Hitterdal, MN

Church@fargo plymouth ucc.Flat,breezy,temp=80.giant turtle.No restaurant.

June 21, 2010

I posted the above last night via text message, thinking there was no internet in Hitterdal (“Hitter”-dal), population 200. Amazingly, the city park was free to camp in, has water, bathrooms, live electric outlets in the shelter, and as I discovered this morning at 6 am, had not one but two wireless access points with good signal strength.

The entire ride yesterday was flat. There are absolutely no mountains here. Fargo had a lot of potholes, but several miles after crossing the Minnesota border, the road improved considerably.


This is the maximum grade we saw all day – less than 1 percent, I suspect.


Lots of lakes, some blue, some brown

The few businesses in town were closed, except for Pump -n- More. This was our food supply, and I also got 50 cents worth of gas there for the camp stove. We’ll have to stock up before we hit the road. The next town, Callaway, is 30 miles, and also population about 200.


Pump -n- More was the only place open

Elliot is eating well, and has good energy. At Quiznos in Fargo yesterday, he had a Prime Rib Au Jus sandwich, and two sammies. We got a box of vanilla wafers for the road, and he finished his portion before I got through even half of mine. At the Pump-n-More, he had a hot pocket, and still had a full dinner an hour later.


Chili mac for dinner

Children here have about as much fear of strangers as Emperor Penguins do. Local kids were playing in the park, and stopped by. Meggie (short for Megan, I think) showed us Lake Flora, and told us that in the winter, it freezes over and they have Polarfest there. She said people jump in (reminder, we’re in Minnesota, now), and that her mom dove in with costume.


7-year old Meggie was our guide

As we were settling down, Mona Erickson, one of the neighbors living next to the park, called us over to see a huge snapping turtle in her yard. It has just laid some eggs, and their cat was hissing at it. Her husband Jerry explained that the neck is about 8 inches long when it comes out, and demonstrated by tapping it with a yardstick. BOOM! It was like a trap going off. The animal is all muscle.


Huge snapping turtle. That business card is for scale.

This morning, we went to the Pump-n-More, where the locals gather in the morning. Carl and Wanda own the Heritage Rose B&B in town. Call 218-962-3245 if you need a room. Larry is the former Mayor, and gave us free postcards. He is married to Carol (not shown, at the women’s table). They said it’s 75-80 miles to Itasca park, so it’s potentially in range. Also, no supplies until Callaway 30 miles away, so we stocked up on snacks.


Hitterdal breakfast club: me, Carl, Morris, Larry. Not shown: Dean, Earl.

There was a brief thunderstorm last night. Good thing we set up the rain fly on the tent.


  1. Kendra says:

    Hi Dad! I was going to call and say happy Father’s Day earlier but I took a nap and woke up at a sort of late time. Figured I’d just say it here instead.

    So, happy Father’s Day, hope you and Elliot are having… adventures and all that.

    • roderick says:

      Thanks you, my daughter!

      Yes, we’re having adventures. Now that we have internet access, I’ll fill in the details.