Reader Reply: June 2022

What is North Dakota’s best outdoor activity?

North Dakota’s best outdoor activity is talking with people who are outdoors. I enjoy my outdoor visits with the neighbor, whether they live next door to me or blocks away. And when I am working outside, I love it when those who are out for a walk or are driving around will stop and chat.

Listening to others is interesting and builds rapport. There is something so much more personal about a face-to-face conversation, whether it is in the summer or winter. I also believe it builds community strength. Visitation melts isolation. It becomes obvious that whether it is nice weather or not, we are all in this together.

Sharon St. Aubin
Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative


The State Fair shows pride in North Dakota and the wonderful state it is. It displays our culture through livestock shows, art exhibits and food. Not only that, there is an excellent array of rides, fun concerts, carnival games and vendors. The food vendors are all iconic in North Dakota, and many people look forward to purchasing and devouring the same treats year-after-year.

Some of my favorite fair rides that appear annually are the “Genesis,” the “Super Shot” drop tower and the classic ferris wheel. I also enjoy entering art and writing projects for a chance to win a cash prize. Some iconic food choices of the fair are the cheese curds, the flowering onion and mini donuts.

The atmosphere of the North Dakota State Fair is just so welcoming and fun, and it instantly gives me a boost. It is a place for family, friends and fun.

Joanie McCormack, age 12
Capital Electric Cooperative


To me, North Dakota’s best outdoor activity is hiking. There are many miles of beautiful trails, including those found near Painted Canyon in southwestern North Dakota to the trails in Turtle River State Park in the east-central part of the state. An extremely adventurous person can even blaze their own path in areas such as at the state’s high point, White Butte, near Amidon.

Hiking affords an individual an opportunity to inhale North Dakota’s God-given fresh, invigorating air. Another physical benefit of hiking is exercising, which can range from mild to strenuous, at the participant’s discretion. Socially, a person feels camaraderie with other hikers one encounters, their friendly faces and encouraging remarks bolstering one’s spirits when a person is questioning their own sanity regarding the goal ahead!

Benefits of hiking include chancing upon a wildflower not discovered before, and the anticipation of seeing wildlife. Hiking is just a well-rounded activity in the breathtaking North Dakota outdoors.

Yvonne Sortland-Stegner
Formerly of Slope Electric Cooperative


Play Cro-Shoes! After all, the game was invented by our own Vern Peterson. The world’s largest Cro-Shoes tournaments have been played on BisMan sandbars, and the game often is associated with sipping a few beers – that’s about as North Dakota as you can get. You really could play Cro-Shoes at almost any geographical location, but my travels tell me it’s not a game most play outside of our state, and I doubt you’ll find a Cro-Shoes set in the neighborhood sporting goods stores of California or Florida (or anywhere else).

Gus Mueller
Capital Electric Cooperative


The best outdoor activity in North Dakota is one that can be done any time of the year – walking. Unlike hunting or fishing, walking doesn’t require a weapon, special gear or a license. It can be done in public places, alone or with others, in a park or wildlife refuge, down a dusty prairie trail to enjoy the prairie dwelling birds and wildflowers, or just around a residential block to enjoy some beautifully designed yards. Winter walks are some of the most peaceful, yet invigorating.

The benefits of walking are both physical and mental. Those of us fortunate enough to have that mobility should not take it for granted.

Shelly Ventsch
Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative



JULY: Why do you love your community celebration?

Deadline for submission: June 10

AUGUST: What’s the greatest challenge facing our state today?

Deadline for submission: July 13

We want to hear FROM you: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and name of your electric cooperative. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727.