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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Jennifer Cook

Sunflowers & Enchanted Highways

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

One of my favorite things about visiting new destinations are the surprises you discover along the way. On our way back home from a visit to Fargo, North Dakota David surprised me with a side trip to the visit the Enchanted Highway.

The Enchanted Highway can be found along a 32-mile two-lane highway that runs south from I-94 to the town of Regent in the southwestern part of North Dakota. It is a collection of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures built by local artist, Gary Greff. He began building his project in 1989 and has maintained the sculptures using his own money and donations for upkeep since that time. (He did get a little help from the state of North Dakota via a grant in 2019-2020) According to the a Wikipedia article, Greff's intention was to revive his hometown of Regent, after decades of population and economic decline.

David and I really enjoyed visiting each sculpture. They are all unique and interesting to see. I have included photos of each one and listed them according to the date they were built. (If you visit them in person, you will note they are in a different order than seen below):


  • The Tin Family (1991)


  • Teddy Rides Again (1993)


  • Pheasants on the Prairie (1996)


  • Grasshoppers in the Field (1999)


  • Geese in Flight (2001)


  • Deer Crossing (2002)


  • Fisherman's Dream (2006)


  • Spider Webs (In progress)

After visiting all the sculptures we made our way into the small town of Regent. There is a gift shop and also The Enchanted Castle Hotel that you can also visit!

Needless to say, it's worth a trip to go see these sculptures. We sure enjoyed them


While we were meandering along the enchanted highway, we kept noticing field after field of Sunflowers. Being of a curious nature, I googled 'North Dakota Sunflowers' and was delighted to learn that North Dakota is the top producer of sunflowers in the country. Digging further I discovered that Ukrainian immigrants first began planting sunflowers when they moved to North Dakota in the late 19th and early 20th centuries following the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862. Lastly, I learned that besides being a beautiful flower with edible seeds, sunflowers also attract pest-patrolling birds and bees and even help detox contaminated soil!


***I will add that learning about the sunflowers on this trip was extra special to me because these flowers hold a special place in my heart. I cannot see a sunflower without thinking of my "sis" and best friend, Melissa, who passed away tragically a few weeks after we took this trip. She would have loved the enchanted highway, but would have adored seeing the fields of sunflowers. I miss her every single day and this post is dedicated to her. ***


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