The Phoenix Nest

Grahams Island State Park, in Devils Lake

Grahams Island State Park, in Devils Lake

A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

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Abstract

I spent three days at Devils Lake, North Dakota. I had no particular place to go in the area; it was just a place to stop and rest on the way. But it was a beautiful lake, a fisherman's lake with far more boats lined up at the pier than there were RVs in the park that September week. Today's tale is a back-story, some ideas about the roles that 'objects' play in our thinking.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2017_0912
Title Grahams Island State Park, in Devils Lake
Subtitle A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Devils Lake, North Dakota, Grahams Island State Park
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2017
Status Published: 2018/2/19
Last Revised 2018-02-19

Devils Lake, North Dakota

Arrived 2017/9/12
Day of Tour 52
Nights Stayed 3
Departed 2017/9/15
Map miles from last stop 234
Mileage on arrival 22,310
Actual miles from last stop 518
Accumulated miles for trip 5,405

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I spent three days at Devils Lake, South Dakota. I had no particular place to go in the area; it was just a place to stop and rest on the way. But it was a beautiful lake, a fisherman's lake with far more boats lined up at the pier than there were RVs in the park that September week. Today's tale is a back-story, some ideas about the roles that 'objects' play in our thinking.

The trip provided me with a serious lesson in towing my trailer. Every road-worthy trailer has a brake-release cable that will engage the trailer's own braking system if it becomes detached from the towing vehicle. That's so the trailer will stop where it is instead of careening on down the highway. For some reason, the brake-release cable on my trailer got stretched too much, as I was leaving my site at Bird's Hill Campground in Winnepeg. The trailer did as it was supposed to do: it stopped, bringing my truck to a stop with a lurch. The trailer became disconnected from the truck. I was able to reconnect, but in the process, an adapter used by the hitch assembly in my truck slipped out of the way, and when I reconnected it was not where it belonged. And there I made a mistake.

I was out in the middle of the lane into the camping circle, and it would take half-an-hour to jack up the trailer and reconnect properly. So I decided to tow without the adapter. Big mistake.

I have a short-bed truck. With an ordinary hitch, in a turn the trailer can swing around and contact the cab of the truck, with possible damage. My hitch is designed to prevent that by letting the trailer move forward and back in the hitch in turns. When I make a turn the hitch moves back so the corner of the trailer doesn't contact the truck, and when I straighten out, the hitch moves forward, so the weight of the trailer is right over the axle. Without the adapter, it turns out that the trailer moves forward and backward with little control: when I accelerate, the trailer slides back to its fullest extent, and then with a bump tows along. When I brake, the trailer slides forward until its hits the front of the hitch with a severe, scary bump. Twixt Winnepeg and Devils Lake is a long stretch of nothing, with no place to pull over and correct my mistake. So I had to endure the problem for the whole trip. No apparent permanent damage to truck or trailer, but I was wit-frazzled by the end. I did learn what that adapter is for, and to keep it properly in place.

Page Contents

Grahams Island State Park

This campground is large and well-groomed, with many good-sized sites. Some of the turns required to get to those sites were narrower and sharper than I like, but they were manageable. It was mid-September, so most of the campsites were empty. There were more trucks with boat trailers parked near the docks than trucks with camping trailers in the campground.

The park on Grahams Island is well-kept. There are playgrounds for the kids, trails for the hikers, and not only boat ramps but fish-cleaning stations for the fishermen. Everything you might want for a weekend or a week of family vacation. It was quite pleasant as a way-station on my way south.

I would definitely return if my travels took me back to North Dakota.

I happened to arrive on a cloudy September day, so the photos below are inadequate to the sunny summer's glory of the park.

Photo Gallery for Grahams Island State Park

Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Successful day fishing?
Clean your catch here!
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Grahams Island State Park
Address 152 S. Duncan Road
Devils Lake, ND 58301
Home Page https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/
gisp/gisp.html
Phone (701) 766-4015
Associations
  • none
Rate (net US$) $42.50
Pros
  • Large, comfortable camp site
  • Beautiful surrounding
  • Ample support for activities (especially fishing)
Cons
  • None to speak of
Reviews (as of 2018/1/27)
Reviewer Rating Out of
RV Park Reviews 8.6 (Excellent) 10
Good Sam 4 5
Tripadvisor 5 5
Phoenix 9 10
  Site Type pull-through  
  Site Size 9 10
  Ease of Access 8 10
  WiFiPhoenix 8 10

Onward

From Devils Lake I went to Aberdeen, South Dakota, on the way to the Ashfall Fossil Beds in Nebraska.

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