This is what I looked like on September 19, 2008 during a vacation. Duluth is in the background.

What is your history like?

Last updated: Jul 21, 2006
Minor update on Aug 13, 2006: section modified

1 Triangle YMCA camp

Triangle YMCA camp is a special program for children where children can participate in fun activities like swimming, sailboating, windsurfing, riflery, archery, and many more fun activities. It was, perhaps, the best time of my life and I can't think of anything better than Triangle YMCA camp. It was so good, I went two years in a row!

1.1 How Triangle YMCA camp worked

1.1.1 Preparing and time

July 20, 1997 was the day I went for the first year. From my home, it was about a 1-hour drive to get to the YMCA camp near Garrison, ND. Before leaving, I had to pack some clothes and other special belongings. One of which that I recall quite well is a book called "Stargazer's Guide to the Galaxy" featuring stargazing and learning about and finding the constellations in the sky. It started at noon on a Sunday. YMCA camp was to last 5 main days. Sunday didn't really count as a day. I don't recall exactly when it ended, but it was either Friday evening or sometime on Saturday.

1.1.2 Land layout

I don't recall the layout in full, but this is what I can recall. I also don't recall all of the activities either, but I can recall most of them. Cabins

The cabins we slept in had four names within 3 categories (like Indian tribes (Mandan and Sioux are two I recall), and some cities (Sioux Falls is one (60% certain)) as far as I can recall) making 12 cabins total. The cabins were located quite high up compared to the general surroundings. Inside these cabins were a series of beds. There was a special bed for the counselor, an adult in the area. There were 3 or 4 double-layer beds (having two matrices, one about 6 feet above everything) to the best of my knowledge (quantity range is 95% certain, type is 100% certain). There were also some cabinets near the entrance. The cabins were made of wood, dark-colored wood. I don't know what type of wood though, I can't identify wood types by simply looking at it. The cabinets near the entrance were of a light-colored wood, the typical kind you find in wood stores and in 2x4's. I think there were 10 or 12 cabinets, one on top of another going 6 or 7 feet high using roughly 3 square feet of space viewing it head on. Cafeteria

The cafeteria is located near the pond further from the lake almost forming a straight line. The cafeteria had two floors. The bottom floor was quite empty and contained the bathroom, a piano, and had a concrete floor. There were two entrances that I know of. The piano was located between the two entrances against the wall. The bathrooms, when entering, were on the far left side. Upstairs was where you'd find the cafeteria and was where you'd eat. Sometimes, fun games were played here. One game I recall clearly is where someone chanted who was to do something in a singing form and the one in focus was to do whatever, whether it was simply go around in a full circle on the table or do some weird actions, you'd never know. Pond

Located about 250 feet from the cafeteria straight toward the lake was where the pond was. Pond was actually a swimming hole complete with a walk way (4 feet wide with a green "carpet" like you'd find in a minigolf course), a ropeswing, basketball hoop, and even fish were in here. I recall this area well as it's one of my favorite places, both in the times I was there and in my mind game. The walk way is closest to the cafeteria. From the cafeteria straight to it, there's a fairly steep slope with nearly a 1:1 slope ratio for roughly 12 feet and levels out about 2 feet from the surface of the water. The ropeswing, standing centered at the shore facing the far edge of the walkway perpendicular to it, is at the 1 o'clock position roughly 40 feet in that direction. The rope swing has a yellow ball on it and the rope hangs from a crane suspended nearly 20 feet above. Use was to grab on, swing out, let go, and splash into the water about 10 feet below. You then swam back to shore. Riflery/archery

I cannot determine the exact positions of where the riflery and archery places were but I do recall it was quite a long trail there. Along this trail, there was a small forest with some stairs and hilly terrain. There was a defined trail. Both places were in this small forest. The riflery range had some cans, disks that spun when hit, and a few other targets in the range and a wall in the back. Archery had these 5-ring targets in a very similar setting to riflery. Before the riflery range, there was a building where bullets were stored. I don't recall much more about this though. Camp fire

Although the location isn't exactly known, the cabins were sort of on the edges around it. During the evening around 7 or 8 PM or so all of the campers, including most staff, gather around here. The main activities were roasting marshmellows (ain't that a classic?) and singing. I don't recall storytelling though, but, for me, rather than singing, I often gazed up at the sky looking at the stars. At the end of the camp times, we were each given a wooden paddle nicely carved out and smoothed out. I still have these to today. Sailing and windsurfing

The area where you went sailing or windsurfing was on the lake itself. The area is quite isolated from the pond and I don't recall much about it. Windsurfing was one of my highest favorites. Basically, you were given a surfboard and you rode the gentle water and battled the wind and keeping on the surfboard. The sailboats were fairly small having about a 10-foot single mast. I don't recall much about how these activities went though. Horseback riding

I've been horseback riding here as well. This location is also unknown. All I can recall is that it was a long dirt path to the area. As far as I know, we didn't really do much. You got on top of the horse and you rode around at a modest 3 to 4 mph around some kind of course. Details are vague on what actually goes on here. Floor hockey/basketball court

Yet another location where I don't know exactly where it is. All I know is that it is quite far along a dirt road. Here, you could play floor hockey, roller hockey or some basketball. I recall one time where the puck got lost and a search went along to find it. It was buried in the shrubs nearby. Most preferred roller hockey, but since I didn't know how to roller skate, I used just my feet alone. I don't recall much though. Shop

Once a day or something, you can go to the shop and get stuff. You were limited to spending however much your parents give and limited to spending only so much per day. There was quite a bit of candy available, but you could also get hats and a t-shirt featuring YMCA camp. I recall getting a lot of "Laffy Taffy" of which I've never really seen to today. The shop's location isn't fully certain. Art house

With the art house, you could paint, draw, solder (with a soldering iron), make necklaces, just about anything. The art house is located near the cabins, but not exactly sure where. I recall some steep hills (3 feet down) nearby with some trees alongside it. I don't recall any further details though. Health clinic

Just in case there's an unexpected medical emergency, there's a health clinic. I don't recall where it is, but it's nestled among staff houses where staff worked as far as I know and along a dirt road. I recall going here once for sunburn-related issues and getting aloe (it was a green substance kind of like Jello, the dessert). That was about the only thing I recall going there for.

1.1.3 How the system worked

Much of how the system worked in general is recalled with some uncertainties. Here's a rough daily timeline to what I can recall (times are approximate, certainty for time in parentheses following it).

7:00 AM (90%) - You'd normally wake up around this time. Sometimes I woke up around 8:00 AM. Too often, I was too tired at this time.
8:00 AM (60%) - You'd eat breakfast around here. Most of the time, I liked the breakfasts served. Toast and pancakes, the typical things.
9:00 AM (50%) - You'd have your first activity around here. The activities were randomized and different each day.
10:00 AM (100%) - Pond was the second activity, and common.
11:00 AM (60%) - The third activity.
12:00 PM (30%) - Lunch.
12:40 PM (80%) - Cleanup. I hated this part as you'd sometimes pick up trash in a given area.
1:00 PM (50%) - Fourth activity.
2:00 PM (50%) - Fifth activity (partner swim is the most likely event - in the pond).
3:00 PM (50%) - Sixth activity.
4:00 PM (50%) - Seventh activity.
5:00 PM (80%) - Supper.
6:00 PM (40%) - I don't know what exactly happened at this time although it was right after dinner. Return to cabins? Cleanup? Eighth activity? I don't recall.
7:00 PM (60%) - Campfire (? 60% certainty on activity). There was singing and roasting marshmellows.
8:00 PM (60%) - Campfire (? 40% certainty on activity - this time if 7:00 PM isn't correct.
9:00 PM (70%) - Final preparations and bed time.

