Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What The World Doesn't Know About North Dakota

I could not have said this better myself. Ashley is a fellow ND blogger who has a way of describing the beautiful, and not-so-beautiful, parts of our state. I totally understand if you think we have funny accents but no running water? C'mon people... :)

This is a guest post written by Ashley of Love & Wrinkles.

It's truly amazing what the world doesn't know about North Dakota.  I mean, I once had an entire camp's worth of people convinced that I didn't have electricity, running water, or a car.  Might I add that the camp was in Michigan, of all places.  Michigan.  And they think that North Dakota is so desolate?  I digress.

In honor of being featured on the blog of a fellow North Dakotan (who is also a former neighbor of mine...and by the way, sorry about the incident with all the water in the foyer in high school.  Yes, it was me and my friend Sarah who decided to wake your brother and Winks up from a nap with squirt guns...oops.), I figured we should clear some things up.

First and foremost, I'd like to address the Canadian accents so brilliantly portrayed as ND in the movie Fargo.  I mean seriously.  Sure, we pronounce some words a little "funny" according to the rest of the world (the most common being the pronunciation of both our state's name and NDSU's mascot, and, of course, bag), but wasn't there some study once that said the Midwest has the least apparent accent of anyone?  We'll run with it.  And based off of that, we're right.  But if you think we're Canadians, obviously your perception is going to be skewed.

Winter.  It is long, and cold, and awful, but it's not the only season and is no reason to completely avoid the state altogether.  We do have spring (also known on a semi-regular basis as flood season), fall is gorgeous, and summer is prime time lake season with tons of options for water recreation.  Furthermore, winter really is only November through March (most of the time), so the other seasons do make up more of the year than the cold one, regardless of how marginal the victory may be.

We may not have professional sports, but the college rivalries make what we do have just as fun.  The University of North Dakota's hockey team is consistently a nationally-ranked squad, and it's worth mentioning that the Ralph Engelstad Arena that they call home is basically the Taj Mahal of hockey.  Both professional and amateur.  And North Dakota State's football team are back-to-back national champs and always a good time to watch.  Plus tailgating, while it does not rival the SEC, has all sorts of shenanigans to take part in.

The lack of electricity, cars, running water, heat...all horrendously untrue, even in the most remote parts of the state.  And for the record, the city with the smallest population nationwide is actually in Wyoming.  Despite the fact that we have moved into 2014 with the rest of the world, it is still relatively easy to convince people that none of these things exist in North Dakota.

There is more here than corn.  Like wheat, duh.  But also lake and badlands and oil fields.  Not very many trees, but hey, ya win some ya lose some.

There is also more to do here than drink, although it does make winter pass a little faster.  Aside from the Eastern half of the state's relative flatness (and I probably don't even need to include relative in that statement), it's an outdoorsman's paradise.  Plenty of hunting and fishing to do as well as hiking out west.  Many people have horses.  And if you can manage to maintain your marathon training program outdoors during the winter, you are most definitely a badass.

And most importantly North Dakota nice really is a thing...an almost indescribable thing.  One where mass amounts of people show up in your neighborhood unasked to help throw millions of 40-lb sandbags to protect your house from a river.  One where people from out of the state who take the plunge and visit actually enjoy coming back.  One where people don't take the last brownie from the pan because they don't want to be the person who takes the last one and prevent someone else from having it.  One where rush hour does not equal thousands of honked horns, middle fingers, and profanities.  North Dakota nice makes it a beautiful place and one that I will always call home.

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