Well we are heading east…as I write this journal we are sitting in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Dickinson, North Dakota. We started out a week ago from Coeur d’Alene. So far, the weather has been sunny skies with a little wind while we’re on the road driving,
but we have had a couple of nights when rain has fallen and thunder and lightning have given us a loud and bright show. We haven’t seen too much of the flooding that has hit the news but a three nights ago we were parked in a campground in Medora, ND and they had just started to allow campers back into the park. The flood waters did some pretty good damage to the infrastructure of the campground and left behind a lot of very fine silt that we all had to park on top of, walk within, and bring back into the coach after we stepped out…we only spent one night there !!! Fuel prices are a big facture for us on this trip. We have our favorite web site that gives us up to date diesel prices that we’ll be able to use as we cross the country. Just before leaving Coeur d’Alene we went online and found that our best diesel priced fuel was at a little town about have way to Missoula.
It was priced at $3.45 and that has been by far the best we’ve seen since. It’s been averaging just under $3.90 otherwise. You can’t believe just how green everything is. In areas that we’ve journeyed across before we found everything brown and very dry but this has been some year for the long wet Spring. We had overnight stays in Missoula, Butte, Sheridan, Rapid City, Medora, and two nights at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park located just outside of Medora. This park is North Dakota’s “Bad Lands”.
God did another great job of creating a spectacular landscape and a place for all of us to enjoy such beauty. He even threw in some bison (“Buffalo”), prairie dogs (they have “villages” throughout the park),
wild horses, mule deer, elk, pronghorn and numerous birds.
Somebody told me that they don’t have bears in North or South Dakota but I swear I found a bear track in the wet sand as I walked along the river bank…if it wasn’t bear I sure wish someone would tell me what it was. Cottonwood (bet you can’t guess how it got its name…) campground in the national park was very nice but with a small caveat…spaces were just a little small for our motor home to jockey around in. Our first mission after getting parked was to drive and hike (about 1 mile of hills) the 36 mile round trip through the park to see the amazing hills, valleys, and animals that make their home there. We also took a tour of Theodore Roosevelt's "Maltese Cross Cabin. This young man (Theodore Roosevelt) first arrived in 1883 to hunt buffalo. Unfortunately by the time he arrived most of the buffalo were already wiped from the face of this earth. Unfased, he decided that this was a place that he wanted to return as time allowed, so he built this three room cabin called "The Maltese Cross".
The main room still has his personal desk and rocking chair.
One of the first animal groups we saw where a herd of “wild horses”. I found it amazing that the “stallion” set himself aside from the rest of the herd and watched over the distant hills and canyons as a guard.
I stopped the car many times for some great still photo op’s of the hills and sand sculptures.