The Rooster Crows – September 28, 2018

By Bill Anderson

The rain that began on Wednesday evening, September 19, and continued throughout Thursday and into the early hours of Friday, September 21, proved once again that while it may rain on the just and the unjust, alike, it does not rain in equal amounts. Neighbors Norbert Kulzer and Roger Pearson report .9 of an inch and .8 of an inch respectively, while a block down the street Paul Anderson’s electronic gauge measured 1.11 inch of precipitation. Jim Lunneborg reported “an even inch” at his farm in Shuman Township, and Mark Wyum’s rain gauge also recorded an inch at his Ransom Township farm. It was raining “pennies from Heaven,” in Havana, though, reports Rutland Bank Station Manager Shawn Klein, as her rain gauge showed 1.4 inch of precipitation on Friday morning. After 3 days of pleasant weather for the weekend, a drizzly rain settled in on Monday and Tuesday, September 24 & 25, bringing harvest activities to a halt, but only leaving ¼ of an inch of precipitation in its wake. The weather forecasters are projecting the first frost of the season for this weekend, and that should get the combines rolling at full speed. Soybean growers have been informed that the $12 Billion Trump Tariff Bail-out fund will pay $1.62 per bushel on ½ of their soybean bushels, or ½ of $1.62 on all of their bushels, whichever makes them feel better. The cost bases for beans in Sargent County is now at $1.75 per bushel, so it won’t come close to making anyone whole, but, as the old-timers would say, “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.” Can’t argue with that.

Nineteen volunteers, some veterans of the 2018 Uff-Da Day Lefse Campaign along with some new trainees, gathered at the Rutland Town Hall on the morning of Thursday, September 20, and made 1,261 sand cakes for this year’s Uff-Da Day event. Another crew of similar composition worked on Krumkake, those paper-thin cone shaped pastries, on Tuesday, September 25. The following report was obtained from Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke: “… We made 917 krumkake on Tuesday, September 25, in the Town Hall kitchen. Half were packaged for sale in packages of 5 and the rest went into tins to serve at the Scandinavian Dinner at the town hall on Uffda Day. We finished this task in approximately 2 hours, made 11 double batches, and had fun to boot. Takk skal de ha!” There is no report on how many sandkaker and Krumkake had to be taste tested by Quality Control at the time they were made, but it appears that all involved had an enjoyable time, and justifiably so. The schedule for Uff-Da Day XXXIV on Sunday, October 7, is as follows: 8 AM The “Uff-Da Day Classic” 5K Walk/Run commences at the City Maintenance Building on the south end of Main Street, at the corner of First & Cooper; All Day – Rutland Depot Museum and 1 room School House exhibit on Main Street; All Day – antique, classic and downright interesting Car Show on Gay Street; 10 AM Craft Booths at Bank, Rutland Oil Co. building, Erickson Building (the former Ink’s/Bohn’s/Lariat Bar building) and at other locations in the downtown area of metropolitan Rutland; 10 AM Sale of Packaged Lefse, Sandkaker, Krumkake and Uffda Day 2018 T-Shirts at Legion Hall/Rutland Fitness Center on the corner of Gay & Bagley Streets; 11 AM Old Parsonage Antiques & collectibles shop, with Wine Tasting on the Front Porch at 217 First Street; 11 AM “Bounce house” games for kids on Gay Street, across from the Rutland Town Hall; 11 AM Scandinavian treats, Demonstrations & sale, at Senior Center on Main Street, with Live Musical Entertainment; 11 AM Abelskivers, hot from the pan, in front of the Legion Hall/Fitness Center; 11 AM Uffda Tacos at the Rutland Fire Hall on Bagley Street; 11 AM Scandinavian dinner Featuring Rutland Scalloped Potatoes, made with real Hand-cut Ham, real potatoes and real Cream, Scandinavian Delicacies and Live musical Entertainment; 1 PM Uffda Day Parade commencing on Dakota Street, west on Gay Street, north on Ross Street, west on Front Street and south on Main Street; 1:45 PM Nickel Scramble on Main Street, in front of the Depot Museum and the Erickson Building; 2 PM Pedal Pull Challenge on Main Street; 3 PM “Nor-Ski” 1st Annual Competition at the corner of Bagley & Gay Streets. There’s Free Parking all over town; Handicapped Spaces are Available at convenient locations; and there’s an Information Booth on Main Street in case you get lost and need a hug. Come early and stay late! Rutland is the place to be, and Uff-Da Day is the event to see, on Sunday, October 7, 2018.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer, a 1967 graduate of SCHS, completed a bicycle ride from southern California to Anchorage, Alaska, about a month ago, and within a few days took off again, for Europe and a bicycle tour of the French Alps. On September 19 a message was received from Randy, which included a note from him, and a report of the bike ride that had been written by one of his riding companions.

