Hello Courageous Travels!
Today was the first day on our embarkement to Fargo, North Dakota!
Charlotte, Kody, and volunteer Treva left camp this afternoon to go pick up all the travelers. The first check in location was in Davenport where we met travelers Lynette, Lloyd, Bryan, and Ryan. This is Bryan’s first trip so he is very excited! Lynette said that her brother lives in Fargo so she’s also excited to travel! The next stop was in Atalissa, where we picked up traveler Scott. We then traveled to Coralville to meet travelers Donna Jean and Charles. They are very excited and Charles was enthusiastically singing along to the music. The next location was in Marion where we met travelers Charlie and Mary Ann. We then made our way back to camp where traveler Mitchell checked in and where we met up with Melissa.
Tonight we are staying in Pitlick cabin, so the travelers got ready for bed and settled down so we could get a good nights rest before heading off tomorow morning.
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today the travelers woke up fairly early and started to get ready for the day. We had one more traveler, Christopher, check in at camp this morning. We cleaned up the cabin and loaded up the bus. We were on the road by 7:30 this morning on our way to Fargo, North Dakota.
We ate some breakfast on the bus; consisting of pop tarts, granola bars, and oatmeal squares. Starting out our drive, the travelers enjoyed watching the movie “The Goonies” and laughing along to it. We stopped in Evansdale to use the restrooms and we even met a lady who said that her niece went to camp and they are proud supporters of Camp Courageous, so that was a lot of fun. We got back on the bus and watched another movie on our way up north.
We stopped in Austin, Minnesota to eat lunch at Culver’s and then we visited the SPAM Museum. Austin, MN is known as SPAMtown, U.S.A. because of the Hormel Company and their product, SPAM. We were greeted at the museum by our tour guide Brandon and he very excitedly gave everyone a lei with a package of SPAM single slices. He talked about how George Hormel created the Hormel Company back in 1891 and how his son, Jay Hormel, created SPAM in 1937.
The travelers learned about all the protein products that the Hormel Company makes such as Skippy Peanut Butter, Pepperoni, Turkey, Domino’s Pizza Toppings, and Canadian Bacon (which they were the original creators of). We were told how SPAM was huge during World War 2 and how it was a staple food for American soldiers. Some of the travelers were able to pull on a rope attached to an actual crate used so they could see how heavy it was. Did you know that they sell SPAM in 44 countries? Some of those countries are China, Panama, South Korea, Philippines, Japan, Australia, and England.
Brandon, our tour guide, told us that last year a couple actually got married at the SPAM Museum, and that they both legally changed their middle names to “I Love SPAM”. The travelers looked at him in disbelief until he showed us the pictures. They sell 17 different types of SPAM throughout the world, and our travelers were able to try four different kinds. Charles said that they tasted delicious!
Ryan was very impressed when we saw the first bacon grease-fueled motorcycle! One of the last things that he told us was that Iowa was home to the largest pork factories for Hormel Company, go Iowa! Before we left we went through the gift shop where the travelers were able to purchase souvenirs and even their own cans of SPAM. There were also lots of cool recipes involving SPAM that some of the travelers emailed to themselves for later usage.
Once we got back on the bus, we listened to the radio and just relaxed during our drive. We stopped to use the restroom, fill up on gas, and stretch our legs before continuing our drive. We stopped in St. Cloud, Minnesota for dinner at RJ’s American Grill. The travelers all really enjoyed the food there! We loaded back up on the bus and continued our journey to Fargo. The travelers watched a few more movies on the way before we reached our destination.
We are now checked in at the hotel in Fargo, and everyone is in their beds to get a good night’s rest before exploring the city tomorrow!
Hello Courageous Travels!
