Visit #4, Ashley Lions Club, Tuesday evening September 13, 2011

We spent the night in Carrington following a visit to the Bowden Lions Club.

Got up, had breakfast, then drove to a body shop to have the car checked out after the previous night’s collision with a deer. They told us it would be fine to drive the next two days until we get home. We had spare time so we walked around Carrington’s downtown for exercise.

We stopped to eat lunch in Jamestown. I’m getting attached to the deli at Hugo’s. Salad bars are addicting.

We drove on to Ellendale, checked into the motel, and rested for a while. About 3:30 we got dressed in our litter-picking outfits and headed out. We toured the town of Ellendale first, knowing we’d be back in a few days. Then we drove to Ashley. It’s an interesting drive between Ellendale and Ashley—quite a bit of water. Along the way, a coyote suddenly appeared out of nowhere along the road. We were both startled. We were thinking deer! This animal looked healthy and already had a thick winter coat.

Ashley is an interesting town—seemingly surrounded by water on three sides. That may be reflective of all the rain they’ve had this year. We eventually found the country club on the west side of town. Somehow I got my directions mixed up; I thought it was on the east side? Brenda and I introduced ourselves to about a dozen Ashley Lions in the parking lot who were going to be cleaning the highway ditches that evening. We got our orange garbage bags and donned our bright yellow safety vests.

The group dispersed by pickup truck along a two-mile stretch of state road 3/11 on the west side of town. It was windy, partly overcast, and a little cool. It took little time to actually accomplish the cleanup. One of the roadside “treasures” I encountered was a thin plastic bag, knotted at the top. Just as I was putting it in my big orange garbage bag, the bottom fell out and a well-filled, fully fermented dirty diaper dropped out. Hoo-wee, that was a potent one! Brenda was downwind and could still smell it 20 feet away.

Then the payoff! What a great meal. Gargantuan ribeye steaks hot off the outdoor grill, salad, baked potato, garlic bread, and more. Even had an ice cream bar for dessert. The club was an attentive audience and even asked questions. They have a number of great Lions projects on the horizon. I didn’t tell them it was my birthday.

We were on the road back to Ellendale by about eight o’clock. We made a plan to slow down when passing corn fields thinking that’s where the deer would be. We did see a young one shortly after leaving Ashley.

Wednesday morning we left Ellendale and drove back home to Grand Forks.

Carrington to Ellendale: 109
Ellendale to Ashley: 43
Ashley to Ellendale: 43 (overnight)
Ellendale to Grand Forks: 230
Total mileage for the visit: 452
Mileage for the week: 640
Mileage for the month: 1,123
Mileage for the year: 1,123

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