We have driven through Valley City ND several times, not pausing to take in the local sights. This time we stayed a week in a nearby Corps of Engineers campground (the subject of another blog). We found that there are a lot of interesting things around Valley City.
The Valley City Visitors Center in a brochure touts several bridges around the city, all crossing the Sheyenne River. The most impressive is the 3/4 mile long single track railroad trestle completed in 1909 by the Great Northern RR. It is still in use by the BNSF and often carries mile long crude oil or coal unit trains across the valley. It is 165 feet over the river and is claimed to be the longest and highest railroad trestle in the US. This view is looking east from the highway crossing under the trestle.
Looking northwesterly from the road.
Details of the ironwork of a pier (or does it have another name?).
A point of interest along the highway to the campground is this horse-drawn grader. The operator has to be very muscular to turn the wheels to make adjustments to the blade. No power assist on this machine!
On Aug 19 we took a day trip to drive the Sheyenne River National Scenic Byway its entire length of 65 miles. From the north it took us first to a fish hatchery and the Baldhill Dam which backs up 27 mile long Ashtabula Lake. The road ran south along the river. The 26 mile graveled southern part of the road led is to the tiny village of Kathryn. It survived because it was built on a railroad which transported the main agricultural product of the area, wheat. The original Co-op grain elevator still is in use.
Another point of interest on the route is Standing Rock. It sits on top of an uplift moraine perhaps 300 feet higher than the surrounding countryside. The rock was carried from Ontario by a glacier and left in this standing position when the glacier melted. It was a landmark used by early surveyors of the area and was thought to be a sacred place by the natives.
This country Lutheran Church still is in use by the local residents. The cemetery is nearby.
Another point of interest, this cabin was the home of to the Slattum family which raised nine children while living in it. I trust that they were not living there all at the same time!
This Lutheran Church serves the community of Fort Ransom at the southern end of the journey. Local farmers and artisans built the original part of the building as a community project, without outside help.