Actually it was Celeste who clued Rudi in to this spot as she saw the monument from her train car on the way out to Glacier. It is located in Rugby, North Dakota, about 65 miles east of Minot on Highway 2. It seemed fitting for Bertha to visit the center of the continent as she has carried Rudi to the farthest spots you can drive to on continuous roads north, south, and west. But wait, there’s more !
There is a little book titled “Lies Across America” that details the many biased, inaccurate, and downright lying historical markers dotting our landscape. The winners write the histories, remember? A massacre of innocents becomes a “glorious victory”, while the general on the stallion was actually a drunken looter on a mare, and the “early explorer” brought small pox infected blankets as gifts to the locals. So the moving of a geographic marker for commercial reasons is right on target.
North Dakota Rod bounded out of the local cafe to offer to take my picture in front of the monument. He’s from a small town a few miles away and knew the best camera angles, and had one of the most engaging personalities of anyone we met on the trip. He could even out talk Rudi!
This is the CENTER of the North American continent, right? Then why is the cafe located in the same parking lot taking THIS as its name?
Rudi reluctantly rode off without solving this compelling mystery since he had to get to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he would turn from east to south and plunge down the continent for the next two and a half days on I-29.
Rudi will end up at a cheap Days Inn in Watertown, South Dakota, tonight, where an encounter with a disagreeable fellow traveler would invoke Churchill-type vibes from Rudi and give him an opportunity to express “the grand insult” thrown over his shoulder at the end of the encounter. Stay tuned.
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