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Back in Colorado

I’m back in Colorado and I feel like I’ve been transported into the future. That’s because our internet service here in Greeley, while not the best, is way better than what I was dealing with in North Dakota.

Every morning I would get up and try to find my hot spot on the phone, which would take anywhere from 10 minutes to a half-hour.

The service was so slow I would type in a word and it would take five minutes for the word to show up. Then the internet would just stop and I couldn’t get any work done.

At one point my husband drove the RV to the Walmart parking lot in town so I could get some work done. That didn’t work, either. I guess that story about Walmart offering free internet service was fake news.

Luckily my coworkers were able to help me out when I couldn’t get something done.

We were supposed to spend two weeks in North Dakota, but after a week we were ready to get back to Colorado.

Other than putting together a magazine, I did get the RV cleaned out. My husband had been using it as a traveling toolbox, and every cupboard and drawer was filled with tools. Not anymore.

As I mentioned in my last editor’s note, we were inundated. In some of the areas that received 10 inches of rain, roads were washed out, homes were surrounded by water and I’m pretty sure out neighbor had water in his garage. Even though it is dry in western North Dakota, all of what some people call prairie potholes, are full of water. There are many rural homes that are now lake-front property.

Then there is Colorado, where drought conditions have had devastating effects on farms and ranches. The story that starts on Page 6 in this week’s magazine is about drought conditions in southeast Colorado.

I wish we had a pipeline so we could send water from North Dakota to Colorado. Seems to me if we can ship oil in a pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48, we should be able to move water the same way.

In Devils Lake, N.D., where the lake has no outlet, then-Gov. John Hoeven, who is now a U.S. Senator, built a pipeline from the lake to the Red River on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota.

I was working at Agweek magazine, and every week I had to write stories about Devils Lake and the mess it was causing as it continued to grow. People had to move homes, equipment and animals, and the state had to build new roads and highways to replace those that were underwater.

It took forever to get the pipeline built because the Red River flows north into Canada and eventually into Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. The Canadian government was none too happy about the water from Devils Lake coming into their country, so we had to convince them it was safe — which it was.

After the pipeline was built, I was assigned to write the story about the water starting to flow from the lake to the river. I sat at the pipeline with a photographer and reporters from Canada for days waiting for the water to start flowing. When it did it was just a trickle, which was disappointing, especially for the photographer, who didn’t get much of a photo when all was said and done.

But then we got to go to Gimli, Manitoba, on the shores of Lake Winnipeg for a couple days to talk to residents there about the water coming in from Devils Lake. They were having their own flooding issues and weren’t afraid of the extra trickle of water coming in from Devils Lake.

So let’s build a pipeline. Who’s with me? ❖


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