North Dakota Drifter

by Jim on 2011/04/06

[Jimbaux is cautiously optimistic that he has finally attained freedom, so he can live.]

Per requests, here are some of Jimbaux’s images of North Dakota, presented in a rather random fashion.  (I wonder if Jimi Hendrix ever went to North Dakota.)  The only other time that North Dakota has been featured here on Jimbaux’s Journal was in the second-ever post.

Germans From Russia

Much of the Dakotas, the Canadian plains, and Nebraska were settled by what are known as the Germans from Russia, Germans who had agreed to live in the fertile parts of Russian and the Ukraine in the 1700s when the tsar recruited them to cultivate the plains in exchange for allowing them to keep their language and customs and exemption from conscription into military service.  After increasing hardships in Russia, including subsequent tsars revoking promises, many left and came to the Great Plains of North America, especially in the Dakotas and Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Eternity On The Great Plains

Below is Saint Vincent’s Cemetery, northwest of Bismarck, the North Dakota captial named after the unifier of the Germanic peoples.  Most of the Germans fro Russia were Catholic, and the cemeteries were known for their famous wrought iron headpieces.  In the image below, the timelessness of the Northern Great Plains can be seen, as can be the nakedness of life there, as nothing is private and secluded by trees.

What does the above image say to you?  Let us know in the comments section.

To me, there’s something of a timelessness there, a sign that human life is truly insignificant before the wide-open, sometimes harsh Earth, the Earth that reclaims life as the cows enjoy what remains.


The next morning, the Old Norse Otter and I dined at this restaurant in Whatford City before heading to a day of work at the Hutmacher site.

Those of you who are underemployed would do well to head out to North Dakota, my friends there are telling me.  Unemployment there is below 4%, and oil is big there.  It’s also a very safe place to live!

Dakota Foaming

And the star of this flick is BNSF Railway train E-DLHSCM0-21.  Train E-DLHSCM is an empty (“E”) coal train from Dilworth (“DLH”) to the Spring Creek Mine (“SCM”) in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, where almost all of the loaded coal trains that pass through there originate.

Based in Fargo for the summer of 2008, I’d often chase westbound trains in the afternoon, getting several shots like this.

A Dakotan Metropolis

Unless you live and work in the middle of Fargo, and even if you do, this is probably not your typical picture of North Dakota, but this is the Radisson in downtown Fargo, the state’s largest city.

Cool enough for you?  Yeah, downtown Fargo is quite a neat place.  I’m itching to return.


As of the last few days, Jimbaux is cautiously optimistic that he has finally achieved freedom, and the help seems to have come from an unexpected source.  The challenge in life is not in finding new places, no matter how cool it is for me to go to North Dakota; the challenge lies in finding new eyes.  Remember that, mes amis.

Don’t forget, the best way to follow Jimbaux’s Journal is to join the Facebook fan page, and you call follow me on Twitter at @JimbauxsJournal too.

Be well, mes amis.  I appreciate you visiting.



1 TI April 6, 2011 at 21:25

The funny thing about that cemetery shot is, even at the distance, I can recognize people by their posture.

2 Jerry April 6, 2011 at 23:01

Well when you return I would like two map postcards, that is a tourist postcard with a map of the state on it. Secondly I can use a ND motorcycle license plate. See what you can do. Yea, I can also use one from DC, MC plate that is.

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