Salem Sue - the world's largest Holstein cow was the first. Then came the world's largest sandhill crane, the world's largest buffalo and the world's largest structure, a radio tower. To think we thought Texas had the claim to a lot of big things!
We didn't take any photos of any of those things, but we did take a couple of the scenic areas along the drive. These colorful mountains were in the western part of the state along IH 94.
We also visited the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Museum north of Cooperstown. The North Dakota Historical Society has gained the facility, preserved it as used and now provides tours. Hundreds of these facilities dotted the landscape during the Cold War period, but were shut down during the Reagan years as part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. It was perfect timing for Cory, he is working on the cold war period in history and these sites are a perfect application. Wouldn't you know we forgot the camera.
Linda and I both had memories of the cold war period. There were duck and cover drills and Civil Defense supplies in the closet of the school. Boris and Natasha battled Rocky and Bullwinkle. We could relate these things to Cory for color and perspective, but nothing we could tell him could bring this period of history into focus like these missile sites.
We stood in a hardened concrete bunker 60 feet under a corn field and listened to the guide tell us about the orders and target information coming in from command. The order and target data would be coordinated with another control center and then two officers would each take a key to control units on either side of the bunker. Each officer must insert and turn his key within a second of each other to order to order the launch of their ten missiles buried under various corn fields scattered over the area. There were 16 other command bunkers around rural North Dakota. There were many more missiles of this and other types in other states in the midwest and far west. Bombers in bases all over the world and submarines that could be anywhere.
Discussing the arms race with Cory, we had to explain the idea of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction). In order for the balance to be maintained, both sides needed to be sure that the other side had enough weapons in enough places that a first strike could not destroy them all and enough would survive to destroy the other side. I thank God that He spared us this war that we prepared for.