Mandan News

Vern Davis: Still time to enjoy parks

Labor Day Weekend – where has the summer gone? It seems like it was just last week we were celebrating Independence Day.

Remember last month’s lament about the transmission going out of our red pickup? Well this month the thing is waiting a heart transplant – yep the engine went kerflooie on it and it’s getting a transplant. Even though we will be putting a grand total of $8,000 or $9,000 into it, it’s still cheaper than a $35.000 newish used truck. Maybe this time it will be true – maybe we can get another 50,000 miles out of it.

The multi-use trail going north is progressing well with the dry weather we have been experiencing lately. Good thing they didn’t have to work the day it was 104 degrees. I believe the target date to have this project finished is late September.

An unfortunate incident occurred at Harmon Lake the morning of August 23, that really, really windy Monday morning. Apparently someone was going to try his luck fishing even though the conditions weren’t the best for going out on the lake. The wind caught his boat just right and flipped it over, throwing him into the water. From what I understand, the fellow was wearing a life jacket. Our guys were there mowing and were able to assist him once he got close enough to shore to grab a rope that  was thrown to him. His boat drifted over to the face of the dam and he was OK. The moral of the story is  please play it safe. No matter how big the boat or small the lake, wear a life jacket; it could be your savior.

Fishing has been very slow on the Missouri River lately, so there will be a little maintenance done to the fish cleaning stations. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has furnished new tabletop surfaces. Hopefully, these will be installed in the next couple of weeks at Graner Park and Fort Rice Recreation Area. The old tops are badly scarred and have a couple of cracks. The new tops are of the latest, and supposedly the best, stuff available. So, if fishing suddenly got better, you may have to clean your catch at home.

If you have been west on Interstate 94, you probably have noticed the water is low and getting lower by the day at Sweetbriar Lake. After several years of talking about it, the lake is being lowered and a leaking situation will be cured. Finish date? I don’t know, but hopefully this project will finally correct the problem.

With school starting and all the associated activities of the kids ramping up, the time most people spend in our parks will be less and less. But if you do get a chance or two to be out in our parks, I’m sure the leaves starting to turn will still make it worth the trip.

So enjoy the end of summer and I’ll be here next month.