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Byrd's Nest: Farewell, North Dakota

A little more than two and a half years ago, my wife grew tired of living in Nebraska and asked if we could go someplace new. I jokingly told her that if we were to move anywhere, it would be to North Dakota because it was the only state in better economic shape than Nebraska.

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Klark Byrd

I received a job offer from The Press a few months later and we moved to Dickinson. In our more than two years of living here, Dickinson has grown and changed so much. It’s truly been incredible to witness.

The growth in many western North Dakota cities fueled by the state’s explosive — literally and figuratively speaking — oil boom has truly been a wonder to behold.

But for all of the state’s riches, there’s one thing North Dakota doesn’t have for me — family. And for my little family expecting to welcome a second baby (our first son, Charlie, was born right here in Dickinson at St. Joseph’s Hospital in April 2012), it’s important that we be somewhere close to extended family and have that support.

Next week we will pack our belongings and make the 2,000-mile trek to South Carolina, a short drive to my family lands and family members in North Carolina and just about a work day’s drive to my old high school stomping grounds in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

I’m very excited to see my little sister, who I haven’t seen in person for 14 years, and my mother, who I haven’t seen for six years. I’m even more excited for them to finally meet Charlie.

As with any place, I’ve had good and bad experiences in North Dakota. Overall, the state has been a wonderful place to live and I will surely miss it. As I think back on my time here, I only wish my family had taken a chance to see more than just Killdeer and Bismarck, both of which we visited just once. Perhaps the place I most would’ve liked to visit is Medora. I’ve heard wonderful stories about the town and I saw much of it in the photos The Press’ reporters brought back, but I fear photos don’t do the place justice.

As today marks my last in the office, I will say that it has been amazing to work for Forum Communications Co. and The Dickinson Press. It has also been an honor to serve on the newspaper’s editorial board with Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Dustin Monke, and I’m proud to have served as the newspaper’s news editor.

I can wholeheartedly say that I will look back on my time and experience here fondly, save for the life-threatening drives on Dickinson’s streets.

I wish you all good luck (especially if you’re driving out there) and bid you a fond farewell.

Byrd was the news editor for The Dickinson Press. Email him at or tweet him at klarkbyrd.