It was Thursday, December 22, or 22 December for those who are tracking with a military calendar. The Northern Sentry office is located on the south end of Main Street in the Main Medical building. Thursday started out as a fairly decent day in the downtown Minot. The sun was out, and the sky was blue, albeit the temperature was still well below zero.
About 8 AM I received an email from the owner/editor of the Northern Sentry, Ted Bolton, that the courier who brings our papers from Garrison, ND, where they are printed, to Minot and eventually the Minot Air Force Base, was not going to venture out into the gradually deteriorating weather conditions, and predicted ground blizzard that once again threatened Central North Dakota.
Ted and I were on the same page. “If we didn’t get the papers to the base today, with the long Christmas weekend we were looking at delivery on Tuesday, December 27.”
I am not going to say that it was necessarily an intelligent move, but having spent over 60 years in North Dakota, and with a 4-wheel drive vehicle, “let’s give it a try, we can always turn back.”
As we started south on Highway 83 Ted and shared notes about where the road conditions could be bad. Just beyond South Prairie School…and how about the South Base? (Used to be a radar base installation back in the 60’s) It’s always bad there.
Yes, the roads were certainly a bit of a challenge going to Garrison, and even more of a challenge once we loaded the Northern Sentry bundles and Winter Guides that would be delivered with this paper and headed back towards Minot.
But with a little bit of caution, we made it back to Minot and were soon on Minot Air Force Base distributing papers and guides for deliver, if not on Thursday, maybe Friday or even Saturday when the temps were to moderate to around zero degrees. A big thank you to Ryan Smith, and all of our delivery kids for getting the Northern Sentry out to our readers.
It Seems Fitting
On a recent trip to MAFB I happened to have a delivery to make near the flight line. I stopped my pickup and was amazed as the high winds and falling snow created blizzard conditions. At times it was a challenge to make out the shapes of the B52’s parked outside on the ramp. The wind and snow would swirl off the wings and form sundogs behind some of the planes. I got to thinking that like me, these planes have experienced many winters in North Dakota. I don’t know that they were designed for Minot, North Dakota winters. But they certainly seem to tolerate the conditions. I am sure there is certainly a lot more to the story than what meets with my amateur eyes.
Best Kept Secrets
Oak Park is certainly a great stop, even in the cold of winter, if you want some solitude and a chance to experience the beauty of a North Dakota winter. There are great cross country ski trails, and the Minot Park District keeps the walking trails open. Just bundle up and enjoy.
What is a New Year’s Resolution?
Answer: Something that goes in one year and out the other…