The Road To Nowhere

US-83 begins winding its way from the Canadian border at the small United States Port of Entry (8am-9pm daily ) 7 mi (11.3 km) north of Westhope (pop. 408). Westhope, named by an optimistic Great Northern Railway official, is a good example of North Dakota’s small agrarian towns. There are cafés, gas stations, a sparse two-block-long downtown, and that’s about it.

South of Westhope about 6 mi (9.6 km), US-83 zigzags west along Hwy-5 for about 15 mi (24 km) before sharply banking south. The next 37 mi (60 km) to Minot are a straight shot south, passing nothing but a sweeping wildlife refuge and a lonely Domino’s Pizza, all by itself beneath the occasional B-52s thundering overhead to and from Minot Air Force Base. One of the primary bases for the U.S. military’s tactical and strategic nuclear forces, Minot AFB controls hundreds of nuclear-tipped Minuteman III ICBM missiles, which are housed in high-security underground silos that look like high-security parking lots amid the wheat fields all over the northern Great Plains.

Travel Map of the Road to Nowhere through North Dakota

Map of the Road to Nowhere through North Dakota.
Map of the Road to Nowhere through North Dakota.

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