An Introduction to The Drift
If you look on my fridge, amongst a few save the date cards, oil change coupons, magnets and bragging board-type photos, you’ll find a handwritten note to “Cayla’s Boss” that reads: “Cayla will need to be home by the fall of 2019 because we will miss her,” signed Cayla’s Dad.
Days like that fueled my decision to study natural resources management at the University of Minnesota Crookston. While there, I was introduced to people my age who also had this inexplainable addiction, something I hadn’t found much of in my suburban hometown.
What I didn’t see coming, was falling in love with the prairie. North Dakota’s diverse habitats and resources provide an abundance of opportunities, many of which can be reached in an hour or less from Bismarck. Suddenly, the weekend adventures I held so dearly, became possible every day of the week. And in many ways, we have North Dakota’s geography and habitats to thank for that.
To the east lies the Red River Valley, once the bottom of glacial Lake Agassiz, harboring some of the most fertile soils and home to some of the last remaining tall grass prairie. West from there, the Drift Prairie, a transition zone where glacial deposits formed rolling hills and prairie potholes. I tread here often, whether between ice auger holes, or deep into the muck of a secret gadwall hideaway.