Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Falls , Thief River Falls & Warroad

The plan was to continue west on Hwy 11 from International falls to North Dakota. Shortly after we left I-Falls, there was a road detour sign. Turns out the detour was close to 75 miles. Had we known, it would have been much shorter to have gone into Canada, headed west, then come back into the US after the detour area. But we didn't know so we headed south on Hwy 71. As we crossed the bridge over the Big Fork River, which is just before the town of Big Falls, we noticed a campground on the river so we pulled in. It was the Big Falls City Campground. What a great find. We camped on the Big Falls rapids. At night all we could hear was the river. People came through the campground portaging canoes around the rapids. They canoe the river all the way north to the Rainy River near I-Falls.
Since we were so far south of Hwy 11, we just continued west on Hwy 1 to Thief River Falls(TRF). TRF has a very nice city campground right on the banks of the Red Lake River. There are walking trails along the river. While taking a walk, we came upon a DQ. After dinner, Carol sent me to DQ for another small blizzard to share three ways.
TRF is the largest city we've been in for some time. Population of over 6,000!!. There was even a Super WalMart in town.
In the morning, we headed to Warroad, MN. A beautiful drive through farmlands. Mostly hay and grains of different types with some corn & soy beans mixed in. Now & then we would come across a little community with a grain elevator and not much else. We're 6 miles south of Canada (Manitoba Province).
Tonight we're "camping" in the casino parking lot. Interesting how Warroad got its name. The Chippewa Tribe lived here years ago. Wild rice was a major source of food. The Sioux Indians from the Plains States would raid the area regularly to steal the rice. Because of the rivers & marsh, there was only one practical way for the Sioux to get here by horseback. Over time, that trail came to be called a Chippewa name that meant the war road.

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