North Dakota! What comes to mind when you see that name? Flat prairies, bleak open spaces? How about tangent track for miles, no curves, no scenery, no trees? Weather in ND: bitterly cold temperatures, gale-force winds? All of the above! What if I also told you great curves, scenic valleys, trees, rocks and trestles also are available, if you know where to look? North Dakota is a state of extreme opposites. Cold and hot, flat and rolling, colorful and bleak. So now that I got your curiosity piqued, here's a teaser from a weekend chase. A CP ribbon rail train, led by a veteran pair of SD40-2s lead welded rail racks west from Minot on the CP Portal Sub at MP 499, clearly in the middle of nowhere.