Into the Ice Caves: Exploring The Unexpected in North Dakota

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my High Plains Reader colleague Jack Dura on Twitter (he’s @JackFromNoDak — you should follow him for sure) when he mentioned he’d explored the Ice Caves in western North Dakota.

My extremely visceral reaction happened three distinct stages: 1.) Eeeeeeee! That sounds awesome! I wanna do that! When am I free? (I react this way to almost everything that pleases me greatly. Travel writers are basically children with credit cards and reliable transportation.) 2.) Wait, what?!?! Ice caves? 3.) Jack must tell me all about that, like, immediately.

So now I’ll shut up …

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Red River Market: A Feast For The Senses In Downtown Fargo

“What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food.”
– Bryant Terry

A farmers market on a warm summer day flirts with the senses.

There’s something satisfying about feeling the weight of the potatoes, just pulled from the dirt, in your hand. You learn forward to watch shimmering water droplets dance on the frilly edges of the lettuce, as flirty as the ruffles on a skirt.

There’s magic in the scent of the still damp earth that gathers in the corners of the produce boxes, the tang of dill and the …

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A Crash Course in Canadian Beer At The Common

Sampling the local beer is one of my favorite ways to get to know a place. So I was pumped to see that The Common was open that last time I was in Winnipeg. I live just a few hours south of the Canadian border, but that proximity doesn’t mean that Canadian craft beers show up in my local liquor store with any regularly, so I was excited to see what I’d been missing since my last trip.

The Commons turned out to be a great place to do exactly that. It’s a craft beer and …

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An Epic Ice Cream Quest At Cup And Cone

If someone tells me to eat somewhere, I make a note of it. When two people tell me to eat somewhere, I underline it. When three or more people tell me to eat somewhere, I go there as soon as humanly possible.

That’s how I found myself on a twilight quest for ice cream in White Bear Lake, Minnesota on a hot summer night. I was bound for Cup and Cone, the 43 year old ice cream and fast food institution that inspired a stream of Tweets full of multiple exclamation marks and ice cream cone emojis. …

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A Neighborhood Party At West Fargo Cruise Night

Traveling makes us curious and engaged when we visit a new city, but it’s easy to slip right back into our old patterns at home. I’m guilty of this myself. So I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover West Fargo Cruise Night in the middle of an extremely hot bike ride last month.

On the third Thursday of each month, car and motorcycle enthusiasts take over Sheyenne Street in what will soon be the heart of downtown West Fargo. Seriously, they’re building a mixed-use city center and public gathering space as I type this. West Fargo started as …

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New In The Neighborhood: Dinner At Loren Lee’s

I’ve been traveling a lot this summer and every time I come back, it seems like there’s something new and interesting popping up right in my own back yard. Sorry/not sorry for the rush of West Fargo posts that will be coming, guys, but for the the first time since I moved here, West Fargo is beating downtown Fargo for the fun neighborhood award.

Okay, that’s not a real thing. But it should be. Because I’m all for developers, city planners and local businesses working together to create more walkable enclaves where houses, apartments, bars, shops …

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The Fashion Affair: A Hot Runway Show In The Heartland

The Fashion Affair returns to Grand Forks on August 25 and the heavy hitters from the eastern North Dakota fashion and beauty scene will be there. It’s part runway show and part social gathering.

It’s a full evening of entertainment, featuring live music, a fashion show showcasing 220 different looks (yep, you read that right!) from local boutiques, food and drinks from some of my favorite Grand Forks eateries and even a champagne toast!

This month on Prairie Style File, you could win a pair of tickets to The Fashion Affair so you can check it out for …

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Free Outdoor Family Fun in St. Cloud

St. Cloud, Minnesota makes it easy to get outside. There are plenty of paths and trails to explore and beautiful scenery along the Mississippi River. Many of this unassuming city’s signature attractions are located a short distance apart, which makes it easy to see a lot in a few hours and still get some exercise outdoors.

Even better, all of the attractions outlined here are free, which makes St. Cloud a great bargain. We took our toddler out and enjoyed a jam-packed morning and early afternoon without spending a cent.

We started our walk at Munsinger Gardens and Clemens Gardens, …

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Flatland Brewery Puts West Fargo Craft Beer On The Map

North Dakota’s craft beer revival has spread to West Fargo.

Flatland Brewery is the first taproom and brewery in the city and it’s in prime position to make a mark. Located just off I-94 on the Veterans Boulevard exit, this modest public house offers a selection of small batch craft beers and house-made sodas to folks in the neighborhood, travelers and the nearby Scheels Arena crowd.

Founders Frank, Chris, Aaron, and Jeff are friends and home brewing veterans. They plan on keeping a few favorite beers on tap all year long and rotating a few seasonal varieties into the mix. …

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Say Something: A Lesson From The Canadian Museum For Human Rights

The world hurts my soul right now.

I’ve had this post in draft form for more than two weeks and every time I think I’m done with it, another news item breaks my heart. Then people take to social media to find new and innovative ways to be hateful and cruel.

It’s too much. I feel helpless. I’ve tried to listen, to engage, to see the other side, but hatred won’t stop screaming and it never seems to stop to take a breath. It’s coming for my friends now, my neighbors, coming right at me.

I don’t know …

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