Exploring Fort Ransom State Park

We made good on our promise to walk a portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail yesterday. What a lovely hike! Our mission was to see the Sunne Farm, which is a part of the state park. We started out from our campsite, walking much the same way we had on our evening stroll the night before. This time, we walked past the visitor center and onto the national scenic trail itself.

Here's some information about the trail, along with a map showing you its entire distance, beginning in Vermont.

Here's some information about the North Dakota portion. You can see where we're starting from.

Here's a little information about the volunteers who help to maintain the trail in North Dakota.

Please step aside if we happen on any horses.

Everybody got your shoes tied? Let's go.

If you look waaaaaay off into the distance in the image below, you'll see the object of our desire this morning.

We'll be paralleling the river and following the stakes with the blue blazes.

On the far side of the river, we could see these black-eyed Susans.

I found some closer to the trail on our way back.

A little to the left of the black-eyed Susans on the far side of the river were these pink guys. Hard to see them very well from this distance.

The trail was mostly grass with mud in spots. There were hundreds of these Northern Leopard frogs hopping around as we approached. It was nearly impossible to see them until they moved. Some were green as grass like this one.

Others were brown with the same spots and stripes.

This park caters to equestrian campers. There are special campsites with hookups and corrals for the horses.

On our way back, these campers had unloaded their two horses into a corral and were readying themselves for a ride.

Remember those brown stickery things I showed you in yesterday's post? I have an idea these might be the same thing, only not bloomed out.

As we got closer, we were able to see the whole farm.

The land is still farmed by someone, and we passed by this cornfield, already harvested.

Mike really enjoyed this wonderful display of antique farm implements. I've posted the explanatory sign followed by the actual piece of equipment on display for the next several pictures. 

It was very windy out there and sometimes it was hard to hold the sign straight for its picture.

This might have been the first time I stood right beside one of these windmills. Usually I only see them as we're driving down the road. 

The blades turn with the wind, activating the pump below.

Water is pumped into the trough to the right.

Just behind me was this "cook's cabin." I have an idea this is a modern addition, although the wheels on this trailer seem older.

This property is still used by the Fort Ransom Sodbusters Association for their annual Sodbuster Days event, and I believe some of these more modern structures are for their use.

This next image is my "windows and walls" shot of the day. I've always liked this little row of windows sometimes seen on the sides of barns.

Here's the barn from a different angle. This is the original barn built in 1914.

The next few informational signs will tell you about the Sunne family. They were Norwegian immigrants.

Here's a picture of the family and some of the farm hands.

Here is the log cabin where the family lived.

The cabin was locked, but you know that never stopped me from peeping in the windows and taking pictures that way. You can see a wood burning stove across the way and in the foreground, I believe that is the wringer from a wringer washer.

There are two quilts on the bed across the way. Also, there's a piano or an organ on the left side.

I tried to get a better picture of the quilts through the side window, but this next image is the best I could do.

To the right of the log cabin was this house. There was no information about this place, and the windows all had screens, so I couldn't take pictures of the interior.

Behind it was this "Summer Kitchen." I can recall the plantations in the south had "kitchen houses," where the kitchen was kept separate from the main house in case a fire broke out. I'm guessing that was part of the function for this place.

On the other hand, consider how hot it can get here in North Dakota in the summer, and it makes sense they'd want to do these things in a separate structure.

We sat on a bench outside the Summer Kitchen and gazed at the house from there.

We were impressed by the "spread" of this big elm tree. No doubt it gave a nice amount of shade on a hot day.

There were more structures without explanation.

Here, it was interesting to note the many different sizes of wheels.

This would have been a chicken coop.

At the far side of the farm was another display of large antique farm implements.

After thoroughly exploring the farm, we headed back the way we came.

We happened on this monarch butterfly who spread his wings for a picture.

Toward day's end, we went for another walk around the campground. It is so beautiful here. There was something in the air...moisture, dust...hard to say. It caught the light and gave everything a golden glow. This is the slope above our campsite.

