“It’s so beautiful here!” Jenine exclaimed.
“Stand right there,” Will directed her. “One foot there.”
“Perfect. And one foot there.” He backed off. “Now you’re straddling the border. You’ve got one foot in Canada and one foot in the United States. And so do I.” He extracted his camera from its case. “Now let me take your picture.”
“Not again!” she protested.
“Why not?” It did seem to him that she was more self-conscious about having her picture taken than she was at Ranch Camp.
“All these scratches and bruises.” She bent over and rubbed her legs.
“Oh–I hadn’t even noticed. And besides, I’ll fix ‘em on the computer.”
“Well–if you say so.”
He took a few shots. “Good. I got you standing on the border, with the Peace Tower in the background.” He showed it to her on the camera’s viewscreen.
“Now you have to let me take one of you.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket.
“It’ll break your phone–but OK.”
From Ranch Park, Chapter 23, “Straddling the Border”.
One of the coolest things you can do in North Dakota and Manitoba simultaneously is stand with one foot in Canada and one foot in the US. The International Peace Garden, which gives the Peace Garden State its nickname, is a magnificent monument to peace and friendship between two great nations. And, for added realism–and to encourage visitors to consider a stop there on their next vacation–why not send Will Nickerson and Jenine Mescall there? As my fictional characters do, I enjoyed my visit to the Peace Garden several years ago, taking in all its many beauty spots. The US side is the cultural side, with venues for music, sports, lectures and the arts, while the Canadian side is the natural side, with hiking trails, forest and great wildlife habitat. Exquisite gardens line both sides, and in the true spirit of peace, the ones on the Canadian side are tended by North Dakota civic organizations, while the US gardens are tended by Manitoba civic organizations. Having great Canadian friends and a deep affection for all things Canadian (well–except for the weather!!), I was angered by the US government’s decision to require passports for Canada. It felt like a slap in the face to our best friend and neighbor. But unfortunately passports are the law, so be sure to take yours with you when you visit the Peace Garden. You won’t need it to go in–and while you’re in the Peace Garden you can wander freely between the two countries. But–when you exit the Garden, a right turn takes you to US Customs and a left turn takes you to Canada Customs–and there you will need that passport. It’s worth it, though, as North Dakotans and Manitobans know–and for those, like myself, from other areas, discovering all that the prairies have to offer, be sure to include the International Peace Garden on the itinerary. You won’t be disappointed.
R. L. Anderson, author, Will Nickerson Mysteries