Dagmar Bound


  • Gizmo
    started a blog post Dagmar Bound

    Dagmar Bound

    Dagmar Bound

    Have you ever been to Dagmar, Montana? Yeah, me neither, until today. I had no idea what was in Dagmar because it is one of those towns that the highway engineers totally avoided when it was built many years ago. Dagmar is near the very lightly traveled MT5 in extreme northeastern Montana....somewhere between Reserve and Grenora and several other places you have never been.

    Since "why Dagmar" is the obvious question, I'll explain it this way; why NOT Dagmar? Why not visit a place that nobody else has a reason to visit other the handful of residents who apparently love it there? Is Dagmar America's best kept secret? One of those hidden jewels that other tourists seem to stumble upon with alarming regularity? Maybe they have the world's best or biggest something in Dagmar? I had to find out.

    I gassed The Wing in Grenora (cheaper gas than the bigger, busier towns of Watford City and Williston) and headed toward the Montana line which was just a few miles away to the west. Saskatchewan was close by, too, but I was smart enough to resist temptation and leave my passport home this time. (I wasn't going to fall for the old Saskatchewan is close to Alberta, which has mountains, which lead to Alaska trick. Not yet, anyway.) The brain fart idea I'd had during the sermon at church was coming to fruition. Don't tell Pastor Rob that I had a BF in church, please.

    Soon, there it was... the "Dagmar" sign, with an arrow to turn left. I made the turn, expecting to see the omnipresent grain elevator dominating the skyline in the distance but I saw only more empty Montana big sky and wheat stubble. I reasoned that Dagmar must be a few miles away but that was ok because the road ahead was paved and I had nothing but time. I crested a small hill and saw a grove of trees just ahead. The road curved around a long-abandoned school house and then the entire city of Dagmar, Montana was before me. At least, I thought it must be Dagmar but there was no sign. You know, the "Dagmar, population 8" sign. There was only a 25 mph speed limit sign to indicate that an inhabited area was nearby.

    There were a handful of homes and some were pretty nice. I saw no churches, bars, elevators or much else in my 30 second foray through Dagmar, only a little convenience store that was inconveniently closed on a Sunday afternoon. (I was hungry and would have gladly given them some business.) There was, however, one guy working on a road grader that was parked along the road. When he saw me, this obviously lost biker, he about dislocated a shoulder as he waved in apparent disbelief that anyone would actually go through Dagmar. I briefly considered stopping to talk with the friendly worker but I mostly just wanted to be alone with the bike, the road and the relentless wind.

    There was, however, this sign. Apparently, Dagmar has a long, proud history even though it is a tiny and obscure place. People, white people, anyway, have lived there since the earliest days of the pioneers. When I see a sign that says a place was founded in 1906 it gets my attention. That's 113 years of hearty immigrant families scratching out a living in one of the most remote and some would say inhospitable places in the world.

    Dagmar, Montana is heaven for some people but I'll probably never go back. There is just no reason to. I doubt that Dagmar even has a city council but if they did they could call it The Friendliest Town In America. Imagine the carnage if hordes of idiot tourists descended upon such an idyllic place. No thank you!

    I make mental files of places I've been. The Basket of Deplorables File (thanks Hilary!) is reserved for the lowest of the low. Places like NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. deserve the hottest spot in hell and I never, ever want to visit them again. Next is the Basket of Ignorables where places of no particular distinction reside. Dagmar goes there and that is a good thing, I believe. Now if they had the World's Largest Spitwad, or something, I could have elevated them into the dreaded Gotta-Go-There file.

    • Kenichi
      Kenichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting, after reading your story I googled and it seems like a lonely place to want to hang your hat and call home. Oh well to each their own, maybe they are onto something (grin). Guess your curiosity got the best of you? And you actually saw someone too!

    • Missouri Breaks
      Missouri Breaks commented
      Editing a comment
      I grew up about 148 miles from Dagmar in Glasgow. Made it to Plentywood, but not Dagmar. Thanks for making me homesick.

    • kwthom
      kwthom commented
      Editing a comment
      It's all about perspective...great story!
      Last edited by kwthom; 09-26-2020, 05:51 AM.
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