July 4 to 10

North Vancouver, British Columbia
Lincoln, Nebraska


The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

DAY 36 - Monday, July 4 - Vancouver, BC


Walt left for work ... the children were home with Anna for the day. Sam and Jo walked over to Anna’s about 8:30 for breakfast - I made a fruit platter (oranges, cantaloup, water melon, grapes and banana) and we had muffins from Viv.
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We eventually got out and went to Lynn Canyon ... went across the suspension bridge and Jo and Sam walked down the trail through the forest ... it is so beautiful. Afterwards we spent some time at the Ecology Center, a very interesting facility. We went back to the house for lunch, and after that Jo, Sam and I went out for a while in their car to test out the brakes, Sam was concerned about his brakes after having had to use them so much yesterday on all the steep downgrades from Lillooet.
8,712.7 Leaving to drive to Canadian Tire where Jo was able to get the plastic wrap dispenser she wanted for Wisconsin, also extra refill.
After this we went for a drive to Deep Cove via Mount Seymour Parkway because I wanted to show Sam and Jo where Stu’s and Holly’s wedding took place, also an idea of where they used to live and where they are now. We returned via Dollarton Highway
8,730.3 Estimated mileage when we returned to Anna’s, again parking the car in the garage.
Jo and Sam, Anna and the children and I all walked to Lonsdale ... went past some of the old buildings and the new pier, looked at the development plans for the area and at some of the model apartments.
Then we went to the Quay,
... walked out by the fountain, up to the 3rd floor and to the waterfront before heading home. The hydrangeas were the best I had seen in a long while.
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We had supper at Anna’s - BBQ chicken, potatoes, cole slaw and tomato wedges. It was a late supper so Jo and Sam did not stay long after eating.
My back was giving me trouble and I had pain in my left side so went to bed early with a heating pad. I was thinking that my problem was the result of the fall I had at Brandywine Provincial Park a couple of days earlier!
Rose didn’t want to go to bed or to sleep and finished up lying in bed with me in Walt’s and Anna’s bed. I was telling her all about my trip to Alaska and Anna had to reprimand us saying, “It’s time you girls went to sleep!” Eventually Rose fell asleep, but I did not have a good night. My back hurt so much and I slept fitfully.

The day’s total - 17.6 miles
Trip Total - 8,858.3 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 37 - Tuesday, July 5 - Vancouver, BC


8,730.3 The car stayed in the garage all day! Unfortunately the weather was not particularly kind to us and we did quite a bit of dodging through showers!
Jo and Sam walked over for breakfast - fruit platter and toast with various jellies - and we all left in time to drop me off at Blondelle’s for my appointment to have my hair cut. In the meantime Anna took Jo and Sam and the children to the Capilano Lake and the salmon hatchery, and picked me up an hour later.
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We then drove across the Lions Gate Bridge to Stanley Park, and, exiting at Prospect Point, drove through the west part of the park. We crossed Burrard Street Bridge over False Creek on our way to Granville Island
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We had our lunch at Granville Island - wonderful soup and focaccia bread. Walking through the market area we came across someone selling morel mushrooms, just a mere $135.00 per pound.
This was certainly the year for morel mushrooms. I introduced Jo and Sam to them by taking some back to them from Springbrook. Then Jo saw an article in a paper about a giant morel found in Illinois. Since leaving on our Alaska trip we met a group of people at our first night and campground in Alaska who were there to pick morels. Next we talked to a lady selling dried morels at the Tanana Valley farmers Market in Fairbanks, and ran into more mushroom pickers at the Gateway Salmon Bake campground in Tok. Unbelievable!
From Granville Island Anna drove back over Burrard Street Bridge, by the old railway Round House, along the Indi course, by the edge of Chinatown, through Gastown past the Steam Clock, near the library via Richard Street to Robson, then over to Georgia Street (which is also BC-99), turning off to complete Stanley Park Drive around 1,000-acre Stanley Park, back to Lions Gate Bridge and home.
For supper Sam and Jo took us all out to supper at Taylor Crossings (the restaurant which I remember as the Avalon. The food was good - great meal, but we all enjoyed the green beans, which I have since tried to reproduce at home!
Back at the apartment the baby sitter arrived and Rose was in bed in no time flat; Anna left for her meeting as she was the leader and Walt very kindly drove Jo, Sam and me across to Stu’s and Holly’s where we had a lovely visit. We enjoyed ice cream and fresh raspberries and blueberries for dessert and had a very pleasant evening before Stu drove Sam and Jo back to their B & B. I was staying at Stu’s and Holly’s..
I had continued experiencing pain in the left side of my back so, whilst Stu was gone, Holly used some oils and gave me a massage, and I used my heat pad which seemed to be some help at first. When Stu came home he looked at my laptop computer.

