Sunday, September 20, 2015

First Time in North Dakota


Hillsboro Campground
203 6th St SW
Hillsboro, ND 58045
GPS: 47.399616, -97.072165
Phone: 701-636-5205

Travel Day 25 – Hackensack, MN to Hillsboro, ND


A few days ago we passed through the edge of North Dakota on our way to Hackensack, MN with a brief stop at the Flying J in Fargo. That was literally my first time ever in North Dakota. Today we returned to Hillsboro, ND to begin our Sugar Beet Harvest Adventure. So I'll really call this our first day in North Dakota.

It was a short day, only 160 miles, and we caravanned with Herb and Pat Myers. It was a tougher day for them because they were finishing a five-month workamping job. It is amazing how fast you put down roots and accumulate junk when you stop traveling.

As we travel I use the app Scout on my phone for navigation. This morning it went crazy. Herb knew his way around the area, so he led the way. Scout refused to cooperate. Seems like the roads we were using to get away from Hackensack (all two lane, paved, numbered highways) were not on Scout's map. We spent several minutes driving across an empty map. Finally, we reached the major highway and Scout snapped to attention and functioned normally for the rest of the trip.

Most of our trip today was west. We returned to Fargo and to the same Flying J where we stopped previously. Gassing up was no problem, then we went into the Huddle House Restaurant for breakfast/lunch. Same disaster. A couple sitting next to the table we chose told us that they had waited an hour for their meal. A look around at a nearly empty restaurant with all dirty tables said, "Let's get out of here." We went across the road to the Love's truck stop and had lunch at MacDonald's.

While on the road we got a couple text messages from Bill and Alicia Koegler. They arrived at their assigned destination and discovered they were not camping or working with us. I don't know what happened and we'll try to get together soon.

We got to Hillsboro about 3 PM. The campground was waiting for us.


Parking and setup were easy and uneventful. I like that. The campground manager told us there was about to be a massive influx of folks arriving for the beet harvest. We were lucky to have arrived early (3 PM?) while we could still have a selection of sites. By the time we went to bed about 11 PM, there had been no massive influx and there were still many empty campsites.

After settling in and much socializing with the few beet harvest folks here, we headed out to explore Hillsboro and find a place for dinner. Checking out Hillsboro took all of thirty minutes and finding a place for dinner was easy – everything was closed. Only a Burger King and a Casey's General Store were opened. We opted for Casey's. Pizza, hot wings, and breadsticks. It was OK, but we ate on napkins – no plates provided. Ahhhh, fine dining in Hillsboro, ND.

Fine dining at Casey's General Store


After that fine repast, it was back to the campground and my last chore for the day – getting our DISH satellite TV up and running. That turned out to be very difficult for reasons I don't understand. A very nice patient lady at DISH telephone support talked me through the trouble shooting process and we were up and running in time to catch the last quarter of the Green Bay Packers / Seattle Seahawks football game. When I shut down the TV at bedtime, I got the screen saying, "Don't touch your receiver while it is reprogramming". That took about fifteen minutes. So I guess my receiver really had its brains scrambled.

Autumn is coming fast and we are now pretty far north. The furnace comes on several times a night and morning requires a jacket.

Posts about the Sugar Beet Harvest


FIRST DAY IN NORTH DAKOTA
Hillsboro, North Dakota, we have arrived

GETTING READY FOR WORK
Some paperwork to get us started

ON THE JOB TRAINING
A trip to the Hillsboro factory for some OJT

TEN DAYS OF WORK
Notes and pictures on our ten days of work

THE CAMPAIGN
A quick summary of the annual campaign of sugar beet processing

THE SUGAR BEET
Bigger than a coconut, smaller than a football. Here is the story on the sugar beet

THE PILER
I was very impressed with the big machine we worked on. I thought you might like to learn more.

THE SUGAR BEET PILE
How big is a pile that contains 90,000 tons? Here are some pictures and figures

DOWN AND DIRTY: GIVING BACK THE TARE DIRT
Harvesting root crops produces dirt. How to handle and dispose of it is an interesting side story

A LOOK AT THE SUGAR INDUSTRY
A $20 billion industry with 142,000 jobs in 22 states. Take a look at the Sugar Beet Industry

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR COMPANY
Get a closer look at the company providing this workamping opportunity.

EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS
If you are a workamper interested in short term hard work for big bucks, here’s the link