“…the attached is the best I can do for the Alps information. Probably not suitable for mass distribution but gives you an idea of our suffering. At the same time, the Mountain views were stunning. …will write more later. R/randy” “Route des Grands Alps – Geneva to Nice the hard way: Flying back from Nice the pilot announced we had reached our cruising altitude of 39,000 ft. It is then it struck me that by climbing over 50,000 ft in six days we would be 11,000 ft. higher than this plane was flying. The ground looked a long way down. The saga began in the usual way; where shall we go this year, who is going, when can we go??? After much debate we zeroed in on The Route des Grands Alps, a 420-mile slog over the high mountains of the the Alps, the toughest ride we have done to date. The team this year consisted of myself, Miguel Perea, Steve Lougren, Stuart Gaston, Charles Berzon and Randy Kiefer. Shawn Tuberg couldn’t make it this year as he needed a new truck. “In the 18th century, roads were built through the Alps to communicate with the various fortifications. But they also served many remote communities. And the construction work was a source of income for local people. At the end of the 19th century, the Touring Club de France, whose original remit was to promote tourism by bicycle, opened its doors to motorists. It campaigned for improvements to roads and signposting, and for the provision of facilities such as wayside inns. It laid out numerous tourist itineraries, with viewpoint indicators, including, in 1911, the Route of the Alps, though it was completed only in 1937, when President Albert Lebrun cut the ribbon on the road across the Iseran pass.” We met up in an Air b&b in Geneva, a fine old second floor apartment with big rooms and high ceilings, not far from the lake. The early arrivers soon found that eating out in Switzerland cost an arm and a leg. Fortunately, the area was well served with big supermarkets which enabled us to test our culinary skills and make use of the fine dining room that the apartment had to offer. After three days of acclimatization we got together with the rest of our party, ten Canadians from Toronto. They all looked younger and fitter than us. We had rented bikes but the Canadians all brought their own, three of which didn’t make their flight. Luckily they finally made it to the hotel late in the evening. Our rented bikes by comparison were quite basic Giants with 105 group sets. Not great but reasonably functional. The best feature were the Vittoria tires, 25 on the front and 28 on the back. These proved excellent for the whole ride, no punctures and great grip on the descents, wet or dry. After fitting pedals and our own saddles we went for a short ride to tune in the adjustments. Day one we were straight into it, a modest 70 miles but a total of 8,500 ft to climb over the Col de Gets, Col de la Colombiere and Col d’Aravis. Although the guide promised reasonable grades, there seemed to be a lot of 8, 9 and 10%’s. Charles was looking strong after recovering from his crash at the beginning of the year. Randy had flown in from Anchorage after riding 5,000 miles from Southern California, so had a lot of miles in his legs. We were all doing OK but none of us were a match for the Canadians. But they were half my age. By the third climb it was getting hot and I must have been dehydrated, on the steep final section my heart rate had peaked at 174 bpm, not good. This day didn’t have any flat sections, we were either toiling up the climbs or speeding down the glorious long descents. That evening our hotel was still at 3,500 ft, half way up the first climb for the following day. Day two was again a reasonable distance of 70 miles but with a total of 10,400 ft to climb over the Col des Saisies, Commer de Roseland, and a 6,000 ft finish at Val d’Isere. The scenery is stunning with snow capped mountains, lakes and rolling pastures. Again the climbs are tough but rewarded with long high speed descents, over 50 mph on the Roseland. Miguel recorded 56 mph, but I was stuck behind a camper van which I only managed to pass