Trivia Winners and North Dakota Lovers

Another week is rolling in and it’s bringing March with it.

And around here March usually brings with her a little more sunshine to get us excited about the whole spring thing…and then it slams us with just one or two more big snowstorms.That’s why I never have put much faith in the whole Groundhog thing, because depending on the year we’re not out of the snowy woods until June.

It’s a good thing I have concocted such entertaining and utterly impossibly challenging contests to torture you all with to help pass the last leg of winter-style weather.

Anyway, thank you to all who participated and researched the heck out of the seemingly impassable quiz I presented to you. Those six little questions gave you all a run for your money and I’m convinced that those six little questions were indeed written by the devil himself.

So taking the whole devil thing into consideration I regret to inform the masses who took a try at the tricky questions that no one single person came up with all six answers, but your combined efforts did get us there.

But don’t worry friends, there will still be prizes! Yes there will. Because this was impossible and two people got impossibly close (and it seems, may have had all the right answers one way or another, depending on who you ask.) But we’re asking the game here…

The answers (according to the game):

1. GEO Question: What organization in North Dakota has 415 volunteer units?
Answer: Fire Department

2. PLE Question: What happened to the North Dakota Norwegians who decided to march on Washington to protest Norwegian jokes? (Note: My favorite question out of all 5 million)
Answer: They were last heard of a few miles from Seattle (From: North Dakota, A Bicentennial History, Wilkins and Wilkins 1977–* thanks for citing where you got the answer devil game, but like you could make stuff like this up…)

3. GVO Question: When were fishing seasons first established in North Dakota?
Answer: Pre-statehood, 1883

4. F&F Question: What are the three fossil fuels found in North Dakota?
Answer: Coal, oil and natural gas

5. T&C Question: What is a “Cow Catcher?”
Answer: The front low bumper-like part of an old train

6. I&A  Question: In what year was ranching introduced into the western part of North Dakota?
Answer: 1878

Here I am going to admit that questions 3 and 6 were troublesome, even for me, who had the answers. It seems I can’t remember a date to save my life, but am confident enough to say a date is correct if you are “close enough.” Anyway, that resulted in me confusing the winners listed below by telling them they only had one answer wrong, when they actually had two.

If you knew me and my relationship with math this might make more sense. If you also knew about my eagerness to please and how irrationally excited I get about prizes and awards and making people happy, you would also understand how someone like me could jump the gun.

I would never win this game.

That being said I now vow to never ask questions that need to be answered in the form of a date or a number again.


Either way, congratulations Melanie and Samantha for taking this challenge and running with it. You have tied for the prize which means you are both winners!

Can I get a “woot, woot” and a happy dance from ya now?

I have listed the winners’ answers below to show you all how much effort they put in to cracking this challenge and to illustrate that in this game it seems there might be more than one correct answer, depending on the source.

And isn’t that how it goes in small town North Dakota? News travels from neighbor to neighbor, each with their own version of the truth…

Melanie’s Answers
1. ND Public Health Emergency Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps
2. Last we heard they were half way to Seattle…
3. 1896
4. Oil, Natural Gas, Coal
5. a device attached to the front of a train
6. 1878

Sam’s Answers (painstakingly thought out, researched and referenced…she must be a graduate student)
1. North Dakota Volunteer Fire Departments (theorized through multiple sources providing various hints that all added up to one (hopefully) lucky guess)

2. “When last heard from, they were more than halfway to Seattle.” (as reported in The Youngstown Vindicator, November 26, 1981). Retrieved from:,3756080&dq=north+dakota+norwegians+march+on+washington&hl=en.

3. May 16, 1952 (as reported in The Billings County Pioneer, May 29, 1952) Retrieved from:,796096&dq=north+dakota+fishing+season&hl=en.

4. Coal, crude oil, and natural gas. Retrieved from:

5. A cow catcher is typically a shallow, V-shaped wedge, designed to deflect objects from the track at a fairly high speed without disrupting the smooth movement of the train. The shape of the cow catcher serves to lift any object on the track and push it to the side, out of the way of the locomotive behind it. The first cow catcher models were constructed of a series of metal bars on a frame, but sheet metal and cast steel models became more popular, as they work more smoothly. Retrieved from:

6. In the spring of 1884 by William D. and George T. Reynolds. Retrieved from:

*Melanie and Sam will be receiving an 8×10 framed print of one of my photographs. If you have fallen in love with any of my photographs and would like to display them in your home or give them as gifts, all of my photos featured on this site are for sale. Just send me an email at and we can talk sizes and prices.

Thanks for playing everyone. And here is where I make my promise for more fun and games and prizes in the future!

I know you’re as excited as I am.

Also, while I have you here and thinking about North Dakota, I would like to thank Jeremy Bold and the folks at The Blank Rectangle for the beautiful work they are doing to promote, think about and engage with our great state. Jeremy and his crew are planning a hike across North Dakota this summer and are using their creative energy to think about what makes their home-state unique and what ties its people so firmly to their roots.

In addition, Jeremy is a poet and is using my photos as inspiration for a weekly “Nodaiku” feature (North Dakota haiku…get it?) on his blog.

Check out Jeremy’s Nodaiku project here and then browse around the site to learn more about the project.

Because to know where you came from, to love it and to trust it, grounds you solid in your roots and gives you the confidence to fly.

And so I am glad to have found others who believe the same thing, whether or not we can correctly answer any impossible trivia questions it…