Carol Harrison B.Ed. is a storyteller, speaker, writer, teacher,and facilitator who loves to share from her heart one on one or with any size of group.

You can reach Carol via:
email: carol@carolscorer.ca
phone: 306 230 5808

twitter: @CarolHarrison6

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Holiday Adventures: Drayton North Dakota


We planned to take a holiday last summer but plans had to change and we postponed it until this year. We checked the calendar, searched for information and plotted our journey on a map. Excitement grew as the day for leaving approached. We loaded the packed bags into the car and double checked that we had our passports and maps before hitting the road.

I tell people it turned out to be a bit of a literary journey. We have traveled the highway from Saskatoon to Winnipeg many times so I spent the eight hours brainstorming some easy children’s stories, updates to a fiction piece and finally pulled out the computer and began to work on the fiction book in progress.


Getting ideas on to the paper or into the computer made the first part of the trip disappear a little more quickly. But then I packed the work away to enjoy the jaunt into unfamiliar territory.


We crossed into North Dakota on the second day of our adventure and began with a stop at Drayton, North Dakota. This small community is built on the banks of the Red River and just across the river lies Minnesota.

My youngest daughter, Amee, and I like to read the multiple series of books that author Lauraine Snelling has written. She made a fictional family who immigrated from Norway and settled in the area around modern day Drayton. A fictional town grows as more settlers arrive in the area, a town she called Blessing. Today Drayton is the closest small town to the setting for the fictional town and they have a small museum and partner with the author for people for whom this fictional family and place have come to life through the author’s words.


The town has built a sod house like the pioneers of this area and many others lived in when they first arrived since this area had few trees. They needed to make a house out of available materials. I did some research into the labour intensive process of putting up a sod house. It took at least 3000 bricks of sod for a sixteen by twenty or twenty-four building. This gave me the opportunity to look at one close up, walk inside and smell the dust and dirt they lived with every day. It helped me imagine the size since I struggle with picturing just how large or small these dimensions would be in reality.



This museum site has planted trees and grass and makes the old sod house look pleasant enough from the outside. However, life in the late 1800’s proved much harsher than present day settings. Besides it is one thing to visit and it would have been quite another to live in a dirt or sod house every day, working hard to provide the basic necessities of life.


My daughter, Amee looks tentative as she sat at the table in the sod house with dirt at her back and under her feet.
They also had a log house, an original that they only needed to restore a few logs on. It looked like a mansion in comparison to the sod home. This log cabin had at some point received an upper story and we found out had actually been lived in until the 1980’s.



The modern bathroom – an original log outhouse moved to the site.

This first stop on our adventure brought the books to life even more than the words Lauraine Snelling penned. For me, it gave opportunity to research artifacts and types of housing from years gone by. It also offered a chance to make our own memories for the day.

Our day finished with touring around the area and arriving in Grand Forks for the night.

What holiday adventures have you had this year or where are you planning to visit?

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