The day’s total - 0.0 miles
Trip Total - 8,858.3 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 38 - Wednesday, July 6 - Vancouver, BC to Sprague Lake, WA


My back was really bad when I got up this morning - I’d had a dreadful night - so much pain and very little sleep. This morning Stu gave me one of my favorite summer breakfasts, toast with sliced tomatoes.
Stu and I left at 8:30 ... he drove me over to Anna’s for 8:45 ... Jo and Sam were already there. Stu came in and carried my bags straight down to the car. We said goodbye at the 1st floor and Stu left for work ... we went up to Anna’s and Walt’s for Sam and Jo to have breakfast, and to collect the things from the fridge and the rest of my stuff. We pushed the keys under the door as we left.
8,730.3 Estimated mileage when leaving the garage at Anna’s. Then we drove along 1st Street to the B & B for Sam and Jo to pick up their bags.
9:44 Leaving B & B at 542 E 1st Street.
8,731.5 9:46 - 10:13 Save-On-Foods ... C$7.84 ... 72°F.
10:16 - 10:30 Tim Horton’s for tea and coffee ... then we were on our way. I felt that we had a wonderful time during our brief sojourn in Vancouver.
We took the Ironmongers Memorial Bridge across Second Narrows of Burrard Inlet, continued on Canada Route 1 to the Exit-for BC-15 and south to the border.
11:25 - 11:49 Duty Free ... refund of Canadian GST.
8,763.8 11:50 - 12:10 U.S. Customs ... for the first time of all the times I have been coming back through the truck crossing, we were stopped, had to go inside and have car searched ... all because of our lunch meat and last few pieces of beef jerky, both of which were confiscated.
12:11 Finally, on the road and, two minutes later, entered I-5 south to Seattle.
12:18 - 12:21 Pulling into a Rest Area to adjust the cardboard in the back of the car after Customs had moved things around.
12:22 Back on I-5.
It was a beautiful morning in Vancouver, blue sky and the sun shining, but soon after leaving the U.S. inspection station a light rain started.
12:44 Milepost 247 - lots of daisies, St. John’s Wort ... big healthy trees ... Exit-246 is for North Samish Lake ... fireweed.
12:58 Fields of potatoes - flowering (some flowers were pink as well as white).
1:02 Mt. Vernon ... 60°.
1:46 Leaving I-5 for I-405.
1:55 Lots of blue sky again.
1:56 Exit-20 - Leaving I-405 for gas. We are in Kirkland and looking for somewhere to eat as well as get gas.
2:00 - 2:33 Georgio’s Subs.
8,868.5 2:36 - 2:41 GAS - Kirkland, WA - $2.379/gal. - 21.071 gals. - $50.00
2:43 Back on I-405.
2:55 On I-90 ... 73°.
3:02 Just after Issaquah - sign: Mountain to Sea Greenway.
3:12 Spokane 250 miles (no more calculations!)
3:18 Use right shoulder to install chains.
3:31 55° ... (independent alignment and grade).
3:33 The westbound lanes are on the other side of the valley.
3:36 Exit-52 - West Summit ... 54° ... Snoqualmie Pass, elev. 3,022 feet ... it is raining and there are lots of army trucks - whole convoy.
3:40 Is the water ever low! Keechelus Lake, the reservoir to the right of the road ... I have never seen the dam so low ... rain is continuing.
