N. Dakota woods a haven for fa­ther, son

Hartford Courant (Sunday) - - Living - By Jae-Ha Kim Tri­bune Con­tent Agency

Josh Duhamel won’t deny that big cities can be glam­orous and fun to ex­plore. But when he isn’t work­ing, his haven is his cabin just out­side of Fargo, N.D.

“It is prob­a­bly my fa­vorite place to re­lax, clear my mind and get my hands dirty,” says the ac­tor, who was born and raised in Minot, N.D. “It’s also a place where I can bring my boy and give him a taste of what my child­hood was like. It’s like I can see my­self in him when he’s run­ning around the woods.”

Best known for his work in films such as “Love, Si­mon” and the “Trans­form­ers” se­ries, Duhamel will next be seen in “The Buddy Games,” which he also di­rected and co-wrote.

An edited ver­sion of our con­ver­sa­tion follows.

Q. You’ve been do­ing a lot of work with North Dakota tourism. What are a few things you would tell peo­ple that you love about your home state?

A. I’m proud of my home state and feel it is one of the best se­crets in the coun­try! Any­body go­ing for the first time should drive across the state. If you’re com­ing from the west, go through Me­dora, for sure. Theodore Roo­sevelt Na­tional Park is ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful. The Bad­lands are amaz­ing. The North Unit of the Park is also awe­some — this is near Watford City and Wil­lis­ton. I would love to bike the Maah Daah Hey Trail some­day. It’s over 100 miles of scenic ad­ven­ture. (North Dakota) is not al­ways win­ter. In fact, the sum­mers here are some of the most beau­ti­ful in the coun­try. I love sum­mer here. There are plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties both inside and out to keep peo­ple ac­tive, ev­ery­thing from great mu­se­ums and film fes­ti­vals to snow­mo­bil­ing and ice­fish­ing.

Q. How have your va­ca­tions changed since trav­el­ing with your son?

A. I wouldn’t say my va­ca­tions have changed too much. I want him to see the world and I’m lucky to have the op­por­tu­nity to travel with him. We’ve been all over the world and it’s only go­ing to get more fun as he gets older and can truly ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­thing that’s out there. We’ve trav­eled to a lot of places, but some­times some of our best mem­o­ries have in­volved a sim­ple day spent play­ing on one of the lakes or driv­ing the back roads (of North Dakota). We al­ways find a fun ad­ven­ture when we’re home in Minot, and he loves see­ing his cousins. I re­ally trea­sure our va­ca­tions to­gether.

Q. Where have you trav­eled to that most re­minded you of home?

A. Go­ing through my fam­ily his­tory this last spring, I went to London and trav­eled around the English coun­try­side, and it re­minded me very much of home — the open roads, the plains that went on for­ever and the beau­ti­ful sun­sets.

Q. What un­tapped des­ti­na­tion should peo­ple know about?

A. While a lot of peo­ple may think of North Dakota for its out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, which are awe­some, there are also many North Dakota cities with fun down­towns. I love all the unique restau­rants, live mu­sic venues and craft brew­eries pop­ping up all over the state. Each com­mu­nity has its own per­son­al­ity. I love when my sched­ule al­lows for a trip to Fargo in the fall months. There’s noth­ing bet­ter than be­ing a part of the foot­ball cul­ture that makes a North Dakota State Univer­sity foot­ball game so unique.

GREGG DEGUIRE/GETTY

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