For 5 days, it was like this. The first day, however, is an oddball along with the last day. The last day is unknown. This is what happens the first day (Sunday).

12:00 PM (95%) - Camp opens and we arrive. You were assigned a cabin and you had to wait at that cabin for several hours.
2:00 PM (60%) - I know something happened around this time, but I don't recall what though.
4:00 PM (100%) - Swim test - used for the rope swing.
5:00 PM (90%) - You ate supper around this time.
6:00 PM (30%) - I don't recall what happened around this time. I have almost no clues though.
7:00 PM (50%) - Campfire - you received your paddle (I think, either that or the paddle was given at the end of the session).
8:00 PM (50%) - Campfire (?) - not fully certain on the time of occurrance.
9:00 PM (70%) - Bed time (and preparations).

At one time, you were permitted to go to the shop and get stuff, but I don't recall the exact time. Just after lunch or just after dinner, I don't know.

1.2 The first year's major events

1.2.1 Day 1 - Sunday, July 20, 1997

When I first came to Triangle YMCA camp, I believed that blue water was dangerous and would take your life away the moment you touched it. At first, this wasn't a problem. When I glanced at the schedule of activities and saw sailboating and windsurfing, I feared them not wanting to do them due to the fact I'd be so close to "blue water".

After packing up things, I rode along with my parents to around Garrison, ND and past a village called "Emit" or something like that. When we arrived, there were a bunch of cars lined up at the gate ready to go in. When the gate opened, cars were permitted through. There was a gate guard there, but I don't recall much about it. I think you needed a pass to enter, or you went straight through, I don't know. I think, however, the most likely case is that they checked names to make sure they were on the list.

I went to the cafeteria soon after and I was assigned a cabin. It was here that I got a glance at the list of activities coming up. Shortly afterwards, my parents dropped me off at my cabin that I was assigned to and unloaded my belongings. After unloading, my parents left and I wouldn't see or hear from them for almost a week. Also, I couldn't play video games either at the time. The part I most hated was having to wait for several hours before anything was done. I think something happened at 2:00 PM, but I don't recall what.

At 4:00 PM, it was the swim test. This swim test simply involved some jumping into the pond area and doing a swim test, mainly for the rope swing. If one couldn't swim, they could still use the ropeswing, but had to have a life jacket. When I saw all those kids in the "blue water" I was amazed how they even survived in it as I thought that "blue water" would take your life away. This event lasted 20 minutes and was kind of boring as well.

After the swim test, it was then time to go eat supper. I don't recall what the meal was. I don't recall much what happened after this but I think, with low certainty, it was the campfire. I don't recall much about this either.

At bedtime, however, I can recall telling everyone about my story I was writing. It was the first episode of "The Story of the Wonderful Adventure". I used the common thing with baseball - 3 strikes and you're out. I told the story with a lot of interruptions. I recalled it 90% as I've been recording it on tape like crazy for a few weeks or a few months beforehand. I almost literally memorized the 79-page script word for word. Being frequently interrupted, I gave warnings. If 3 warnings passed (3 strikes), I stopped telling the story (you're out) for the day. 3 outs and no more storytelling for the rest of the session. I only finished two scenes scene (80% certainty, 15% certain for three (the first act), 5% certain on just the first scene). This day was quite boring, though things were going to improve drastically the next day.

1.2.2 Days 2 through 6 major events

For days 2 through 6, see the general time schedule above (see section 1.1.3 at the top). For these days, I'll only mention major or noteworthy events. I do not, however, recall what activities I had and at which time; I can only guess.

At 10:00 AM, one of the most memorable events happened. It was time for "pond". I supposedly got on my sunscreen (also known as sunblock lotion or just sunblock) and went to the pond. From here, I stood about 3 or 4 feet from the shore. I told one of the counselors that I was scared of water. The counselor helped and somehow, and unexplainedly, the fear of "blue water" being "dangerous" somehow weakened so much I had significantly less trouble than otherwise. Slowly, just a little at a time with the counselor holding on to me, I actually went into the water. By the end of "pond", I was in quite aways with almost no fear. Later in the day, I was in as deep as my upper neck, as deep as I was willing to go.

By day 3, I seemed to have absolutely no fear of being in the water. I did, however, have a big fear of going in deeper than I could touch ground. This is something more common though, especially if you can't swim. By day 4, I was seemingly "normal" when it came to shallow water.

As far as my story-telling goes, on day 2, 3 strikes occurred again giving 2 outs. On day 3, even with 4 strikes permitted rather than 3, the third out still occurred. The outs only took 15 minutes to get. I was going to go on only for an hour, but 15 minutes and 3 strikes - I don't think so. The story fits on 5 tapes (length unknown, probably 60-minute tapes).

On day 4, I went windsurfing and sailboating, two activities I heavily feared at the start, but no longer feared by the time they happened.

On day 5, I recall going to art and painting my paddle that I got. I don't recall much else about this.

On day 6, I recall hiking through a long trail and getting my paddle "marked". The mark was a triangle split equally in thirds.

1.2.3 The last day

On the last day, you could get signatures from anyone at camp (except the animals of course). In the last day, I'd repack my belongings and my parents would take me back home after a 1-hour drive.

1.3 Activity events

Due to the fact that I don't recall when activities occurred (even the day they occured), this section covers details specifically.

1.3.1 Cabins

In the cabins, I didn't really do much. At bed time, I went stargazing - looking at the stars trying to identify the constellations.

Besides stargazing, I told my story, "The Story of the Wonderful Adventure". I realized that I forgot the actual script so I had to recall it purely from memory. Due to all the tape recording previously, like 3 or 4 times at it, I almost literally memorized the entire 79-page story so I had little trouble with telling the story as I had it written. The other kids in the cabin kept interrupting so I set up the baseball routine: 3 strikes and you're out and 3 outs means the end. Every day, it would've been just 15 minutes of story time with at least half of that spent from dealing with interruptions. I only got like 6 scenes into my story, which wouldn't even have been one tape's worth, even a 30-minute tape wouldn't be enough (or one side of a 60-minute tape).

1.3.2 Cafeteria

On either the second or third day, I was playing around in here at around 1:00 PM or so, playing around with numbers that is. After only a short time, I found out the technique on how to multiply more than 2 two-digit numbers at a time without anything set to the side. It was an amazing discovery and considering I was just 13.52 years old at the time, it's strange that even most college students don't even know the trick, possibly even the college teachers.

During times of eating, various groups, sorted by cabin (and staff in general), chanted a phrase saying of the cabin name (referring to the group) to do something. I don't exactly recall what it was, but some cases may be to walk a full circle around the table, do 10 jumping jacks, you'd never know. I didn't like this much and preferred to be left to myself.

During the second year on the 4th day, there was an actual tornado warning somewhere nearby, but the tornado never struck the area at all. We took shelter in this cafeteria during this time.

During the 5th or 6th day, we did what were called "skits". You made up a small performance, as a group, then, in front of everyone else, acted out this small 1-minute performance.

I also recall doing some kind of ritual. I have no idea what it was, but what I can recall is that candles were involved. After this part, we were taken through some very hilly terrain to some special fire pits. It was here that the paddle got "marked". The walk (more like a hike), was probably around 2000 feet or so at my best bet just to get there (and thus another 2000 feet to get back.

