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.

July 10

A rare rain

By the time July rolls around, rainfall is rare in Bismarck. Including snow fall, Bismarck only gets about 16 inches of moisture a year.  June and September are the months with the greatest rainfall.  So, this July rain shower in Bismarck gave a nice glow of Main Street. I wasn’t prepared for it, didn’t have my rain gear nor a tripod. So, I just snapped a shot before I jumped in my truck to stay dry.

April 19

Bismarck Main Street empty

Now there’s something you don’t see every day, unless of course you’re an early morning person — very early.

Shortly after midnight on a Sunday night, I was headed home from a weekend with my sons kayaking.  I realized this was an unusual look for one of Bismarck’ busiest streets — Main Street.  Old Highway 10, the Old Red Trail, Memorial Highway.  Not a moving car to be  seen.  The signal lights all flashing yellow.  And quiet?  It was kinda spooky to be on a street that is usually noisy and busy.  A tripod and a slow shutter speed gave me a look to the street that most people don’t see.