Aug 152015
 
Day 40 - Layover in Fargo/Moorhead Lyle works in the DOT maintenance of roads in section eight of the state's road system and he took me along to his office in the morning to give me "nickel tour", as he called it. I was impressed by the heavy machinery in the facility and was permitted a glimpse behind the scenes of traffic supervision. Traffic is counted but recorded only in exceptional situations, for example to verify a malfunctioning street light or signal over a longer period of time. These days the team had a problem with a backup power support at a particular street light ... I was warmly welcomed by the staff present and one engineer even mentioned he had seen me go on my bike the day before on the highway and couldn't believe I was now standing in his office. As usual, I  met very friendly people only. The Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, where I went next by bike, features three very interesting exhibitions: Firstl< and most prominent is a handbuilt reconstruction of a Viking boat. The Hjemkomst, which means "Homecoming" in Norwegian, is a Viking ship that is permanently housed in the center of the museum. The ship is a full-scale replica of the Gokstad Viking ship that was discovered in Norway in 1881. The idea for building the Hjemkomst was that of Robert Asp, a guidance counselor at Moorhead Junior High School. The second main exhibit is the authentic reproduction of a Norwegian stave church from the 11th century, of which I got a tour by a very lively and fast-talking guide with his own positive sense of humor. The Hopperstad Stave Church Replica is a replica of a Norwegian stave church located on the grounds of the Hjemkomst Center. The church was built in 1998 by Guy Paulson and is a full-scale replica of the 12th Century Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik, Norway. This Norwegian-style church serves as a symbol of the Scandinavian heritage in the Red River Valley. (Links refer to Wikipedia) Furthermore, there is an overview of the history of Minnesota in different phases, of which, besides the story of  homesteading which I had come accross before further west, I found intriguing the part on the homefront during WW II. By collecting scrap metals for the arms industry, by accepting food rationing and raid exercises even the remote areas of America participated directly in the war. Check their homepage here: http://www.cityofmoorhead.com/departments/parks-and-recreation/hjemkomst-center In the evening Lyle and I cacled into Fargo and Lyle sure got a lot of attention on his handmade high bike! We worked our way through four bars and I got a nice look into Fargo night life. In a couple of these bars Lyle's band have performed and once again we met nice people only - well almost ... A wonderful night out ended in "The Northerner" around 2 am ...    
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Lyle at his traffic surveillance monitors in Fargo

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Traffic regulating is computer-based, of course

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The Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead

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Replica of a stave church from Norway

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The front portal with its intricate carvings leaves room for interpretation

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The guide sure was lively and fast-talking

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Fully functional replica of a Viking boat - it sailed to Norway!

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During daytime in Broadway, main street of Fargo - we went here in the evening to check out a few of the bars and clubs here

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The old train statioin hads been turned into a modern bike shop

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The long building makes a very intersesting bike shop. Inside I could have rented the "clock tower" space to open a coffee shop ...

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Delia culddling with one of her pets; both are obviously enjoying it very much!

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Sam is telling me about a terrible flood in the Fargo/Moorhead area in 2009

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Lale getting ready to go out!

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Lyle on his handwelded high bike. He sure got a lot of looks as we cruised through Fargo!

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Is that a chip on the shoulder?

 Posted by at 4:02 PM

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