1.3.3 Pond

In addition to the major event described above where I got rid of my fear with blue water, I eventually learned how to float, go underwater, even walk along the railing of the side platforms. I doubt I went on the ropeswing the first year though. Quite often, I'd request to get sunscreen. Sunscreen was stored in a small wooden shack (about 500 cubic feet of space) with an 8x8 foot floor space and I commonly got it from here. In the first year, there was "polar bear swim" where you swam in the pond for a short time (15 or 20 minutes) and you went very early in the morning, around 6:00 AM or so as the water would be quite cold at that time. I never went in though.

On the second year, I actually used the ropeswing. I used it three times I think. Although I couldn't swim, I used a life jacket to counter this and doggie paddling got me back to shore again. However, just to start the ropeswing, I had to get someone to count down or count to 3 before I went. The first time I did, however, I can clearly recall curling up as a ball and falling with my eyes closed the entire time. That went okay. I close my eyes every time I'm about to go underwater and keep them closed until I'm no longer underwater. I felt as if the dirt and stuff in the water could damage my eyes if I opened them so I never did. This occurred on the 5th and possibly 6th days of the second year. The ropeswing got me going about 15 mph horizontally (raw estimate) and hitting the water at about 14 mph or so (height-based calculation (using speed-distance formula)).

1.3.4 Riflery/archery

With riflery, I'm bad at aiming. Even from just 15 feet away, I'm often off by a whole foot. The main reason is because I didn't know how to aim. You shot at cans and spoons as far as I can recall. I never hit a thing. Someone else actually hit two spoons at once with one shot. To shoot, you were given 5 bullets and you took turns and laid on the ground while shooting.

With archery, one of my favorites, I did better with it although I was still aiming poorly. I was more accurate with archery though than riflery. Bullets go by often 600 mph or so, way too fast for the eye to see. Arrows go more around 40 mph for the single wire bows (not the compound bows with often 3 wires, but just 1) which makes them easily noticed. The targets used had 4 or 5 rings (don't recall exactly) and matched the exact same ones as I encountered in my 7th and 8th grade gym class.

Both the riflery and archery ranges were outside nestled among a bunch of trees.

1.3.5 Camp fire

At the camp fire, it was lined with rocks and the area was quite big. At the camp fire, all campers were grouped up with most of the staff. We often sang songs, much of which I never even heard of, let alone not knowing the tones for. I was given a small batch of papers with text on it. There was no sheet music so I could, supposedly, match the tone. We roasted marshmellows (for sure) and they tasted a little weird, but better than regular, uncooked marshmellows. The firepit was quite large. From what I can tell, it's got about a 6-foot diameter. The details are extremely vague on the size. The overall area is around 18 feet in diameter.

At the camp fire area, we were given paddles. I do not recall what day these things were given, but I think that it was somewhat early in the session.

1.3.6 Sailing and windsurfing

Although nothing special happened the first year, the second year has an extremely memorable event. As the story goes, still remarkably in tact (recalled) to today, someone was sailing along and a sudden gust of wind occurred that knocked over the sailboat. I was on a windsurf board and it was about time to go to the next activity. Seeing the knocked over sailboat, I raced at my high speed straight at them. I was one of the fastest-moving windsurfers by paddling. I get over there and let them get on my windsurf board telling them to not rock it. They do very well with that while I then paddle back again at high speed and by then, after struggling with the motor boat (it wouldn't start even after 5 minutes), the staff came and pick everyone up (including myself) taking us back to shore. It took a while for the staff to get the sailboat flipped back over again and upright, but they manage to do so. I love replaying this event in my mind and through my mind game. This is about 93% in tact thus some of the finest details are recalled.

Otherwise, I didn't really do much. I liked sailing a lot, but I didn't get all that fast as I had hoped for. With windsurfing, I mainly just paddled rather than trying to stand up on the board. Late in the second year, however, I did stand up. I stood up for 7 minutes without even falling in the water. I then decided that I'd just jump in since I was getting a little warm.

1.3.7 Horseback riding

I recall having gone horseback riding a few years earlier. With it, I had some experience with horseback riding. Horseback riding isn't my thing as I don't have much interest in it. I don't recall much what happened with horseback riding though other than it was taken easy.

1.3.8 Floor hockey/basketball court

Although not really a favorite, most of the kids in there were skating. I didn't know how to skate. I was allowed to use my feet for playing. With roller skaters going all over the place and harder to maneuver, it was tougher to predict where they were going so it was just about as difficult to get around than play. All I recall doing is playing a game of floor hockey. At one time, the hockey puck went well out of bounds and was hidden in a bunch of shrubs that took about 15 minutes or so to find. I recall playing this when the sky was somewhat orangish (it was during the evening hours).

1.3.9 Shop

Every time I went to the shop, I'd generally get candy, normally Laffy Taffy. Since my second year at YMCA camp, I otherwise never seen this particular item. Inside the wrappers were normally 3 jokes in classic style (such as "What do you get when you cross a turkey and a gift? Thanksgiving."). In the shop were shirts and hats, of which had the Triangle YMCA logo on them. Other than that, I don't recall just what there were.

1.3.10 Art house

I seriously lack details on the art house and what I did. The only thing I recall is that I painted my paddle with my "guardian spirits" on them. I didn't paint it entirely though. I also recall working with a necklace and a bunch of letters, but details are extremely vague.

1.3.11 Health clinic

Having sunburn, I went to the health clinic. I used aloe to help heal the sunburnt areas. The aloe came in a bottle, about a 32-ounce size, and it was a green gelatin-like substance. I don't recall much about it though and details, otherwise are vague.

1.4 My favorite quotation

On one of the days at YMCA camp, the group I was with was walking along in the lower areas. I, however, stayed up in the higher areas. From this happening a few times, I figured "High elevation is the best elevation. The higher, the better the view" and this became my prime quotation I came up with. I've used it as a signature in forums a few times. After quite a while, even the accuracy of the statement as is is accurate. Up on top of a mountain, you can get a spectacular view. Fly around about 500 feet above the ground, you get a nice view. Even from the Moon, you can get nice views. The outer reaches of the universe, the highest you can get from the Earth's surface gives nice views as well as it's unfamiliar territory to us humans.

1.5 Too old - rejected

I was no longer able to go to YMCA camp when I turned 15 (or was it 16?) and since then, I've never been able to go back again although I'd really love to. The only way I can now revisit the area is through my mind game, and, if I can map out the many scenes of it in 3D Gamestudio, play around in it that way. Being 21.93 years old (as of Dec 14, 2005), I cannot go to Triangle YMCA camp any more. If only I can find it on Google Maps (too few clues to go by to finding it), I'd look into it. My biggest clues is that it's 7 miles west of Garrison, ND. Another big clue is that there's a pond, and it's right next to the lake.

1.6 The future

As for returning, this, due to being too old, is highly unlikely. It is, however, possible to get a job as a staff member, but I seriously lack skills for that kind of thing and thus it's not an option for me. Plus, I don't think the staff ever do the fun stuff (from what I can recall, they almost never did any of the fun stuff).... With lots of photos, satellite imagery (if I can find any and find the place in general), and perhaps videos of the entire area, I could map it out in 3D Gamestudio and turn it into a scene played mind-game-style. Going by pure memories alone won't be enough for this.

