“Always wear a life jacket when in North Dakota.”

Pieces of ice this big actually fall from the sky in North Dakota. Source: Bismarck Tribune

As my brother and fellow WANDerer, Jeremy, mentioned recently, in order for us to be better prepared the walk, I’ve been assigned the job of developing a contingency list. Basically, a list of specific things that might go wrong and how we would respond in each case.  To that end, here’s a very helpful website I found this evening.

What's this "local tradition" all about??? Source: iGuide Interactive Travel GuideInterestingly, a version of this cautionary piece also appears in the “Stay Safe” section of the North Dakota entry over at WikiTravel. The person who wrote this seems to know a great deal about:

1. The hazardous species that inhabit (“Wasps in the fall can easily ruin a day in Medora.”) or do not inhabit (“Snapping turtles should be left un-disturbed if stumbled upon, but these turtles are rare in North Dakota.”) our state of origin.

2. The risk imposed to life and limb merely by stepping within its borders (“North Dakota is mostly a dangerous landmass”).

3. And the explanation for why so few people live there (“North Dakota’s graveyards are full for a reason”).

A (late) Mountain Lion recently discovered in the Walmart parking lot in Bismarck. Source: Bismarck Tribune

Sorry, but I have to chuckle a little. While I certainly acknowledge the potential danger posed by the mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and weather that call North Dakota home, I can’t help but feel that over-hyped warnings of the sort presented in this article are a part of what has prevented me from actually exploring my state of origin until now.

Yes, we will make contingency plans. Yes, we will learn about and acknowledge and prepare for the real risks that come along with the rewards we hope to experience throughout the WAND.  Yes, we will be both smart and adventurous at the same time, and yes, we will walk right across this “dangerous landmass”. But no, we will not be wearing life jackets.

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2 responses to ““Always wear a life jacket when in North Dakota.”

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