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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
May 30, 2018     Walsh County Press
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May 30, 2018

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THE WALSH COUNTY PRESS WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018 Pa e 9 By Kevin Skavhaug Metaphors were a great idea. On the edge of the small cowboy town of Alexander, North Dakota there is (was?) a watering hole known as the "Hard Ride Saloon," or maybe it was actually called the "Long Hard Ride Sa- loon." At least it was there in 1990. I don't know if it still exists or if it still goes by that name but I happened across this place those 28 years ago with a couple friends. I thought to myself then, "This is the most perfect name for a western saloon that I've ever heard". I was one of three on a Paddle fishing expedition on the upper lengths of the Mis- souri River and one night af- ter fishing we stopped in to sooth our souls, so to speak. More soothing of sore mus- cles from casting gigantic hooks into the Mighty Mo all day but for either of those two reasons, soothing was a good move. Never having been in an. authentic cowboy establish- ment before, well, except for that one time in Nimrod, Minnesota, Where by the way, there is an actual bullet hole in the wall from an angry hus- band who one night went a looking for the man who without his permission, got too friendly his wife, or maybe it was his daughter, or so the story goes. But that is a story from Softball tourna- ments long ago and doesn't really fit it with the cowboy theme we're in the middle of right now. In any case, the "Long Hard Ride Saloon" was everything I had hoped it would be. It was dark, with wooden floors that creaked of Cowboy boots and spurs worn by cowboys of then and now. It came complete with three or four regular Ford F250 cowboys that did- n't pay much attention to us strangers as we saddled up to the long bar wrangled by a stoic, handle barred bar keep. They had long neck bottles with tops only hardened cow-. boys could twist off and on. the floor was floor sweep, or maybe just dirt, but it added to the authenticity in either case. A fight broke out not long after we were there. Not a real fight mind you, rather a chal- lenge from one of my com- rades to the other to an arm wrestling match. I didn't fac- tor into that mix being not the arm wrestling type and be- sides, my focus was on the Jackalope and Mule Deer mounts decorating the wain- scoted walls and the swinging gates that more stragglers like us would swing open every so often. Yep, the Long Hard Ride Saloon should be on the National Registrar of historic places. It is to me any- way. So to my point. One day earlier that year, or maybe the year before, a man by the name of Henry Kelly invited me into his world of Cont page I 0 Left: Aggies Beat]ice Kielland and Hazen's Grace run side by side, stdde for sldde in the 200 meter dash. The two have had a spirited batlle on the track lhe last couple of years with Grace always just edging out Beatrice in the 100 and 200. The two linished 1 and 2 in the 100 and 200 at the Slate Meet in Bismarck with Beatrice tmJling in both by the slightest of mar- gins. Beatrice did anchor the 4x100 defeating Hazen and setling a new state record in lhe process. Right: Aggies Baina Swarlz dominated the 300 hurdles at North Dakota State Track Meet finishing tirst in 43.50 to the second place 8me of 45.99. Elaina also tinished third in the 100 hurdles. The Aggies team tinished the state meet in third place. T op DVE Ttans Ta Reilly finished ird.in the high jump with a 5-1 effort Taylor also tinished filth in the pole vault. Top Right: DVE Tmns Connor ama linished fourth at the Slate Meet a mrow of 171-5. Middle Lett: Gralton ooilers Cadee" Sleben leads the on her leg of the 800 relay at the State Meet. Bottom Left: Midway/IVlinto Mustanp. Page Goodwill takes a cup ot r to c 1 .clown Water was given to runners and a mist from a hose was showered over the runners at a certain section of the track in the mile and two-mile races. Temperatures were well tnto lhe uus in Bismarck for the North Dakota State Track Meet. Bottom Right DraytonNalley-Edinburg Anders Rose linished fourth at Slate in the pole vault with a vault of 12-0. .t