2 Touring ND with my friend

2.1 General

One of the most memorable events (and longer-lasting) is when my friend took me on a tour throughout my home state. The first year was with a group (about 5 others) and the second year was myself only. Unlike YMCA camp were a lot of fun was crammed up in just 5 or 6 days, this spanned nearly a month each time and the bursts of fun were less intense. I consider this the second-best times of my life. The first year was the summer of 1999 and the second year was the summer of 2000.

2.2 The events

I don't recall all of the events nor the full details, but what I have mentioned is what I can recall with great certainty. Any uncertainties will be noted. They are not in the order they occurred, however.

2.2.1 Events in Minot

This section covers events and activities in Minot, my home town. Airplane flight

When one thinks of airplanes, most think of airlines. But even to the start of 2006, I've never been on an airline. The kind of airplane I went on was one of those small airplanes, often privately owned. Because I like high places, I found great interest in this. At the start, we had to wait for our turn at it since only two members could go at once. When I went, I liked the views and how small everything on the ground actually was. I don't truly recall anything special though. Swimming pools

Summer is hot and swimming is common when it's hot out. On hot days, we often went swimming, often at the local swimming pools, though occasionally a lake or two was slipped in instead.

2.2.2 Events in Medora

This section covers events and activities in Medora, in some semi-desert-like area. Camping

Unlike YMCA camp where you had cabins, a cafeteria, and a bunch of other things, this was just at a camp site and we were to go in tents and much of the other things like sailing, windsurfing, and archery weren't included. Unfortunately, it rained and the area got washed out making this not possible. Medora Musical

The Medora Musical is basically a play acted out with music and singing involved with a western-like theme. Some time into it, about 15 minutes or so, it started to rain and thus the musical was cancelled because of it. I mainly didn't pay much attention to it as I had no interest in it (neither liked nor disliked).

2.2.3 Events near Garrison

This section covers events and activities near Garrison. Power plant

On Lake Sakakawea, there's a power plant there generating power from water currents. From the top floor, you could see various features in it like how much electricity is being generated. This tour took me way down, nearly 150 feet below everything. It was kind of scary even thinking about this. It was moist as it was surrounded by water on all sides. It was also a little chilly and the only light was from light bulbs. In the lowest area, you could see a bunch of huge pipes going all over near the ceiling and at the bottom of this, through a grid-like metal cover, you could see water flowing about 15 feet below. Being like 150 feet below everything was kind of scary knowing pressures involved (especially water pressure). There was a tour gide taking the group all along. I think I came here the second year as well. "Little Egypt"

Although it's an odd name, this place was merely a large sandy beach with a small lake/river at the other side. I don't have much detail on this, however. I have a few photos in medium-low quality (due to age and mistreatment) of this place, however. Unlike the real Egypt, there's no pyramids, and there are cases where it will snow and the water gets iced up. The Washburn pool

While stopping at some ice cream stop or something, one of the members I was with saw a pool that he/she wanted to go play in. Since time was running short, we came here a second time and played in the pool for some time. I lack details, however other than the pool being kind of warm and it was located somewhere in Washburn.

2.2.4 Events near Bismarck

This section covers events and activities near Bismarck, the capital city of North Dakota. Riverboat ride

About the closest I've been to actually riding a ship is the riverboat ride. With it, the boat went about 2 miles away from where we started (whether upstream or down stream, I don't know) then the 2 miles back. During this time, I stood on the outside near the edge looking at the scenery going by. Since I was outside and this boat/ship went out on a nice day, I never had seasickness. I only recall doing this the first year, however. Somewhere near this area, I recall someone (Zach? 85% certain on name) in the group walking out into the river about a foot in and getting his hair wet. We walked along the river side. I normally kept as high as I could. Capital building tour

What is the tallest building in North Dakota? 19 stories. The tallest building is the capital building. It's probably 50% taller than the next tallest building (that I know of) in the entire state. When I came here, about all I can recall seeing are court rooms (empty) and a nice building design (textures and materials used). At the front area were a bunch of pictures on the wall. I don't exactly recall what they were, but they were of a human. Presidents of the US or past (and current) governers of the state? It's about all I can recall and I was with a tour guide. I only went here the first year as far as I can recall. Trolley ride

Many never even knew whether a trolley even existed in my home state at all. I never knew either. However, this trolley took you across bridges and things and you went six miles from the start and another 6 miles to return. It's kind of like a train but with one key difference: size. A trolley can carry maybe 10 passengers whereas a train could carry several hundred. A trolley is small, merely having seats, and a train has not just seats and one car, but several dozen cars and sleeper areas, eating compartments, and a few others.

2.2.5 Events near the International Peace Gardens

This section covers two events in and around the International Peace Gardens on the US/Canada border. Peace Gardens

The peace gardens contains several thousand plants, a few fountains, and several buildings with half of the area on the US side and half of it on the Canadian side. Going here (both years), this is about as far as I've been into any foreign country, a mere 50 feet. Yeah, that's feet. It was a nice-looking area and I've got a few pictures of it in medium-low quality. Horseback riding

Positioned in the Turtle Mountains (which don't even seem like mountains as they aren't all that high) in a fairly large forest area, we visited an area where we went horseback riding. I can recall seeing cacti lying around (very small ones) and a path that the horses took. I was often afraid of the plants in the area. Some of the plants looked kind of scary so I did my best to avoid touching them. I don't recall much else though.

2.2.6 Events in Willison Train ride

From my trips to Minnesota, I rode the train many times and had experience with it. However, unlike all of those other times, this ride was to Williston, ND and unlike the other times as well, the ride was during the day rather than night. I recall getting a deck of regular playing cards (Amtrak cards) with a pretty scene on the back sides and the usual diamonds, heats, jacks, and other card-related things. I taught my friend how to play UNO using these kinds of cards. The train ride, however, was an hour late. Because it was late, a trip near some old fort near the Montana border was cancelled. This only happened on the first year, however. Pizza

With the case of going to that one fort (unknown name) no longer possible, we had pizza instead. I lack details on this, whether or not we had pizza or not.

2.2.7 Other events and activities

This section covers all other events and activities that don't otherwise fit anything well. Canoeing at Buffalo Lodge Lake

This occurred on the second year only. I was riding a canoe that my friend borrowed from one of his friends and my friend brought his dog along with. During this time, we probably rowed nearly 3 miles in a very nice windless day. The dog, because it kept moving around, sometimes came close to capsizing the canoe, but that never happened. I don't otherwise recall much about this event, however. Cliff-climbing

Although I don't know for sure who this was with, but it was in September of some unknown year. I was near Lake Sakakawea. I don't actually recall where though. What happened is that I was on some rock cliffs and I was climbing on the sides of the 1:4 slopes (quite steep) about 10 feet above the ground. After noticing what was ahead, I said "yeah, we should go back". We returned without any trouble. I don't exactly recall that much detail, but I do recall collecting some rocks in the area. Fetch at a river

Although not part of the main tour thing, a few times, I went with my friend, who brought his dog, and got the dog to swim in the river fetching a stick. The dog was overweight and doing this helped get rid of some of that excess weight.

2.3 The future

Currently, it seems that nothing like this will happen anytime soon. It was the last time I actually really had fun exploring. The major limiting factor right now isn't money, but transportation availability. There's an extremely high chance, however, that something like this will occur again.