3:50 The countryside is not nearly as green now that we are on the east side of the range.
4:00 The day is clearing ... some blue sky and the sun shining on some of the hills ... grasses are brown.
4:11 Leaving I-90 for the Rest Area - Indian John Hill.
4:11 - 4:25 Rest Area.
4:26 Back on the highway.
4:29 Elk Heights, El. 2,359 feet.
4:31 We are starting to see sagebrush.
4:32 Going down through the valley ... a strong wind is blowing.
4:34 Horse farm.
4:35 Starting to see green fields and irrigated areas.
4:37 Vast area of irrigated land.
4:38 Crossing the Yakima River ... flowing quickly and fairly full.
4:40 Passing Exit-106 for Ellensburg and Wenatchee.
4:44 Passing Exit-109 for Yakima Canyon.
4:45 Passing Exit-110 for Yakima.
4:50 A lot of horses to the left - 50 + ... once away from Ellensburg it doesn’t take long before being in very arid countryside ... lots of sagebrush.
4:57 Lava rock cutting.
4:58 Ryegrass Pass, El. 2,535 feet and starting the descent to the Columbia River.
5:04 Columnar jointing.
5:07 Passing Exit-136 for Gingko Petrified Forest ... starting to cross the Columbia River.
5:09 Over the river and going up the other side parallel with the river.
5:11 Passing Exit-139, the turnoff for Wild Horse Monument.
5:22 Wheat crop to the right ready for reaping ... crop names in fences for 14 miles - potatoes, peppermint, hay, sweet corn, wheat.
5:31 Marsh area ... potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, wheat, corn.
5:36 Wheat crop ready for harvesting ... onions.
5:42 Entering Moses Lake (gas $2.399/gal.).
5:43 Crossing the lake (Moses Lake).
5:44 Crossing another part of the same lake.
5:50 Since Moses Lake we have been driving through irrigated fields - corn, wheat, potatoes.
5:51 - 5:52 Fields of onions - they look as if they may be grown for seed.
5:56 Corn ... It seems to me that a lot more irrigating is being done in this area than when I last drove through here ... hay.
6:03 Leaving I-90 for the rest area.
6:04 - 6:13 Schrag Safety Rest Area.
6:14 Back on I-90 ... some big wheat fields - wheat as far as the eye can see.
6:30 Wheat fields continue - beautiful waves of golden grain ... contouring of the land.
6:33 Ritzville to the left of I-90 ... golden grain to the horizon.
6:37 Sagebrush ... grasslands ... outcropping of volcanic rock ... cows grazing.
6:48 Volcanic outcropping.
6:52 Passing Sprague Lake Rest Area.
6:55 Exit-245 for Sprague and Sprague Lake Resort Camp.
6:59 - 7:03 Stopped for milk.
9,116.8 7:08 Sprague Lake Resort RV and Camping.
A strong wind was blowing as we erected the tent and we had to use our bags to hold things down until the pegs were in.
We had a lovely supper - pasta with goat cheese, spinach and sun dried tomato dressing.
Went to bed by 9:30 and the last time I looked at my watch it was about 9:45 and I was asleep soon after that - I took a pain killer going to bed! I had barely slept last night and had even wondered if I should fly home and not be a burden to Sam and Jo!
Except for needing to stretch my legs and back occasionally, I made it through the day OK and although I helped set up camp and beds, Jo wouldn’t let me do too much lifting and bending.

