Mandan News

Vern Davis: Fall season means enjoying the outdoors in new ways

Hello from Morton County Parks.

Well, this is about the end of the camping season as far as Morton County Parks is concerned. We have turned off the water and electricity at the campgrounds and, of course, buttoned up the fish cleaning stations for the season.

Fisherman, if you are still catching and cleaning the fish before you go home, thank you in advance for throwing the remains in a dumpster. I was fishing last week with son, Phil, grandson, Derek, and the other Grandpa Richard, and had a great time. True we didn’t catch a boatload of fish, but Friday was such a nice day that I couldn’t complain about a thing. My only regret was that I didn’t have my old trusty Minolta camera with me because I missed a lot of photo opportunities – everything from driftwood to the full moon rising in early evening.

If you have been north of Mandan on Highway 1806, you probably have noticed that the paved shared use path has been nearly finished. There is still the final bits to do, but the paving was done about two weeks ago and really looks great. That leaves about 2 1/2 miles to go to reach the Harmon Lake Area. Once there, the trail will connect up with the walking and biking trail, which is already in place around the lake.

We owe a lot to a couple of guys for the trail around Harmon Lake – Jamie Wetsch and Ron Luethe put in many, many hours in planning, mapping, advising, applying for grant money and other things to make the trail a reality. They were out there when things needed to be done, such as small corrections in the trail route or surface structure. So I want to say thanks for a job well done.

This past week, I received a call from a person who lives near Crown Butte Park. He informed me there was an abandoned camper on the south side of the park. Of course I said, “WHAT?” and he repeated the story. I had to go see what he was talking about, so I made a quick trip to Crown Butte. Sure enough, there was a pickup camper sitting there. It was an older pop-up type without the roof, no windows, license or much to identify it by. But it sure was abandoned!

Now the problem – we have to go out there and find a way to get it on a trailer and haul it to the dump grounds. This will cost quite a bit in time, labor and funds at the dump. The stupidity of some people to dodge a landfill fee always amazes me. Enough of that, but I could write quite a few of those kinds of stories.

Deer season is next week. It seems like it gets earlier every year, but I guess I’m just slowing down a little. I’ll be out there with sons, son-in-law, grandson and others so I will have a good time. The neat thing is that lately I’ve been allowed to drive their new pickups while they do the walking. I don’t think they believe me when I tell them that a generation ago, I was one of the guys who did the walking. Be careful and shoot straight.

Have a good Thanksgiving, and I’ll be here next month.