27 June 2011 We thought we would spend a few more days at the TR National Park but because we have wheels and know that we’ve got to keep some type of schedule towards the east coast, we moved on. Now after having said that, we didn’t get too far. We only moved 30 miles. Originally we pulled into Dickinson so that we could re-stock our refrigerator but then we saw the “Information and Travel Center” and found ourselves finding interest in seeing some “ART”. First we unhooked the car and headed east on I-94. About 8 miles later we came upon our exit, the “Enchanted Highway”. Sitting high above this intersection sat a sculpture called “Geese In Flight”.
Over the next 30 miles we saw 6 more OVER-SIZED art pieces.
Just to give you an idea as to how large these sculptures are, Geese in Flight stands 110 feet tall and weighs over 75 tons. The largest goose has a 30 foot wing span and is 19 feet long…now these are big !!! All of this was built from used oil well pipe and oil tanks and it’s great to know that junk can be made to look so good alongside the roadways of America. All of these sculptures were made but for one reason...to get travelers to travel too and enjoy his little town of Regent, North Dakota. Ya’ll come now…
_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.