It is Day 3 on our trip to Fargo, North Dakota. We started our day out by eating breakfast at the hotel and then headed over to the Fargo – Moorhead Visitors Center. There were a lot of different flyers and pamphlets about the area that the travelers loved looking through. There was even a small gift shop, so the travelers purchased some shirts, sweatshirts, and stuffed animal cows. In the corner of the Visitors Center was a wood-chipper from the movie “Fargo”. A few of the travelers took some pictures posed in front of the wood-chipper. Outside of the Visitors Center, along the sidewalk, was a ton of celebrities’ hand prints and signatures. The travelers thought this was so cool! They went around looking at all of the names and seeing who they knew and a few of them placed their hands in the molds. Bryan enjoyed seeing Def Leppard!
We loaded up the bus and headed outside of Fargo, to a town called Davenport. We visited Rusty K Ranch, a ranch that has horse camp programs and a lot of other animals. Derek, our guide and owner of the ranch, greeted us and took us on a tour of the ranch. The barn has been there since 1900 and the house since 1917. Our travelers saw so many animals and they were able to feed them animal crackers. There were dogs, cats, goats, chickens, ducks, calves, sheep, alpacas, mini horses, ponies, donkeys, and horses. Mary Ann loved seeing all the different animals and being able to pet and feed them. Derek showed the travelers the difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs; fun fact: did you know that chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs and chickens with brown earlobes lay brown eggs. Their chickens lay about five eggs a week. We went over to the barn and the travelers were able to pet all the horses. Lynnette was very in tune with the horses. There was even a baby goat following us around the whole day.
We had a picnic lunch in the clubhouse and just rested in the air conditioning for awhile. After lunch, we watched the horse campers groom and put saddles on their horses. Derek then put reins on two big Clydesdale horses named C.C. and D.D. and took us on an enjoyable carriage ride down the road. He even provided freeze pops for our travelers since it was a warm afternoon. Donna Jean loved riding on the carriage! Once we got back, we cooled off in the clubhouse and some of our travelers purchased some shirts and hats as souvenirs. The last activity that we did at the ranch was go on a nature hike around the land. We thanked Derek for a wonderful time at his ranch and loaded the bus to go back to Fargo.
We had dinner at Sickies Garage, where they had 50 different burger options! There was so much variety on the table and almost everyone had a different burger. The travelers were even able to get some delicious milkshakes! Once we got back to the hotel, we changed into our swim suits and headed to the pool. Scott, Charles, Mary Ann, and Ryan enjoyed swimming around in the pool and soaking in the hot tub. Donna Jean enjoyed putting her legs in the pool. Christopher, Lloyd, Lynnette, Mitchell, Charlie, and Bryan didn’t want to go in the pool, but they had fun chatting around the pool. All the travelers are now in bed, resting before tomorrow!
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today was Day 4 of the Fargo trip and we had a fun-filled day! We got ready for the day and had breakfast at the hotel. We headed over to the local Scheels where we went to go look for some RedHawks gear for the baseball game later today. In Scheels, Ryan, Charles, Lloyd, Donna Jean, and Lynnette all rode a Ferris Wheel! The workers there were so nice that they gave us complimentary tokens for all their games and rides! The travelers all enjoyed their morning playing roller ball (miniature bowling), going to the shooting range, and playing some video games. Mitchell hopped right on a video game where you had to race around a city while others play Pac Man!
After a fun-filled morning, we headed over to Thunder Road Amusement Park to enjoy some pizza and even more games! There were bumper cars, go-karts, laser tag, miniature golf, and a batting cage. Mitchell had so much fun playing miniature golf that he played two separate rounds! Bryan, Christopher, and Ryan all got holes in one, (Bryan even got two!)! Scott, Lloyd, and Donna Jean all liked bumper cars the best. Ryan, Charles, and Christopher were tearing it up on the go-kart track and raced not once, but twice! Lynnette also had a fun time going around in the go-karts and she said it was her first time riding in one. Mary Ann enjoyed playing some arcade games.
After a fun-packed morning and afternoon, we headed back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation. We order sandwiches from Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop, which was right across from our hotel! We had a picnic in the lobby where we enjoyed our sandwiches along with chips and fruit. Our sandwiches were delicious and the travelers talked about the baseball game throughout dinner! They all were looking forward to the game!