3 Shakespearian play

3.1 General

Unlike the other two where I wanted to do them, this one was a case where I volunteered for. Occurring throughout June of 2002, some play was looking for minor character actors and I was referred to it. For 3 weeks, we rehearsed the storyline and at the end, the play was "run" 5 times with the last one being the most memorable. The play took place in my home town in one of the two parks there. I think it was Roosevelt Park, but I'm 65% certain on that (35% goes toward Oak Park, the other park in the area) and it was at one of those stands with a few seats around.

3.2 Rehearsals

The rehearsals for this play at the start were mainly involving going through the entire script once every day. Each day for about 7 or 8 days was one round at the script. Two particular scenes needed work. The scene with the table being set was the trickiest and there were some mistakes involved. The tough part was the speed needed. In one day, this scene could've been rehearsed 3 or even 4 times as it was tricky to manage. After all, it went well. There was one other scene that had some difficulty, but I don't recall it much. Just before the main run at it, there were another 2 or 3 rehearsals of the whole thing from the start.

As for me, I had 3 very small parts. When four actors were gathered up and they said "Hello within", I had to come running out (at a modest 7 mph or so), get something, then return. The second part was setting up that table where some of the difficulties were tried again quite often and the third part was to supposedly fill a cup with something from a strange barrel. Other than that, I was waiting 95% of the time watching the clouds going by or playing my mind game and the Chief Mandar and Tu thing (see my mind game report for details on this).

3.3 It's showtime!

3.3.1 The first four performances

At the end of June, the play was performed. The first four runs were nearly flawless. There weren't many audience, probably 40 to 50 each day. Each day had one performance. On the third or fourth day, not sure which, my parents came to watch.

3.3.2 My most amazing weather prediction event

The fifth day, however, was the most amazing. On day 5, just before even the play started, I was watching the clouds. I watched them flow by and running periodic calculations while waiting for my parts to come on. The calculations were to find the direction of movement, speed of movement, and what was in store. The sky was overcast on the last day. I made a prediction that, in 45 minutes, a storm was going to come. As time crept on doing my parts as neccessary on cue resuming what I was doing after my part was over with, I continued monitoring the clouds and my thoughts were the same. I continued to count down the time.

I soon came across weird-looking clouds called "underbellies" which signify a severe storm. This was 20 minutes before my expected storm arrival. By then, I began warning the actors about it in my small "storage" area where the unused actors hid. When there were about 5 minutes remaining, I was starting to get nervous thinking of yelling out to cancel the play because I knew a storm was going to occur. I thought that they'd criticize me for interrupting and when the expected time was up, it began raining. The play indeed got cancelled, but there was more in store. The rain steadily increased in intensity while the actors, including myself gathered the props up taking them underneath the roof of the stage. The rain was so hard, it was about level 3 red on doppler radar (6 shades of green, then yellow, then 3 more shades after that; 90% certain even though I don't recall it, I seem to be able to tell what it would be with remarkable accuracy). After the rain stopped, we all returned home.

The amazing part was my remarkable accuracy in predicting the incoming storm. 45 minutes before it started, there were no signs of an incoming storm and by 20 minutes before it started, the first signs were coming. That was amazing!

4 The ND State Fair

4.1 General

The North Dakota State Fair is on the eastern edge of my home town. I went to the North Dakota State Fair (NDSF) during late July of 2003 and late July of 2004. On satellite imagery, you can easily notice it from the large track. The North Dakota State Fair (NDSF) has a parking lot large enough to hold 1300 cars. Past the gates, you enter the fair. I normally use the gate on the south side as it's closest to the carnival rides, the main place of interest to me. There are 5 known gates. North of the carnival rides is where you encounter the food stands, and further north is the main office and sort of a place to write checks to get cash and other things.

4.2 How the fair went

With at least 85% of my time spent in the area with carnival rides, I don't know the entire system, but I do know much of it.

4.2.1 Tractors

Tractors pulled small objects behind them. These objects were generally painted wood with an arced roof on top sort of like a house without walls and only containing benches. There were six of these tractors scattered about, two in the parking lot (100% certain) and 4 were within the main fairgrounds (70% certain) which took you around the entire fair for easy transport to getting from place to place.

4.2.2 The parking lot

The main parking lot for the fair is on the eastern side of it. It's large enough to hold 1300 cars. Around the parking lot are 2 tractors to get you from your car to the two gates on either side. The south gate was near the carnival rides so I went there. There was also paid parking near the hotel.

There are two major events that I recall. One of which was where there were two guards at the free parking gates that were letting some cars in, but not us for some unknown reason. We had to park at a nearby bar just to get in and walk about 1/8 of a mile just to get in and by the time we arrived, the guards were letting everyone in which made no sense at all.

The second major event is where my sister's car, my only source of transportation, had to be moved for some unknown reason and despite going around the parking lot like 3 times in the tractors at 8 mph (rather than the usual 2.8 I was logging as there was almost no activity). Despite that, carefully looking at each car, I couldn't find it. Even the tractor driver, who was looking for me, couldn't find the car either. I spend two hours in the parking lot trying to find it nearly having to get a ride with someone else. I had to reject it because the guy sounded unfriendly. I almost felt as if I had to walk all the way home which was another 2 hours and I really didn't know my way entirely. With mosquitoes flying around, it was kind of hazardous. At the end, I finally managed to get transportation, but it was my parents rather than my sister (or, at least, I recall my parents coming to the parking lot).

4.2.2 Getting through the gate

To get through any of the gates, you need a gate pass and you pay for those. You can choose to pay $7 for one day or $20 for the whole 9-day season. If you go three days, the other six are free. Lose the book of tickets, however, and you either have to pay for them again or not return. I always got the season pass.

4.2.3 The megaride pass

The megaride pass is a special sort of pass that allows you to ride any carnival ride, however many times you want, for the entire season and it's just $40. You could also buy coupons (a dollar each coupon) or 15-ride wristbands ($15 per wristband making it $1 per ride). Coupons are a dollar each and rides otherwise would generally need 4 tickets (some were 5, others were 3). Running calculations, I've been on the rides so many times, I could go on two rides by the time I used just one ticket at the equivelent price. Each ride for me, due to being on them so often with the megaride pass, was just 50 per ride, a very tiny fraction what one would normally pay.

4.2.4 The carnival rides

The carnival rides are just like most amusement parks. When you want to ride a ride, you either have to give the tickets required for it, show your 15-rides wristband so the ride operator marks one ride off or show the megaride pass and they'll almost always let you through (unless, of course, they max out in capacity). One of the dumb things they had was "no single riders" for rides that were otherwise operational and had no activity at them, even for 30 minutes at one time. I wanted on once, but they wouldn't let me on for this reason. There was a ride called "Zipper" and they wouldn't let me on due to this and thus I never got to ride it.

While on the rides, I run calculations based on the physics of the ride. Typical cases involve figuring out the speeds, the height, the G forces, and other aspects. Unlike most, I never scream. I actually laugh instead of scream with the occasional "woah". It might actually be because I'm constantly running calculations on the rides and studying them from this. And when I mean studying and calculating, take a look at the information I have about the rides - the speeds are accurate to within 10% either way and the G's exerted are within 15% either way. Some ride operators may not know these facts. Who ever knew of learning physics or making use of them from carnival rides? Carnival rides are meant for fun and entertainment, not for running calculations and studying how and why they work. Both years I did just this and I've even helped a few in the area know more about the ride from this information I get. Although it's not exact, it's considerably accurate.

