NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) Get ready to find some treasure at this year’s Old Ten Rummage Sale. The annual event is set to take place on Saturday, June 3rd from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (local time.)
The sale is a chance for travelers to support local towns that aren’t always highlighted, while also taking in the view along the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway. Studio 701 hit the road early to beat the rummage sale crowd and got an exclusive tour along the byway with Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway president Bennett Kubischta.
“You’re immersed in the land, you’re right there with the buttes and the creeks. It’s a great place to slow down, talk to the cows and enjoy the scenery,” said Kubischta.
While also experiencing a snapshot of history.
“You’re going to be on a road that has mid-20th century design features,” Kubischta adds.
The establishment of the Old Red Old Ten route was an initiative led by the American Automobile Association. Their goal was to provide people with another way to travel.
Bennett says it was the efforts of Anton Westgard that quite literally paved the way in all directions.
“Westgard completes this route, and he had a driver and Westgard took notes on where to turn, how far to go. Then the trail was being marked with red and white signs which I believe lead to the name Red Trail,” Kubischta explained.
At one point, the road connected Seattle to New York City, but over time safer and more efficient roads were established. Now only pieces of the Old Ten Byway remain, with one of the best pieces of it stretching between Mandan and Dickinson.
“Our big towns are great but the heart and soul of North Dakota is our little towns, said Kubischata.
Along the tour, stops were made in New Salem for some coffee, we visited Sims Church which According to the North Dakota Tourism Department is North Dakota’s oldest Lutheran church, and also saw some other treasures.
“The owners of this house do not want you to come up there, so view it from a distance,” noted Kubischta.
We finished our trip in Almont, and I quickly learned this was only the beginning of some of North Dakota’s rich highway history.
“Go down to Almont and see Lover’s Cliff, visit the Abbey in Richardton or the Jesus statue in Glen Ullin, that’s up in a hill it’s really impressive and beautiful,” said Kubischta.
The byway lets you experience some great sights while also creating awareness for the smaller towns along the route.
“They’re wonderful little towns, they’re North Dakota at its best. You’re going to find wonderful people, people who are friendly, they’ll be happy to see you come in and help them out a little bit by buying coffee and a treat and stuff there,” noted Kubischta.
Bennett knows a fair amount about transportation in the 701, and what it took to get where it is today.
“I love highways. I’m an old highway guy and l like history, said Kubischta.
He worked for the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for 44 years until he retired in 2014.
“and we had to go around the hillsides so there were a lot of horizontal curves because we didn’t have the machinery to move a lot of Earth, Kubischta explains.
Some like to spend their retirement days laying on a beach, going fishing, or playing golf but Bennett likes to hit the road.
“By about the beginning of World War Two and especially after that, our construction equipment was bigger and it’s pretty much what you see today, pretty much that same type of stuff. And we could cut through the top of the hills like we did on this stretch of road here, and it might be a little difficult to see but on the right just before, you’ll be able to see part of the original road that went around the west side of this butte here.”
“My job at the DOT, I was able to be involved in the historic highway program in developing and telling stories about highways and transportation in North Dakota,” said Kubischta.
And he remains part of the DOT team.
“In retirement, I volunteer at the DOT going through old pictures, bridges, and roads. I’ve been reviewing pictures from the late 1920s to the late 1960s, Kubischta adds.
Even though a lot has changed from then to now, the view along Old Ten remains as beautiful as ever.