train was a long one and obviously heavy. It required an extra engine at the rear to push the load up on to the prairie and to get it started. I imagine at some point the push engine was disconnected and returned to Mandan.  I don’t know if that’s the case, do you know?  Does it happen in Dilworth, the next BNSF point?

Push engine at the end of the train

April 24 (part deux)

Goin' round the bend

If you read the previous post, you know I was out and about the Medora area most of the day.  Later, toward sundown, I headed west toward Beach and then on to Wibaux, Montana.  The Interstate is NOT the scenic route, but old Highway 10 is.  Waiting for the train to cross,  this image presented itself as the trained curved round a slow bend heading in to the sunset.  It’s one of those shots that can not be set up as in a studio, but can only be captured the moment it happens.