We left Medora and headed to Bismarck for a ten night stop. It continued to be very hot, with the heat spell finally ending a few days before we left. When the weather finally changed it went from very hot days to days with beautiful blue skies, pleasant temperatures and cool nights. At last!
Along the way to Bismarck we saw signs of oil drilling, wind turbines and fields of canola and sunflowers.
Several roadside signs warned us to wear masks.
We also passed over the Missouri River where we saw a parade of boats celebrating President Trump.
We took these two pictures from our TV on our local news.
As you know by now, we also like to visit state capitol buildings. Since North Dakota is a new state for us, we had a new capitol building to visit.
This capitol building was very different from others we have visited. Most of them are modeled after the US Capitol with columns and a dome. This capitol looked like an office building. With 19 floors, it was the only high rise building in the city of Bismarck (pop 61,000) and therefore easy to see wherever you are in the area.
The capitol tours were canceled because of the pandemic but we were allowed to take a self guided tour. After having our temperatures taken and answering three questions we were allowed through security. The building, built from 1932-1934, is just as plain on the inside as it is on the outside. Other than a series of photographs on walls on their North Dakota Hall of Fame hallway, there were no other statues, paintings or murals anywhere in the building. The Hall of Fame included Lawrence Welk, Angie Dickinson and Roger Maris to name a few.
We saw the Senate and House of Representatives galleries.
In the House of Representatives gallery the lighting called “Stars and Moon at Night” was very different.
These two pictures were taken from the 18th floor observation deck.
The elevators doors leading to the observation deck had raised sculptures representing pioneers.
North Dakota was the 39th state (1889), but at the time the seal was designed it was unknown when they would be granted statehood so the seal has 42 stars.
On the grounds of the capitol is a statue of Sacajawea (also spelled Sakakawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman) and her baby son which was dedicated in 1910.
Mink (Hannah Levings) of the Arikara, Hidatsa, Mandan Nation posed as a model for the statue.
It is believed Sacajawea was sixteen years old when she first met Lewis and Clark in 1804. She was married to a French fur trapper by the name of Charbonneau. Her son was born in 1805 and traveled with her on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is believed she died just south of what is now the border of North and South Dakota in December, 1812 at the approximate age of 25 (believed to happen during childbirth). We recently learned that William Clark adopted Sacajawea’s son and they lived in St Louis.
Next up: Bismarck Pt 2