on the inside of a hairpin bend. The downside of this day was the final climb up to Val d’Isere, a busy road with multiple scary tunnels but we all made it in one piece. Day three of 82 miles took us over the Col l’Iseran, Telegraph and Galibier, totaling 10,200 ft. The descent off the 9,000 ft. Iseran is 45 miles to the base of the Telegraph; then it’s straight into the climb. Although it’s fun to dive down the descents and swoop around the bends it’s necessary to stop from time to time to take in the views and wonder at the depth of the valleys. I can’t imagine how they built these roads with the tools they had in the 18th Century. They had to cut into the cliffs and buttress the roads for mile after mile; when confronted by an outcrop it was necessary to blast a tunnel. All this through passes that are closed by snow for half the year. So far the weather had been kind, the heat being the main problem but at the peak of the Galibier it all changed. The descent was wet and cold. Freezing hands and wet brakes are not a good combination for fast descents with hairpin bends. After suffering the bulk of the descent we raided a coffee shop to warm up. These guys were used to this scenario, bringing us toweling robes to help us to warm up. It turned out that this is a cafe frequented by the pros who train on the local hills; there were lots of pictures of the stars on the wall. After raiding the van for some warm clothes we then headed off at speed for the night’s hotel. Day four over the Col d’Izoard and Col de Vars was easier by comparison with 60 miles and 7,500 ft of climbs. Again the views were amazing and with a more relaxed schedule it was possible to stop for photos and coffee before arriving early at the hotel for a few beers and a rest. Day five, another relatively easy day of 55 miles and 6,850 ft to climb meant time for coffee and an early arrival at an old hill town. The hotels along the way have been modest two- or three-star establishments, perfectly adequate but this one had the distinction of having the smallest room I have ever stayed in. The owner, a Brit, explained that they had to squeeze in bathrooms as the hotel was built with shared facilities, they also had to fit individual beds. The food was good however, so we left adequately fueled for the final day. Day six included the Col de la Couillole, Col de St Martin, Col de Turini and Col de Castillon, 65 miles and 7,700 ft of climbing. Although it didn’t seem it at first, it was a tough day, the Turini being a beast. Nearing the top of the climb a cold wind sprang up and thunder rattled around the mountains. At the top it started to drizzle which prompted us to put on some rain gear. As it turned out we should have put on all our rain gear, together with warmer clothes. It started to lash it down with rain on the twisty descent. On top of that, the road was being repaired and there was lots of loose gravel. One of the Canadians crashed on a bend and lacerated his elbow, thankfully nothing broken. At the first town at the base of the descent we sought shelter. The cafe was packed with locals, presumably all sheltering from the rain. My jacket and shoe covers did a fine job but all other areas were cold and wet. I could wring gallons of water out of my gloves. Thankfully the van found us after scooping up others along the way. With everyone soaked it wasn’t practical to get all the riders into dry gear so the bikes were loaded onto the roof of the van for the short final drive to the coast. It only remained to gather everyone together for a fine celebratory dinner where we could swap stories of our suffering. What did we learn from this? The Alps are tough because the climbs are long with many steep grades. The scenery is outstanding. The descents are long and technical but huge fun. The weather can change in an instant, so be prepared. The Alps website has a calculator for the number of calories needed to complete the tour. In my case 37,000, so eat heartily. We now need to decide where we are going next year, let the debate begin! We can all do anything we put our mind to.”