We headed over to Newman Outdoor Field to watch the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks play baseball against the St. Paul Saints. It was a great night for a baseball game! There was a nice breeze and we had great seats! As we arrived at our seats we caught a glimpse of Harry and Henry, the pogo jumpers! They were doing stunts before the game started.
Shortly after 7pm, we all stood and sang the National Anthem to kick off the game! The Saints were up to bat first, and the RedHawks were quick to get three outs before they could make any runs. The Saints were also quick with getting three outs, and by the end of the first inning the score was 0-0. During the second inning, neither team scored, but a RedHawk batter hit the ball with so much force that he cracked his bat in half! At the end of the third inning, the score was still tied 0-0. The travelers were cheering away for the Red Hawks!
These RedHawks and Saints are playing an intense game! Neither team scored during the fourth inning, but we did get to watch a fun xpogo stick competition! Christopher hoped that the RedHawks will be the first to score! Around this time, our travelers visited the souvenir shop and got some pretty cool RedHawks merchandise! We were watching some more xpogo stunts during the fifth inning, first Hawkeye the RedHawks mascot tried to audition for the stunt team, and then they did some jumps over him! The RedHawks scored, and the crowd and travelers went wild! The score at the end of the fifth inning was 1-0.
The sixth inning was very exciting, the RedHawks scored three more runs bringing the score up to 4-0! During the seventh inning, Hawkeye, the RedHawks mascot, came over to say hello to our travelers and even gave Charles and Ryan some signatures! All the travelers enjoyed singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Sweet Caroline” during the seventh inning stretch. There was plenty of dancing, especially by Lloyd, Charles, and Lynnette! By the end of the inning, the RedHawks scored one more run making it 5-0! The eighth inning started out with another xpogo stunt and one of the guys did 8 backflips in a row! There was a lot of energy in the crowd and the RedHawks has the bases loaded and scored one more run, the score was now 6-0! The RedHawks made the ninth inning go by quickly securing three outs and the final score was 6-0!
Once the game was over, we packed up the bus and headed back to the hotel. It had been a long day, so our travelers were ready to get in bed and rest for tomorrow.
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today is Day 5 on the Fargo trip and we had a great day! Like the last few days, our morning started with breakfast at the hotel before loading up the bus. Our first destination was Bonanzaville, U.S.A. which is like a town frozen in time. There were many different museum buildings there as well. There was the telephone museum where Charles, Ryan, Scott, and Christopher enjoyed making calls to each other across the entire building. In the Law Enforcement museum there were many different uniforms and weapons that have been used by police in the last century. Mitchell enjoyed looking at all the planes in the Eagles Air Museum and we were even able to go inside an Air Force jet.
In the main building, there was a guessing game for old artifacts and Lynnette got two of them right! There were more buildings that showed drug stores, post offices, banks, an old town hall, a barbershop, a printing press, and much more. Charlie, Bryan, Lloyd, Lynnette, Donna and Mary Ann enjoyed exploring the medical building which showcased many different tools that doctors and dentists used to use. They also got to go inside Fargo’s very first home, an old school and a church! There was a court house and Ryan, Charles, and Christopher acted out a court scene where Christopher was sent to jail! All the travelers enjoyed looking at the town because it was a way to see history come alive. There was even a gift shop where some of our travelers purchased souvenirs. Once we were done, we loaded up the bus and went over to the Shack on Broadway for a delicious lunch.
