Day 32: The Wood Chipper

Out here, each small town first becomes visible on the horizon as a water tower and some grain elevators. I imagine these water towers as giant push pins on a 1:1 scale map.

The occasional patches of corn I’ve been seeing gradually become huge fields. The corn is all dried out and still standing in the field. Is this some kind of feed corn or are they not harvesting it because the lack of rain ruined the crop?

Riding into West Fargo, I see my first Tesla in weeks and the first black person in days. Coming from Oakland, the lack of diversity in these parts has been unnerving.

I was going to give Fargo a wide berth, as I would any big city, but Atlas Obscura clued me in to the presence of the original wood chipper from the Coen Brothers film bearing the name of the city.

Yes, the visitors center has the original screen-used prop. They even used to have the hat with the ear flaps which they would lend to visitors for selfies but Covid put an end to that. I’m impressed that the city has embraced the notoriety created by the film.

I cross the 12th-15th Avenue bridge across the Red River and just like that I’m in Minnesota. There’s no big, colorful sign for a ridiculous selfie. I might try to snag one of those on my way out.

The Food of my People, Part 4: Instant mashed potatoes and tuna. It’s not something I would make at home but it’s a popular staple of touring cyclists in North America because it’s lightweight, compact, filling and can be found in most smaller grocery stores. I remember instant mashed potatoes tasting terrible last time I had them about 20 years ago but this Idahoan brand is pretty tasty.

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