North Dakota delivers a magnificent bounty to America’s dinner tables and agriculture is definitely a major theme here. If your meals include canola oil, flaxseed, lentils, sunflower seeds, wheat, or oats, they probably came from North Dakota’s rich farmland. Yet, there is so much more to the Peace Garden State.
Even though North Dakota is way up north in the United States, a marker in Rugby marks the Geographic Center of the North American Continent.
The North Dakota Badlands in the southwestern part of the state appear to have dropped off the moon. The International Peace Garden straddles the border with Canada. From the end of the Ice Age, North Dakota was home to Native Americans who lived in sophisticated villages, some with more than 130 homes. They first met European explorers in 1738 who came south from the Hudson Bay Company. Lewis and Clark passed through the tallgrass prairie looking for a river route to the Pacific Ocean.
As you travel, you’ll delight in the mosaic of ethnic traditions on display, that include Scandinavians, making their fabulous baked goodies, mostly living in the east and north-central areas, German Mennonites, Hutterites, Catholics, Russian Germans, Ukrainians, and Poles, who brought their foodways to the south central area of North Dakota. English, Scots and Irish came down from Canada to the northern part of the state, and Icelandic immigrants made their homes in the northeast corner.
The western part of the state is the territory of ranchers and cattle. The rugged, gloriously unspoiled vast silent spaces of the North Dakota Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park are not to be missed. You’ll be traveling through billion-year-old landscapes thrashed by volcanoes, ice and rushing water, which created hoodoos, stone monoliths and banded buttes with an array of beautiful colors punctuating their terrain.
Enjoy the variety of this unique American state.