Growing up in Southwest North Dakota!

Growing up in Southwest North Dakota!

Hello everyone, growing up in south western North Dakota a rural area you have a great opportunity to get outdoors. As a kid I grew up about 2 blocks from the river, my friends and I spent a lot of time at the river, in the summer we would go fishing, rafting, swimming, hiking, riding bicycles, and motorcycles as we got older. In the winter we would clean off the ice and go ice skating. we would sled ride down the hills onto the river. We would also build forts in the snow drifts along the banks of the river.we would also dig forts into the side of the hills.

We would fish the river and the dam which was about 2 miles from town, we would catch perch, bluegill, croppies, sunfish, northern, sometimes a walleye and of course you weren’t fishing if you didn’t catch about 50 bullheads.

My sister, brother and I saved our money and bought an inflatable raft, we spent many hours rafting. It seemed like I spent quite a bit of my time fixing holes in the raft.I remember my brother building a boat for boy scouts. My dad helped a little, he cut the wood on the table saw and whatever power tools were too dangerous for us kids at the time. It was a flat bottom kayak , a one seater.It was pretty cool.

We would spend a lot of time swimming at the local swimming pools. My sister, brother and I took all the swimming lessons we could, I guess we could have taken one more lesson to become lifeguards but I wasn’t interested in that at the time.I was more interested in swimming.

There were a few trails along the river that we would hike, ride bikes and motorcycles, we had a few jumps and ditches that we would race on. We started out with our bicycles, then I believe we got a mini bike, I remember buying a lot of clutches for it. Next was a puch moped that we pooled our money for. We went all over on the moped, it was a two seater with a small storage rack on the back. So we could fit all three. Then came the YZ 125 Yamaha enduro.we rode that for a few years. our mom even decided to learn how to ride and get her licence. All of us kids got our licence also. In 1980 I bought my own bike, an XT 500 Yamaha enduro. I went everywhere on my motorcycle. I took it to work, out of town with my friends. I would go to my cousins farm about 25 miles from town, we would ride the country roads, section lines and whatever trails we could find to ride. we would also find hills to climb. I really enjoyed that. There was a lot of racing that went on and of course I had my fair share of spills, I didn’t get the nickname “crash” for no reason at all. Years later I remember going to the chiropractor, he made new patients take x-rays, while examining them he asked me when I broke my neck. The only thing that i could think of was one time when my friends and I were racing out in the badlands, we were three wide on a car trail, of course I was the the one off to the side of the trail going about 75 mph when I noticed a huge sinkhole in the tall grass in front of me. No time to turn, I slowed down as much as I could before the hole, I cracked the throttle right before I went off the edge, I am thinking that the hole was a foot to a foot and a half deep and twenty to 30 feet across . I tried to get the front tire over the other edge but I came up a few inches short, my front wheel caught the edge, my front forks bottomed out, I started to go over the handlebars. the front wheel decided to go over the edge then the back wheel hit the edge causing the back of the bike to hit me in the ass sending me up in the air. I remember hearing every bone in my back pop all the way up. So now there I was, doing a handstand with the bike riding on the front wheel at about 35 – 40 mph. I was praying to myself over and over, don’t go over, don’t go over. After what seemed like forever the bike finally came down on 2 wheels, I am still praying don’t go over, don’t go over, I was still doing a handstand on the bike yet, I finally came down on the bike, i got on the brakes and was downshifting until I was at a stop. My head was stuck looking up in the air. I couldn’t move my neck. I grabbed my helmet and pulled up on it, me back then popped all the way down. I finished riding for the rest of the day.We would ride 20 to 80 miles in the hills and back trails in a day.

Well I have to go for now, enjoy.

The Healthy Outdoors