Our afternoon activity was visiting the Red River Zoo. All of the travelers love the zoo! There were so many different animals to look at. We saw camels, turtles, Pallas Cats, a gray fox, sloth, deer, various fish, snakes and more! Our groups got to explore the entire zoo which made one giant loop and almost all of the animals were out for us to see! Bryan enjoyed watching the otters swim around and play. Lloyd and Ryan both said that the monkeys were the best part. Charles and Donna Jean liked going to the petting zoo and seeing the horse! Scott’s favorite animals were the grey wolves. Chris preferred going into the reptile room and seeing all the different snakes. Charlie and Lynnette both agreed that seeing the red panda was the best because they don’t see those as often. Mary Ann liked watching the prairie dogs run around and burrow through the ground. Mitchell couldn’t decide which animal was his favorite but he thought seeing the Takin was cool because he had never heard of them before. Lynette got a porcupine to mimic her dance moves! Once the travelers had seen all the animals and gone through the gift shop, we were ready to leave the zoo.
We headed over to Pizza Ranch and had a filling dinner before we headed back to the hotel to pack up and relax for the evening because we have an early day ahead of us. We have had such a fun week exploring this new city! Tomorrow we start our drive back to Iowa! But first we will be stopping at the Mall of America! The traveler’s can’t wait!
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today was our last morning in Fargo, we woke up early and ate breakfast at the hotel before loading up the bus and taking off. We watched some movies on the bus ride, and the travelers just relaxed and enjoyed the drive.
We arrived in Bloomington, Minnesota around lunch and enjoyed some freaky fast sandwiches from Jimmy Johns. After lunch, we headed over to the Mall of America! It was some of our travelers first times, and for others, they hadn’t been here in years. They were shocked to see an amusement park on the inside! We split up into two groups and planned to meet later for dinner.
One group consisting of Kody, Charles, Ryan, Christopher, Charlotte, Mitchell, and Scott started out the afternoon by going to the Crayola store and saw so many different colors and bought some coloring books and colors. They then went over to Game Stop and a candy store. After getting games and sweets, they looked through LEGO land and the Disney store. There were so many plush characters on sale that Ryan, Charles, and Christopher all bought two! They then went and checked out Macy’s, Barnes and Noble, and a game store to look around. Charles found a new vinyl record to play. Mitchell got a new scooby doo show to watch. They then went to the Mall of America store to get some souvenirs from their visit.
The other group consisting of Melissa, Donna Jean, Lynnette, Mary Ann, Treva, Charlie, Bryan, and Lloyd started out the afternoon by going to the Minnesota-ah! store to get some Minnesota souvenirs. The next store was Games by James before stopping for a snack at Great American Cookies. They also went to the Crayola store to get some crayons and markers as well as the Bubba Gump store. They traveled to the 5 below store where everything is under $5 and Boot Barn. Our group made some great purchases! Charlie found a Vikings shirt and matching purple beads! Mary Ann found a puzzle and magnet among other items she couldn’t resist! Bryan found a belt and cowboy buckle! Donna Jean got a couple shirts and some coffee. Lloyd found a water bottle that he loved and Lynette found some key chains that she couldn’t live without! This group also had a fun time checking out the giant LEGO creations at LEGO land.
Both groups shopped until they dropped! We worked up quite the appetite! The two groups met for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and the travelers were eager to show each other what they bought at the mall. Once our dinner was done, we loaded back on the bus and traveled south towards our hotel in Northwood, Iowa. On the trip we watched another movie and relaxed. All the travelers are now in bed and getting ready for the trip back home tomorrow morning.
Hello Courageous Travels!
Today is the last day of the Fargo trip. We woke up early and packed up the bus before we ate breakfast at the hotel. After a delicious breakfast, we loaded up the bus and started the drive back home. We put on a movie and some travelers decided to get some more sleep.
The first traveler pick up was in Robins, where we said goodbye to Charlie, Mary Ann, and Mitchell. The next pickup was in Coralville where we dropped off Donna Jean and Charles. The next stop was in Atalissa where Scott was picked up. One of our last stops was in Davenport where we said farewell to Bryan, Ryan, Lynette, and Lloyd. We made our way back to camp where our last traveler, Christopher was dropped off.
We had a great week in Fargo with wonderful travelers and a great volunteer!
*Please visit the Courage Travels Facebook page for all of the pictures and videos from this week!*