Fargo, North Dakota is definitely one of the more interesting places I’ve been to. There is an underlying dichotomy in the feel of the city. But it’s full of really great people and for sure not like the movie or TV show. I also found out that North Dakota really has a thing for statues of Buffalo. The good thing is that they don’t discriminate based on size or color.
For a place that floods regularly, gets really really cold in the winter (month plus stretches where the temperature doesn’t get above -10 farenheit), and generally doesn’t have much to do, the people in Fargo are really happy. Everyone I talked to really enjoys living in Fargo. They all insist on telling you that Fargo isn’t like the movie or the TV show. And on top of that, it was mostly filmed outside of Fargo (which no one is happy about). But the Coen brothers were kind enough to donate the wood chipper that they used in the movie to the city of Fargo (pictured). Again a fact that people in Fargo love to share. As for the statues of buffalo, Fargo has this multi-colored one.
Giant Buffalo and Albino Buffalo
Jamestown, on the other hand, has the world’s largest Buffalo. At 46 feet long and 26 feet tall weighing in at roughly 60 tons, this is another great example of how much North Dakota likes their Buffalo statues. The National Buffalo Museum was also located in Jamestown. This place had a whole lot of great information on Buffalo and the parts they have played over the years. For example, when Native Americans wanted to kill large quantities of Buffalo, they would do what’s called a Buffalo Jump. That’s a nice way of saying they herded a bunch of Buffalo off a cliff and then used what they needed from the remains. Seeing as though the primary source of food for the Native American’s was Buffalo, the American government at one point tried to exploit this fact by ordering the military to kill buffalo en masse. The goal here was to kill off the Native American’s as well. This also meant that the Native Americans would have to resort to getting their food from reservations. Ultimately, this decimated the bison population. They have since made a come back and are present in many places in the US. The museum overlooked a giant fenced in area that housed an albino buffalo (and with some other normal non-albino buffalo).
One of my favorite things about jiujitsu is that it brings people together with a shared passion. It also creates an immediate bond and respect if even for nothing else but the appreciation and practice of the art itself. Fargo was no different. It was a small (but larger than the picture) and really relaxed class. The instructor George Andersch had a really great approach to teaching jiujitsu that matched my style of learning. I really enjoy getting all the fine grained details about mechanics and placement and he went over all of it for the moves he taught. But the best part of dropping in to a new school for me happened after class. A few of us sat around and talked about politics, life, jiujitsu, and a whole host of other topics. They say, “you won’t truly someone until you fight them.” In the case, of dropping in to a gym, it’s more like an ice breaker.
The Red River is one of the few rivers in the world that runs from south to north. As a result, it is prone to some behaviors that isn’t characteristic of all rivers; namely, regular immense flooding. In fact, it is so prone to flooding regularly that when it happens, the college in Fargo shuts down and the college kids have to fill sand bags for credit instead of going to class. They do this because the high levels of flooding typically shut down the river crossings and the professors can’t get to class (like many students). This has become so common that there are people of varying age ranges with stories of sand bagging during different flood periods. And they are all really good stories.
The gallery of pictures from eastern North Dakota is available on Google Photos.