4.2.5 The food stands

Food stands are one thing you may find often at any fair or carnival. Almost all of the food stands wouldn't accept checks which made it hard for me to get any food. Even though they had pizza, I rarely ate anything, even though I was there for like 11 hours at a time. When I eat, I eat one big meal per day. A 1 1/2-pound pizza is good enough for a whole day for me and I am able to eat a 2-pound pizza although it is cutting my outer limit. I never ate any of the corndogs, cotton candy, or any of that kind of thing.

The food there was unusually expensive. I can get a huge slushie, for example, at Dairy Queen for $1.59 or so and a slushie at the fair was $2 for 2/3 the size and the taste is otherwise the same. A single slice of pizza costs $2, when, if I ordered a whole pizza from Domino's, I could get 12 times that for just $12, six times the price. The prices for food at the fair were rediculously high (twice that of what it normally would be) and thus I very rarely got anything for this reason.

4.2.6 The office

The office, northwest of the northwest corner of the race track is where you can write checks to get cash, ask questions about something, get an information package, or even submit a suggestion for the next year's fair. There's one unusual event I encountered while in here. To get up to the upper office to make a suggestion or ask a question, I needed to use the elevator. I get in the elevator just fine and I choose the upper floor from the three buttons available, as the office was the highest floor that I knew of. When the elevator door opened up, I saw a room that was kind of dark with a bunch of what appears to be tables inside. I walk toward the area a little bit looking around never leaving the elevator with a confused look on my face then I go to the next lower floor which happened to be the one where I needed to go. I felt as if there was a security camera in there so I didn't proceed any further and since it wasn't the right place, there was no need to. I thought the lower floor was a basement, but not in this case. When I get to where I needed to be, I headed toward the office to do as I needed.

4.2.7 Treasure hunting

While I was between rides, I scanned the ground looking for any treasures. Sometimes it could've been a pingpong ball gone astray from one of the barker stands or, most commonly, a hook used to hang the prize items. I very often went after these things and returned them to the barker stands they were near. I mainly did this between rides. Sometimes I found coins lying on the ground, usually pennies and once even a quarter and some dimes. I recall one case where someone, literally, was throwing pennies on the floor. I dashed for them quickly and got them. I made close to 70 throughout the two years I went from just treasures lying around. You never know what you'll find.

4.3 Favorite ride descriptions

Unlike section 4.2.4, this section covers the rides in detail, mainly my favorites.

4.3.1 1001 Nachts

Rotates so that the ride itself goes up and down going almost in freefall. This was my second-favorite ride. It was only available for the first year though. This ride, at the fastest, went around 30 mph on the lower area, and pulled around 2.4 G's at the most.

4.3.2 Sizzler

0 to 35 mph back to 0 in roughly 1.2 seconds (about 2.5 G's) in a horizontal movement. This was my most favorite ride of them all. In one year, I rode this ride 35 times and the second year about 20 (the second year, I didn't keep count).

4.3.3 Giant wheel

A ferris wheel 90 feet tall. The speed was around 5 mph at it's fastest and is otherwise the most gentle of the rides although it's the highest.

4.3.4 Glider

You get in something with a kite above you giving some kind of hang-gliding experience. This ride is actually about as close as I am able to get to the gliding as used in my mind game.

4.3.5 Orbiter

The orbiter took you around at high speed, averaging 20 mph at it's fullest and sustaining it. You went around a central point repeatedly and you were kind of tilted on your side for easier balance. The ride pulled about 1.8 G's at the best I can recall. I avoided this ride often because it had loud music nearby.

4.3.6 Hurricane

The hurricane was much like the Orbiter with an average speed around 20 mph. The main difference is that there was a high-pressure air release to simulate the sound of thunder. This ride was useful for cooling off when it was hot due to the increased wind speed (and sustained).

4.3.7 Bumper cars

Ain't this a classic? This ride works because of electric current. The metal floor on the bottom is where part of the electricity is and the wheel at the top is on the ceiling and this complete line creates a complete, closed circuit allowing for electricity to pass. When the ride operator activates the ride, he enables the flow of electricity from the circuit to reach the floor which can then be used to power the cars. The gas pedal in the cars completed the entire circuit allowing the car to go. All this ride is is where you drive these electric cars into each other and the rubber sides absorbed the damage from the 2.5 mph speeds they travelled at the highest.

4.3.8 Bumper boats

With the bumper boats ride, you were in a tank of water with boats in them. These boats were merely circular things with an engine and rubber sides. The rubber siding parts bumped into other boats' rubber siding. Sometimes a big splash would occur, even with these 4 mph impacts (total - each boat doesn't get much above 2.2 mph). Very often, especially when it was hot out, others would splash each other and sometimes a game was being played involving splashing. On day 7 (of 9) of the second year, there was some cleaner in the water which prevented the splashing and otherwise caused many to not have any interest in the ride, myself included.

4.3.9 Yoyo

Although I don't know how simple you can get, this ride was mainly a swingset-like ride hung by chains and you simply went around in circles at about 10 mph roughly 15 feet above the ground. It's one of the simplest rides and it was only during the second year that it was there.

4.3.10 Starship 2000

This ride is also not that complex. It's basically a flying saucer type of object on the ground that spins around rapidly giving a high number of G's. Estimated G-force is about 3 1/2 G's, the most out of all rides. Since you were inside, you didn't have the wind. This object sped up up time to make the panels that you laid against (on about a 1:5 slope) slide upwards from the high centrifugal force. It'd then slow down again causing these panels to slide back. They were on wheels. It'd speed back up again and repeat 4 or 5 times.

4.4 The future

It's quite likely that I'll visit the fair again. The severe limitation is my lack of availability of transportation. It's over 6 miles away (and for a taxi, that's $30 per day) and thus too far to walk or bike. I didn't go in 2005 mainly because the rides available were otherwise unchanged with little differences. There aren't any theme parks anywhere near me and this is the only time of year that I can be able to go otherwise.

5 The antique car club

5.1 About the car club

Although I have almost no interest in cars, classic or not (except futuristic cars), the main thing that I found an interest in with the car club is that they take trips to places. One of my favorites is Rice Lake. The "runs" are always on Wednesdays with occasional meetings. I only go as my dad belongs to the club. It's quite often a barbeque that they have if it isn't a meeting. The last event of the year is the season finale which has all sorts of prizes and things like that being donated.

5.2 The first years

The first years of this club was where I was more active with going to the various places. However, the places were unchanged with otherwise no differences. After two years like this, I got bored of going. Only one other place is of high enough interest to want to go for several years - Rice Lake. The places visited were generally within 15 miles of my home town and rarely outside that. Velva and Rice Lake are two that are outside that.

5.3 Activity today

Today, about the only thing I do with them now is mainly going to Rice Lake and that's about it. Otherwise, I've pretty much abandoned going. Some of it is due to my sleep-wake cycle forcing me to miss some cases, the other, bigger reason is due to the fact that they're the same places I've been before and otherwise unchanged and/or of little interest.

5.4 Major/recalled events

This is a list of major events or events I recall well.

