When one thinks “romance,” North Dakota is maybe not the first state that comes to mind.
But you can find romance at all levels of North Dakota society. From high school sweethearts to the courtship between an oil company and a mineral rights owner, beginning with flirtatious expectant caution, moving to one driving its tools deep inside the other and ending with an explosion and a pumping of liquids.
One reason North Dakota and romance are not often included in the same sentence is that people are just not aware of all the romance the state has to offer. When it comes to love, it’s not North Dakota, it’s Yesth Dakota!
Medora, in the far west, is the most romantic city in the state. Named in 1883 by French nobleman Marquis de Mores for his wife Medora von Hoffman, Medora is the Taj Mahal of North Dakota. Take your beloved to the Chateau de Mores, the Marquis’ house (get the Pitchfork Steak Fondue), as well as the Chateau de Abattage, the meat packing plant he built for shipping meat to Chicago. Now what is more romantic than meat packing?
How about the wood chipper in Fargo?
In 2011, the city brought the Fargo wood chipper to Fargo. Take your lover to Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center to see the actual wood chipper from the end of the movie Fargo. “A wood chipper? Romatic?” You might wonder. Well, sure. The wood chipper represents the closure of the mystery that allowed the reuniting of Marge and Norm Gunderson, Hollywood’s most romantic couple. And sure, Fargo was mostly about Minnesota and none of it was actually filmed in Fargo, but isn’t closing one’s eyes and ignoring reality what Valentine’s Day is all about?
On the subject of “chippers,” the unpredictability of life may be like a box of chocolates but Valentine’s Day should be like a bag of chocolate covered ripple potato chips, erotic and salty. Grand Forks icon Wideman’s Chocolate Covered Potato Chips are made with Red River Valley potatoes and come in bags weighing up to five pounds. Because really, enjoying that goop that most fancy chocolate repositories contain like so many mini Yucca Mountains is just East Coast elitistism. “Chippers” are also available in Fargo and in Crookston, just across the border in the People’s Republic of Minnesota.
Speaking of chocolate, did you know North Dakota is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of sugar beets? So why not take a sweet tour of a Crystal sugar plant? Heck, thanks to federal subsidies, you helped build it! As the noodled beets pass through the diffuser, you will smell the musk of the beet flume water pouring from the facility. Take a deep breath. Now that smells like love!
Oh Laaaaadies, have you heard about North Dakota’s many, many “man camps?”
When construction on the great northern railroad came to a stop here during the brutal winter of 1886. a tent city appeared as if “by magic.” Thus Minot’s motto: “The Magic City” The Magic City soon was overrun with prostitutes who had come to service the encamped men, leaving all with “magic” genitals. Also, ladies, Cosmo’s North Dakota entry for Bachelor of the Year, Andrew Gudmunson, is in Minot. He manscapes, thinks “I wish you were in me now” is the hottest text you could send him and he’ll “never be shady with you.”
Before North Dakota was the romantic Disneyland it is today, it was home to several Native American tribes, the largest of which remains the Lakota. “Lotancila” is the traditional Lakota word for “I love you” or, as it is translated in North Dakota today, “One man, one woman.”
No matter which of the countless romantic adventures you set out on, just remembering that in North Dakota it’s all about decisions.
For more, get How to be: NORTH DAKOTA. A Guide to the Plains at Amazon.com.