Walking toward the clearing at the park boundary, it looks like this:

On the river side, it looked like this. The sound of the wind in the trees was soothing. There are other campers here, but it feels as if we have the place to ourselves.

Today I believe we'll take a drive to see the nearby Sheyenne National Grassland. It is the only National Grassland in the tallgrass prairie region of the United States. We'll be moving on to Minnesota tomorrow, and so we'll also devote plenty of time today to relaxation. It's been a couple of days since I worked on my slow-stitching, and that's where I'm headed next. I'd like to finish up the first block before the end of the month. Sight-seeing is keeping me busy this trip.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot. Remember my pictures of all the sunflowers grown in North Dakota?

As it turns out, we were just lucky enough to happen upon a "superbloom." My thanks to my friend Karen for sending the link to an article about it. Take a look.


Barbara said...

These sounds of wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves have enchanted so many people over time that they invented a word to describe them: psithurism. Like many words that begin with "ps," the "p" at the beginning of psithurism is silent, and the word is pronounced sith-err-iz-um. Psithurism comes from the Greek word psithuros, which means whispering. That certainly fits with the sound wind often makes when it blows through trees. Psithurism has inspired many writers and poets over the ages. ~ Wonderopolis

Sara said...

Summer kitchens also kept the house cooler in the summer because the stove didn't heat up the whole house - just the summer kitchen.

The windmill pictures really made me think of the farm my Kansas grandparents lived on. It had a windmill, and you could hear it squeak all the time. I was fascinated by it as a little kid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me travel with you and your "family". My farmer husband is a homebody--so I travel and see the country thru your blog. I believe you will soon be in Iowa-I hope you enjoy our state and not just say it's all corn and soybeans. It is that but so much more. You might like to see the Alamosa prison and of course, the Field of Dreams. There are many other places too, so linger as long as you want in our state. Have a good trip!

abelian said...

That farm is probably how my mother's Danish family lived in Iowa. The quilt on the bed has an unusual block, and I found a photo of another quilt with the same pattern!


Most Japanese Lantern blocks are different, but this one has the same diamond patches. Dot

Anonymous said...

Barbara, I have learned so much about this country we live in, by ‘going along’ with you on your travels! What fun! From your descriptions, and pictures of scenery, and informational signs, it is easy to imagine being right there with you, Mike, Smitty, Sadie, and, of course, your shadow selves as well!!
I was happy to hear in yesterday’s post that Smitty is doing better, and that he was able to munch on some of his favorite wide blade grass! I hope he continues to get better every day….
Sandra B

Jenny said...

What an interesting place. Trust a quilter to spot a couple of antique quilts while spying through a window!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

This post was particularly interesting for me because my dad used a number of those farm implements as I was growing up (namely a threshing machine, the harrows and the rake).

Diane Wild said...

My step grandfather was Iver Iverson. He married my grandmother in the early 20s in Landa North Dakota. He and his sisters immigrated from Norway. I know very little about him or his family. He was a big gentle man and didn't talk much. Not in English anyway. Not sure if this is the same Iver. Fun information.

Christine said...

Love those sunflowers, the link was good - thank you. It must've been some view.
Having a lovely time, sitting up in bed but travelling round with you.... stops me from getting too exhausted!! lol
Spent a week or so in hospital so this catchup counts as good medicine in my book.
Thanks again for sharing.

Darlene S said...

Wow, so interesting to see how farming has changed. Big differences in housing, kitchens, and farm equipment. Great scenery. You have certainly spotted some interesting frogs and bugs on your trip. I am still amazed with the grasshopper with butterfly type wings. But ever since I was a kid, I'm quite partial to frogs!

Peggy in ND said...

Well that was fun!!! I live less than 100 miles from this and am ashamed to say that I have not visited. This might have to be on our list for this summer. I was happy that you posted and shared this. North Dakota is a very beautiful, tranquil state but generally doesn't get that kind of review. Our temp yesterday was 51 degrees which was a record high for this time of year. Thanks again for the great pictures and comments!!!