This is a huge irrigation project that was never completed. It's going to be my compainion for 73 miles across the plains of North Dakota. The NCT uses the service road beside it. This road is not open to the public, so it can be certified as trail.
What can you say about 73 hot miles of gravel? You need to think about the water. There is always water right beside you. Access isn't the easiest, but you never have to worry about finding a water source (do filter). There is something refreshing about having the water there, even if you don't use it for anything. When we hiked this in 1995, we went swimming every night. It was probably the main thing that kept us sane on that horribly hot trip. It adds blue to the lower landscape. You have stripes of sky, grass, water, grass that are appealing.
Sometimes there are even extra blue stripes from prairie potholes. And there are low hills in the distance.
It does attract birds. I saw Upland Sandpipers several times today. We once had one nest in the field in back of our house, so I got pretty good at identifying them.
The first turtle of the trip. It's just a midwest painted turtle. I left him sunning in the gravel. He's pretty safe on this road.
I was a little surprised to find a droid from the Jawa scrap transport and factory. Looks like it got lazy and lay down on the job.
The thing about walking along the canal is there is absolutely no shade. I walked and took a few quick rests to eat. Fast miles.
I just liked this scene- North Dakota lonesome.
Miles today: 17.7. Total miles so far: 2499.3.
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