5.4.1 Season finale 9 Chinese Auction How it worked

For the ninth season finale, I was given the opportunity to draw tickets for various items for the Chinese auction. How this worked is that you bought some tickets then put the tickets into a bucket storing tickets and at the end of the day, the drawings were held to see who wins the item. The more tickets for a particular item, the lower your chances were of winning. For buying the tickets, I helped count them using a mathematical trick (since the tickets were numbered in sequential order) that made counting go by even ten times faster. If the first ticket was number 602814, for example, for 25 tickets, you'd stop at 602838 (and not 602839 as most would think). I was so fast at mathematical calculations, I counted the tickets nearly ten times faster than they were doing originally. Because it worked so well and it was so fast, they found great use in the method I had and used it since. Drawing

I asked if I could be allowed to draw the tickets. I was given permission to. When I drew the tickets (and I drew 25 times or so), I held the can up high and mixed the tickets around randomly while the master gave information about the item. After he was done, I'd then draw out one ticket and the master would announce the ticket drawn. There was a random mix of red and blue tickets. To differentiate, the master mentioned whether it was a red or a blue ticket then called the last few digits on the ticket as the first ones were exactly identical for everyone. I smiled strongly when the ticket color was mentioned as I liked the way the master mentioned the ticket color. If the one had the ticket, they'd come up and claim the prize. In the rare case of the winner not being present or refusing the prize, another redraw was in order. This occurred only twice though. On the last item, however, the master's wife won the prize and that was found to be an odd case. I liked doing this.

5.4.2 Season finale 9 Poker run How it worked

The Poker run was rather simple in how it worked. Basically, you went to 5 destinations scattered through town and at each location, you had to draw a card. The cards could be duplicated (thus you could have, say, two "9 of clubs" cards in one "hand", but you couldn't redraw. There was a "wild card" case where you had some activity to accomplish successfully to get the wild card. The wild card thing didn't apply to season finale 9, however, although it did with earlier season finales. All this is is drawing a sixth card if you had nothing at all (pairs two-pairs, and maybe 3 of a kind hands were exceptions as these hands are extremely likely to be beaten). The one with the highest hand overall won a prize. There was no gambling involved, however. You simply went to the places and drew a card. What I did

At the end, I looked through each of the lists of hands. Weak hands were often discarded with higher hands being set aside in a special pile. I often get mixed up whether a straight, a flush, or a full house (my favorite hand) is higher and in which order. I asked the others on those cases, however. There were three winners. The highest winner had four aces.

5.4.3 The river

Although vaguely remembered, I recall something at one of the barbeques where there was a river nearby and near the river was a sign that said "swim at your own risk". The river was kind of narrow. I didn't go in though as it was a little dirty. There were, however, some that actually do go swim in the river. I just watched on the side, however. This occurred in, I think, July of 2001 (maybe June 2001).

5.5 The future

It is somewhat unlikely that I'll go again anytime soon. The exception is Rice Lake, my favorite place and currently about the only way I'm going to be able to go swimming. It is, however, very likely (85%) that I'll go again to the other barbeques.

6 Travels

6.1 General

Of all the things I do, going places, even a simple trip to the grocery store, is of higher interest than much anything else I do, even the computer. I've always had a great interest in travel and I've been wanting to do it more often.

6.1.1 It's very rare

The main thing is, it's very rare. As of this update, I haven't been on vacation since July or August of 2000, a year before I even had E-mail or my website. That's 6 years ago! Although I have had some rare cases going on trips, they were nothing more than a drive-there and drive-back type thing. I define a vacation as doing something that is separate from my main activities outside my home town for at least 36 hours. My main activities are using the computer, watching TV, and in the past, playing video games, and going to school. This is very broad as it even considers taking a day-long bike ride into the country side two days in a row then returning home to sleep. Nothing like this has happened since July or August of 2000. It's been so long, I don't even know what it's like to be on vacation.

6.1.2 My mind game helps

One of the major uses of my mind game is to help with being able to travel. Although I really don't get to see the areas for real, the part of running around 200+ mph (and falling faster than the speed of sound still picking up speed) making it much more entertaining.

6.1.3 Brief history Minnesota here, Minnesota that

Occurring once every 2 years on average (not including the big, recent 6-year gap), I often went to somewhere around Minneapolis in Minnesota. It was often for a week and either drove there or took the train. Other than this, I haven't been anywhere else for anything significant. I know of at least 4 such trips to Minnesota. The last one was in July or August of 2000 then earlier in 1998. I recall one time of it being during the winter where snow was on the ground but I have no idea when it was. In the case for 2000, I went to Avon near, if I recall correctly, Pelican Lake. I recall bringing my Hit-a-bump board and playing some Hit-a-bump (version 6, the best of them all). For the 1998 case, I lack details, but I do recall going to a lake called Square Lake. At Square Lake, featured often in my mind game, I played around in the water, sometimes doing high-speed running jumps and landing on some floatation device which easily skipped across the lake about 15 to 20 feet. There was a log (supposedly as a toy) where some would often try getting onto and a dock where I couldn't get out to because the water was too deep (estimates show at least 9 feet by that point, doing a few math equations). Triangle YMCA camp

During 1997 and 1998 for 5 days, I went to the Triangle YMCA camp and did many fun activities (except cleaning up trash and stuff like that). Section 1 above covers this in extreme detail. Touring North Dakota

During the summers of 1999 and 2000, I went to various places in North Dakota. I had an extreme interest in it. Section 2 above explains this part in extreme detail. The last vacation

It was during July or August of 2000 that I went on my last vacation, the very last trip to Minnesota. Since then, I haven't been on vacation at all. There have been a few signs that one might be coming up soon, but they quickly faded away. Just a few trips, but nothing more

On June 20, 2005, I took a trip into Canada making it the very furthest north I've ever been. It was to mainly go to a dentist, look around briefly, then return home, all within less than ten hours. Then, on May 20, 2006, I took a trip to Wishek, ND to pick something up, but this was merely a drive-there, drive-back case without any looking around. In both of these trips, I took several photos (and even posted them on my website). Trips to Rice Lake as from the Dakota Cruisers (a classic car club), and Nelson Carlson lake are about the only other things I've done recently. The future

At the moment, I don't see any vacations happening anytime soon and it may even go on to 7 years without one. The main hope/chance I have is from my game development. When my 2D game gets released, it'll only take 100 sales to be able to go to California and about 300 sales to be able to go to Hawaii in a worthy way (calculated estimates, taking taxes into consideration as well (assuming 30% income tax - I don't know the actual value)) or something and to me, that's not much.

Although it's tricky to envision the future, I do think that by 2007, I'll be able to travel more and go on vacations again.

6.1.4 Records and other things

The furthest north I've ever been is the northern edges of Brandon in Manitoba, in Canada. The furthest east I've been from where I can recall anything, is around Minneapolis, Minnesota, also the furthest south I've been (from where I can recall anything). The furthest west I've been is Williston, ND. During the trip to Wishek, ND, I came only 25 miles short of the South Dakota border.

The only forms of transportation I've ever used are the typical family car, and the basic train. There are no high-speed trains anywhere near me. I've never been in an airline (but I have been in an airplane, just the small, two-seat ones), or a public bus. I have been in a taxi, but only as a way to get back home from school while I was in middle school. I don't recall being in a limosine (sp.?), however. Since I've never really seen the ocean or any huge body of water (unless you consider a river), I've never been in a cruiseship. The closest I've been to a cruiseship was on a ferry-like thing where I just stood on the deck watching the background whizzing by at a tiny 4 or 5 mph.

Based on physically being there and seeing it myself, these are the types of landscapes and environments that I have and haven't seen. I've otherwise never seen any large body of water (if rivers are not included). I've never seen the mountains (high hills going only about 250 feet feet up or down from the surrounding land is the closest I've been to it), and I've never seen the desert (large sandy beaches are the closest I've been, and the badlands area in southwestern North Dakota are the closest I've been). I have, however, been in a small forest, but not a jungle. I've never seen a swamp nor been on an island (although I have seen islands, they were tiny ones in the middle of small lakes and small rivers, but I've never been on one).

