North Dakota may have entertained us with their trifecta of World’s Largest animals, but they’re hardly the only state with titanic bragging rights. The fun with flesh-‘n’-blood wildlife didn’t end when we left Yellowstone, either.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. We were each raised in a household that couldn’t afford annual out-of-state family vacations. We’re geeks more accustomed to vicarious life through the windows of pop culture than through in-person adventures. Eventually we tired of some of our self-imposed limitations and figured out how to leave the comforts of home for the chance to see creative, exciting, breathtaking, outlandish, and/or bewildering new sights in states beyond our own, from the horizons of nature to the limits of imagination, from history’s greatest hits to humanity’s deepest regrets and the sometimes quotidian, sometimes quirky stopovers in between.
We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.
Technically not even 2020 stopped us. We played by the new rules of the interim normal and wandered Indiana in multiple directions as safely as we could. This year the long-awaited vaccines arrived. For 2021 we agreed we had to go big. Our new primary objective was Yellowstone National Park, 1500 miles from Indy…
DAY EIGHT: Friday, July 2nd.
After a mostly harmless night and morning in Fargo (more about that in later chapters), we got a somewhat late start after taking care of business…
(TOTAL ROAD TRIP MILEAGE AS OF GAS STOP #11: 2,604.7)
…then headed off to a return engagement with Minnesota, among my favorite states from our past vacations. An hour southeast of our hotel, we detoured into the city of Fergus Falls. Once the childhood stomping grounds of Academy Award-winning special effects wizard Richard Edlund, Fergus Falls takes its position as the official seat of Otter Tail County quite seriously. Hence the giant otter in our lead photo.
Otto the Big Otter is forty feet of concrete-on-metal executed in 1972 by high schoolers in honor of the Fergus Falls centennial. To this day he stands in Adams Park along the shore of Grotto Lake, where he isn’t the only nonhuman resident that you can’t possibly overlook.
To be continued!
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[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for other chapters and for our complete road trip history to date. Follow us on Facebook or via email sign-up for new-entry alerts, or over on Twitter if you want to track my faint signs of life between entries. Thanks for reading!]