2020 Montana Road Trip: Day 1 – Fargo

I’m on a quest to visit all 50 states by 2022. COVID-19 has been terrible for accomplishing this goal. Before this trip, I was at 32 states visited. I had developed a plan to visit them all, but COVID really hampered that. Luckily, it all calmed down slightly; enough that I felt like a road trip to backpack in Glacier National Park would be feasible. And so Ben and I made ready our plans.

Gathering all my equipment and provisions

We planned to backpack or camp at almost every destination, so we would have minimal contact with other humans. This seemed like a good way to take a vacation and still social distance during a global pandemic. In order to cross off states on the list, my rule was that you had to stay the night or be in that state exploring it as though you would’ve stayed (drive throughs don’t count). With our itinerary made and our suitcases packed we headed out on Saturday September 5th at 0100. I took the first driving shift (I do better at night anyways) and drove for about 4 hours to just past Chicago where Ben took over, after getting gas, and drove us to Minneapolis.

We arrived at about 10 AM, I missed passing through Madison, WI as I took a brief nap. Our proposed lunch destination wasn’t open until 11, so we went to Duck Duck Coffee to grab some caffeine. I’m not a big coffee guy, but I enjoyed the Not a Depth Charge I got. I kind of wish they sold stickers, I liked their logo a lot.

Come 11 AM Matt’s Bar opened and we headed in to get a table. That place almost immediately filled up. With social distancing practices, only every other booth was available in an already small establishment with no outdoor seating, so it was fortuitous we arrived when we did. Ben had heard about the place, due to it having “the best burgers in the country” or some such claim. Their claim to fame is the Jucy Lucy. It’s a double cheeseburger with the cheese sandwiched in the middle. It was, in fact, delicious, but potentially dangerous to eat. After we ate our fill we continued on our way to Fargo.

We were staying in a Minnesota state park about 15 miles from Fargo. The park itself had a pretty small campground by Michigan State Park standards, but it had great facilities. Aside from the mosquitoes swarming us, it would’ve been nice to have more time to explore the area more.

My newest acquisition, North Face Wawona 6 tent, originally purchased for Electric Forest this year.

After getting the tent set up, we headed into Fargo to explore. We had brought some noodles to make at the campsite, so we planned to just grab some drinks and explore the town then come back for delicious noodle-time.

My first impressions of Fargo were that for the largest city in North Dakota, it seemed a little empty. Not in the sense of people, but all the buildings were spread out in a sprawling expanse. It reminded me a bit of sections in Urbana-Champaign as well as Little Rock. It had a nice downtown area, and was a lovely city.

We made our way to Wild Terra Cider to grab a drink. I love this place. This is probably my favorite place that we visited. It had such a lovely atmosphere, and the d├ęcor was on point. The staff was friendly and their ciders were delicious, they had a wide variety, and on top of that they had a selection of Blake’s Cider! Michigan represent #puremichigan. We had no small amount of ciders here over a couple hours. In the end I bought a small tulip glass, and a 4 pack of beer to take home.

We found a brewery on Yelp that was also recommended by a staff member at wild terra so we headed there next. Their description of it was also very enticing, “It looks like a castle in the middle of town”. They were right.

Drekker Brewing Company

The building was enormous, and they had a lovely patio area. You were allowed to order food in since they didn’t sell any there. They also have different food trucks that frequent the patio area that you can order from. That evening, food was being served by Fargo Fillies. Despite having noodles to look forward to, the smell wafting over from their grill was too much to resist, and so Ben and I split a Fargo Filly. I do not regret that decision, it was delicious! The meat was seasoned incredibly and even the bread was noteworthy.

The beer selection was good, though it seemed to skew heavily on the IPA side of things. I started with a Loki is my Homeboy which was surprisingly sweet. I did not expect that, it was a pleasant surprise. I ended with a Electronic Arms hefeweizen. The art on the beers was extremely unique, something you might see out of an 80s movie poster or tattoo parlor. It definitely caught my eye.

Before we left, I had to get a slice of Spicy Pie, because it reminded me of forest. And with no Electric Forest this year, I never expected to miss it this much. While it wasn’t exactly the same, it was a nice nostalgia blast. Also the pizza was a great way to end the night in Fargo before going for noodles at teh campsite.

Overall a great time drinking our way around Fargo. I would probably recommend a weekend trip here for those interested in checking out North Dakota.

We continue on to Bismarck and into Montana tomorrow!


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