We overnighted in Grand Forks, North Dakota, because there were no campgrounds in Fargo, where I really wanted to stay. Despite the representation of Fargo as a small quaint town in the movie, it is quite a large metropolis. Fargo is the most populous city in the state of North Dakota, accounting for nearly 16% of the state’s population. Of course, the population of North Dakota is 147. Only kidding.
Grand Forks is the oldest major city in The Dakotas. It got it’s name because it is located at the forks of the Red River and Red Lake River. Unlike most cities in North Dakota, the city of Grand Forks does not owe its existence to the arrival of the railroad. Instead, Grand Forks was an important steamboat port on the Red River.
In late 1870, a steamboat captained by Alexander Griggs froze in the Red River at Grand Forks. Griggs and his men were forced to remain there for the rest of the winter. They built a temporary shed to live in and Griggs decided that the area would be a good spot for a town. In the spring, he claimed a nine-acre piece of property that would become the townsite and, ultimately, the town of Grand Forks. Grand Forks was incorporated on February 22, 1881.
Winnipeg, MB Canada to Grand Forks, North Dakota: 161.3 miles
3 hours 30 minutes
Diesel: $1.23 Canadian/liter