6.1.5 My greatest wishes

I have several places on my list that I would otherwise like to visit someday. The two highest on my list are Hawaii and the Bahamas, two that I've found an interest in ever since my "evil" "teacher" went twice. I always have wanted to go since, but have never been able to. Next lower on my list is somewhere in the mountains, and maybe Jamaica or the UK. Beyond here, I haven't gained much interest, but pretty much any place, except Antarctica and beyond the Arctic circle, easily gains interest, unless some war or battle is going on, of which would just delay it instead.

6.2 Trip into Canada

6.2.1 General

Before Jun 20, 2005, I was never any more than 50 feet into Canada (see section above for details). On Jun 20, 2005, however, I went nearly 60 miles into Canada just shy of the 50N latitude line (when I mean short, I mean just 6 miles short (10 kilometers)). From in school textbooks, I've learned that measurements outside the US were in metric. I've always seen it as miles, feet, and miles per hour, and never truly believed the textbooks. When I went into Canada that day, however, I saw that everything was in metrics. Distances to a bridge nearby were measured in meters. Speeds were marked as kilometers per hour and larger distances were measured in kilometers. The textbooks, afterall, were correct on this, but that's just one country - there's over 100 others where this could also be true (or false).

6.2.2 The reason for going

There was only one real reason for going. My mom set up a dentist appointment there and she wanted to go there because not only was it cheaper, but, from what I've heard from my mother, the dentists in my area kept making mistakes. This was about the only reason for going.

6.2.3 Detailed events

Because I brought paper and pencil with me, I wrote down everything that occurred and at what time they occurred. I even have a fairly large group of pictures taken with captions. I've posted this as part of my blog on Jun 20, 2005 and you can see it here (link opens a new window).

6.3 Trip to Wishek

6.3.1 General

11 months after the trip into Canada, I went on another similar trip to Wishek, ND. At the time the trip took place, I was otherwise going to be halfway into my sleep. Due to my extreme interest in travel and it's extreme rarity put together, I actually stayed up much longer than my usual 16 hours just to be able to go. In fact, by the time I got home, I was awake for 30 hours! I took many photos along the way, the bulk of which are scenery photos.

6.3.2 Why I went

Because my dad was trying to get something from the area and he wanted me to go (and I wanted to go due to my very high interest in travel), I went on the trip. I also took paper and pencil along to take notes and keep a detailed log.

6.3.3 Detailed events

Because I took paper and pencil along with me to take notes and keep a detailed down-to-the-minute log, and that I took the digital camera along to get decent photos, I have tons of details about it. For the full details, including the photos I took, see my travel log and photo gallery here.
4.1 About me home - General overview and background
4.1-1 What this is
4.1-2 My current life
4.1-3 The future
4.2 Dream journal - My dreams I get while sleeping - contains over 500 dreams and grows rapidly
4.2-1 Introduction
4.2-2 Special notes
4.2-3 Dream stat descriptions
4.2-4 Dream statistics
4.2-5 The categories
4.3 Favorites - What I like and dislike most
4.4 Imaginary friends - Learn what my imaginary friends were like and their special abilities
4.4-1 History
4.4-2 In depth descriptions
4.4-3 The future
4.5 Video games - My history with video games and the many bad things they caused
4.5-1 The beginning
4.5-2 Too much video game playing
4.5-3 Making my own games
4.5-4 The future
4.6 School - Learn what school was like for me, how the classes went, and other events related to school
4.6-1 Elementary school
4.6-2 Middle school
4.6-3 High school
4.6-4 Filling my need for education
4.6-5 My education future
4.7 Special events - Learn about how YMCA camp, tours, and other special events went for me
4.7-1 Triangle YMCA camp
4.7-2 Touring my home state with my friend
4.7-3 Shakespearian play
4.7-4 The state fair
4.7-5 The antique car club
4.7-6 Trip into Canada
4.8 Math skills - I can work wonders with numbers and perform calculations in my head at a blazing fast speed
4.8-1 Well beyond most everyone else
4.8-2 I became unforunate
4.8-3 Super fast mental math
4.8-4 If object gets numbers, I get a formula
4.8-5 The future
4.9 Special abilities - The special capabilities I have outside mathematics
4.9-1 General
4.9-2 Hypercount
4.9-3 High-speed, high-accuracy mental math
4.9-4 High-res vision
4.10 Developed systems - Status System, Spell System and other systems I've developed
4.10-1 My Status System
4.10-2 My Spell System
4.10-3 Color system
4.11 Stories - The birth of my story-writing efforts
4.11-1 The "Wonderful Adventure" days
4.11-2 The "Rise of Atlantis" days
4.11-3 One other story
4.11-4 No more story writing
4.11-5 My sources of ideas
4.11-6 The future (general)
4.12 Online activities - The history of my website and the usage of online forums
4.12-1 Online forums
4.12-2 My website
4.13 Music - My history with music - learn the origins to why I listen to songs at different speeds for thousands of loops at a time
4.13-1 History
4.13-2 The present
4.13-3 The future
4.13-4 Music FAQs
4.14 Major fears - My list of fears, problems, and obsessions, both past and present
4.14-1 Introduction
4.14-2 Current fears
4.14-3 Old fears that have been overcome
4.14-4 Current problems
4.14-5 Old problems that have been overcome
4.14-6 Current obsessions
4.14-7 Old obsessions
4.15 Major issues - Major issues I have in my life at the moment
4.15-1 Fears, problems, and obsessions
4.15-2 Sleep-wake cycle
4.15-3 No transportation
4.15-4 Showers are rare
4.15-5 My annoying nose
4.15-6 Limited choice of foods
4.15-7 Getting a job
4.16 TV and movies - How I am with watching TV and movies, both past and present
4.16-1 History
4.16-2 The present
4.16-3 The future
4.16-4 FAQ
4.17 Food and drink - My history with food and drink, including past meals I made, as well as the present and future
4.17-1 History
4.17-2 The present
4.17-3 The future
4.18 Travel and vacations - Past vacations and travel, as well as the current case of 6+ years without a vacation, including places of interest
4.18-1 History
4.18-2 The present
4.18-3 The future
4.18-4 FAQ
4.19 My senses - Things involving my 5 main senses - strong, high-res vision, but very weak smell to name some
4.19- [document yet to be created]
4.20 Doctors and meds - My past involving doctor visits and meds to fixing my issues as well as the present
4.20- [document yet to be created]
4.21 Hobbies - My hobbies, including things I was involved with in the past not in any other category
4.21-1 History
4.21-2 Computer
4.21-3 Sports
4.21-4 Collecting
4.21-5 Television
4.21-6 The present
4.21-7 The future
4.22 Game design - My history of game design as well as the present and possible future
4.22-1 History
4.22-2 The present
4.22-3 The future
4.23 Noncomputer games - Backgrounds on various noncomputer games, such as throwing cards to play Hit-a-bump and other things, including past games not listed on my website, as well as general evolvements and what caused me to create them.
4.23- [document yet to be created]
4.24 Other memorable events - General events I recall unusually well, but not anything special
4.24- [document yet to be created]
4.25 Other things - Dates, marriage, having kids, friends, religion, holidays, and various other things
4.25- [document yet to be created]
4.26 Myself in the year 2050 - How I envision myself and a day in the year 2050
4.26- [document yet to be created]
4.27 My greatest wishes - Activities I would love to do