Winding Highway 83 good for the soul

Hagerty, Marilyn. "Winding Highway 83 good for the soul." Grand Forks Herald, April 26, 2014, sec. 3B.

Dear Shirley,

There’s a long, narrow highway that takes you north and south through the middle of the Dakotas. It’s U.S. 83. There is not much traffic. Just an occasional Wal-Mart truck or farm equipment.

So I’m home again, home again after an Easter trip to see the grandchildren on a cattle ranch near Sterling, Colo.

I hooked up with daughter Gail and granddaughter Carrie in Bismarck. We headed south on Highway 83 at Sterling, N.D. That’s about 20 miles east of Bismarck on I-94. And we drove through Lawrence Welk country on Highway 83 before hitting South Dakota. Highway 83 has been upgraded through South Dakota. We sailed along past Selby, Agar, Onida and into Pierre.

We could see the hills beyond the Missouri River at Pierre. And the hills seemed to be awakening as we made our way over the river into Fort Pierre. And on to Valentine in Nebraska. Up and down the gently winding road we drove. At times, they seemed endless. We went through the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Outside of some beautiful hills and pine trees at Valentine, the road seems never-ending as you go on to North Platte, Neb. There we headed west into Colorado on Highway 80. That, you know, is the closest town for my son-in-law, Curt, and the three grandchildren on the cattle ranch. It was worth every mile to eat ham and eggs with them.

Let me tell you, Shirley, North Dakota looks like the Garden of Eden after traveling this vast, barren land to the south.

The land is awakening now, and we saw dozens of pheasants along Highway 83 in the Dakotas. The farm equipment is showing up on gigantic fields.

There is hope and promise. And you know, Shirley, it seems to me that April is a nice time for travel. The blizzards of winter are behind us. I think. The air is cool. Not cold. Not hot. The breakfast rooms in the motels are not crowded.

I hope all is well with you in Tucson. I remember when you used to drive up to Canada in the summertime.

Love from your sister Marilyn eating the last of the jelly beans on the west bank of the Red River flowing north beyond Grand Forks.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.

Printed with permission of Marilyn Hagerty and the Grand Forks Herald.

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