Saturday, October 1, 2016

Northern Lights Honey, Fresh Palate, Main Street, Williston, North Dakota -- October 1, 2016

Okay, this is really, really cool.

I just got back from five days in the Bakken. I drove up from Grapevine, TX, to Williston, ND, last week, leaving on a Tuesday morning and arriving there Wednesday evening, exactly 1,400 miles.

I arrived in Grand Island, NE, at 23:45 p.m. Central Time (in fact all times will be reported in Central Time), on Tuesday night, September 20, and then drove a bit farther east, sleeping under the stars in/near Thetford, NE, near Broken Bow, NE. I woke up about 5:15 a.m. and pressed on.  (Shortly after getting to sleep, a very, very nice Nebraska state trooper stopped by and asked if I was doing okay. I was and he suggested a better location for sleeping under the stars -- he thought my location between the railroad tracks and the highway was a bit dangerous. He was not worried about trains de-railing; he was concerned about all the cattle trucks that were on the road in the middle of the night. And there were a lot; it must be easier to haul cattle during the night than during the day. I don't know.)

It was an incredible trip and over the next few days I will post some photo-essays on the trip. Our younger daughter, Laura, Amtrak'd in from Portland, Oregon, and spent four days with me in the Bakken.

Main Street, Williston, is quite incredible. I had trouble finding a parking spot on Main Street and the side streets immediately off Main Street on Sunday when Laura and I window-shopped. A few stores were open. We went back during the week and stopped at many downtown stores. Lots of fun.

High on the list was the organic grocery store, Fresh Palate, on the 2nd floor of the building that also has the pharmacy across from JC Penney. That building has many boutique stores and a very interesting, high-end Italian restaurant open only for dinner. There were signs that they would soon be serving lunch.

It should be noted -- and I had forgotten this -- that in that part of the world, the main meal is at noon and is called dinner. The evening meal is called supper. It's been so long since I last lived there that I had forgotten. For me, it's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in that order. Or break, mid-morning snack, lunch, later afternoon Scotch and herring, dinner, and then several dessert options before going to bed.

But I digress.

At Fresh Palate, I noted North Dakota honey offered by Northern Lights, aka Vanessa Huelsman. I have never met her but Chuck Wilder at Books on Broadway knew her. Ms Huelsman had just dropped off a new batch of honey that morning -- the bottles of honey I got could not have been more fresh. Chuck says Ms Huelsman / Northern Lights has corporate headquarters in Wildrose, ND. 

Regular readers know that North Dakota is ranked #1 in honey production. In the back country north and west of Tioga we saw a lot of bee hives -- I assume many (most?) of them belonged to Ms Huelsman.

Both Northern Lights and Fresh Palate have a facebook page, and they both have other sites to visit if googled.

Northern Lights facebook page

Fresh Palate facebook page.

I had toast and honey with Drambuie (Scotch and honey) as soon as I got back home to Grapevine (yesterday afternoon, at exactly 2:00 p.m.).

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