Congratulations to Randy on a magnificent physical achievement, and thanks to him for the report.

Last Wednesday, September 19, Schmit House Moving of Wyndmere, under the direction of the third generation of Nick Schmits to own and ramrod the company, began preparations to pick up “The Old Parsonage” house at 217 First Street in order to temporarily relocate the house to allow the construction of a new foundation. The work was rained out on Thursday, September 20, and also on Monday, September 24, but on the morning of Tuesday, September 25, the crew arrived and began the difficult work of lifting a 116-year-old house straight up. The day began with a cold drizzle that gradually transitioned into a sunny, cool afternoon. The dirt flew; hydraulic jacks flowly lifted the old house from its former foundation; and, steel beams were positioned under the structure, first 3 running north & south, and then 3 more running east & west. The house inched up as hard-muscled men moved heavy jacks and large blocks to where they were needed and used both mechanized and manually operated tools as they moved with the precision of a military drill team to accomplish their tasks. It’s not easy for a 116-year-old house to leap straight into the air, but, with the help of the proper tools, and the men who know how to use them, The Old Parsonage did it! On Wednesday, September 26, the movers were back, getting ready to move the house to the south side of the lot, it’s temporary resting place. The next step in the process will be for Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating to excavate the site of the new foundation, prior to the construction of footings and basement walls by Strege Construction of Wyndmere. It is expected that The Old Parsonage will be sitting pretty on its new foundation in 4 to 6 weeks, according to General Contractor John Buskohl of Buskohl Construction of Milnor.

Dick Meyers recalls that The Seaquist family resided in The Old Parsonage back in the late 1930’s and early 40’s, and that the Baptist minister’s son, Carlton Seaquist, was Dick’s age and a frequent playmate. According to Dick, he and Carlton had been informed that the body of an itinerant hellfire & brimstone preacher had been buried beneath the parsonage at some time in the distant past, but Nick Schmidt reports that no bodies have been found in either the stone lined cellar or in the crawl space under the remainder of the house. Nick reports that he did find 2 Prince Albert Tobacco tins, which turned out to be empty, in the crawl space. Dick denies that he and Carlton ever used any Prince Albert in their youth, Bull Durham at a Nickel a bag was more their style, so the origin of the tobacco tins is still a mystery. Mr. Schmidt also reports that the sills of the old house are still in mint condition, as good as they were on the day construction of the house began in 1902.

Sargent County Health District Administrator Brenda Peterson has been informing Sargent County citizens that the time to prepare for the flu season is before it hits. Several vaccination clinics will be held throughout the County, and County Health Nurse Joyce Chapin is scheduled to be at the Rutland Seniors’ Center at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, October 1, to administer flu shots to those who prefer to be proactive rather than reactive, or, worse yet, sick as a dog. Flu vaccinations can also be obtained at the Health District’s office on Main Street in Forman. Give County Health a call at 724-3725 for more information about flu vaccinations in Sargent County.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the nomination of Mr. Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court continues to grind its way through the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. The nominee denies the allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him, and that’s good enough for the 11 Republicans on the Committee. The ladies involved say he’s a liar, and that’s good enough for the 10 Democrats on the Committee. The matter will likely be decided by a full vote of the U. S. Senate, with two Republican Senators, Lisa Merkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, holding Kavanaugh’s fate in their feminist hands. Stay tuned. As of Friday, September 28, there will be 87 weeks down and 121 to go until January 20, 2021. The President spoke at the United Nations on Tuesday, and forgot that he was not at a Trumpista rally. His claim that his administration had accomplished more than any in the history of the nation drew derisive laughter from the world leaders present. This President seems to forget that he took office with the wind at his back. The economy was already doing well and getting better; the budget deficit was gradually coming down; and, America was a leader respected around the world. Well, this President still has 1 of 3 going for him, and that’s about the same as the percentage of Americans who approve of his conduct in office.

That’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! The Rutland community is looking forward to enjoying your company on Uff-Da Day XXXIV, Sunday, October 7, 2018. Later.

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