The day’s total - 386.5 miles
Trip Total - 9,244.8 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 39 - Thursday, July 7 - Sprague Lake, WA to Billings, MT


I slept through the night, got up at 5:30 to go to the bathroom, went back to bed for a little while, but got up and dressed at 6 o’clock. My back is not as bad as yesterday, but still isn’t good. I am sitting in the car until the others are up!
Sprague Lake is a pretty lake in an otherwise arid countryside. The campground is grassy under huge poplar trees with dozens of birds singing and chirping.
6:45 Sam has just emerged from the tent - dressed.
9,116.8 8:20 Leaving Sprague Lake Resort RV and Camping.
The landscape looks a bit like a moonscape with all the outcropping of volcanic rock.
8:24 Entering Sprague.
8:29 Joining into I-90.
8:30 A sandy area, and a group picking up litter were digging their truck out of the sand at the other side of the road.
8:35 A small lake to the left of the road and quite a number of pine trees in the area.
8:49 Lake to the left of the road with houses around the lake between pine trees, field of hay rolls in the background.
8:50 Another lake to the left ... mountains in the distance ahead.
8:51 Passing Exit-270 ... a community to the right ... also rolled hay ... cattle grazing to the left ... there are mountains to the north also ... hawk flying overhead.
8:55 On the outskirts of Spokane.
8:56 Exit-276 for West Spokane ... 66°.
8:58 Entering Spokane.
9:02 Passing all the hospitals to the right - Sacred Heart, Children’s, Eye Clinic, Medical Center, etc.
9:12 Passing Spokane Valley Mall, a big shopping mall to the left.
9:20 Exit-299 - State Line.
9,175.0 9:20 Entering Idaho ... trees and mountains.
9:21 Passing Kacklin Seed Company by Simplot - a big business to the right.
9:31 Leaving I-90 at Exit-12 in Coeur d’Alene ... painted moose.
9,187.3 9:33 - 9:50 GAS - Coeur d’Alene - (Albertson’s - gas, wash windows, soda, pit stop)
$2.179/gal. - 24.321 gals. - $53.00
9:53 Back on I-90.
9:56 Lake to the left of the road.
9:57 Coeur d’Alene Lake to the right ... big marina ... and I actually saw for the first time the world renowned 14th hole, par 3 floating island green, a 15,000 sq. ft. putting surface off the Coeur d'Alene lakeshore reached by Putter Boat shuttle. I’ll have to remember to tell Mary about this!
It is a gorgeous day with the sun shining ... there are lots of homes built near or on the lake ... just a beautiful view ... very lovely area ... lake is a beautiful area and lots of boat houses around the lake ... docks.
10:01 Statue of photographer just before crossing an arm of the lake ... Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway ... it is such a lovely day.
10:03 Exit-22 for the Scenic Byway to Harrison ... swamp ... high water grasses ... deer ... geese.
10:04 Chain-up area. After that the road enters a very narrow valley, the mountainsides covered in mixed conifers including pine.
10:06 Milepost 26 - Rocky cliffs from blasting so the valley is like a canyon.
10:08 Still climbing ... then passing Exit-28 for 4th July Pass.
10:09 4th July Pass, El. 3,069 feet, then descending.
10:11 5% downgrade for 2 miles.
10:13 Milepost 33 - Chain removal area ... the speed limit now 75 mph, trucks 65 mph ... but trucks keep passing us!
There are lots of daisies and buttercups in open areas.
10:16 Seeing some open areas where trees have been cleared for farming in between forested areas.
10:17 A large marsh area both sides of the road - high grasses and water lilies.
10:18 Coeur d’Alene River to the right of the road.
10:20 Bales of hay (traditional size and shape) ... wildflowers, including daisies, and colored grasses in the median.
10:24 Marsh to the right - dead tree stumps and water lilies.
10:26 Enyeart Cedar Products, Kellog to the right ... lots of lumber in plastic wrapped packages.
10:28 Chair lift ... World’s longest gondola ride ... Silver Mountain Ski area.
10:30 A small, swift-flowing stream at the side of the road.
10:31 Exit-54 for Big Creek.
10:33 Mine building to the right - built in alignment with the hill or mountainside.
10:35 Another mine up the mountainside to the right.
10:37 Wallace City Limit - neat town - road on a viaduct above the town ... would be a fun place to explore.
10:39 Back into a canyon.
10:41 Bicycle trail to the left.
10:43 Fountain to the right - probably from an artesian spring.
10:44 Tailings to the left ... lots of mining areas.
10:44 Mullen City Limit.
10:45 A tipple - elevator for mine shaft to the left ... chain up area to the right.
10:46 Logged mountainsides and logging roads.
10:48 Lots of red paintbrush flowering on the embankments ... climbing ... climbing.
9,249.6 10:51 Exit-0 - Lookout Pass, El. 4,680 feet ... entering Montana ... time change - now it is 11:51 - Mountain Daylight Time ... and down, down, down.
11:52 Butte 225 miles.
12:00 Milepost 9 ... speed down to 35 mph where the guard rail is being replaced!
12:02 Crossing St. Regis River.
12:06 Exit-16 for Historic Tree Nursery.
12:07 Eroded cliffs to the left ... exposed yellow rusty soil and rocks. For the most part the road is winding through a narrow valley or canyon.
12:16 A lot of shrubs covered in white flowers - very pretty.
12:17 Road descending steeply ... the river is to the right ... the opposing traffic lanes are sometimes higher on the hillside ... lots of daisies, shrubs with white flowers and the mountains tree covered ... very pretty ... crossed the river which is now on our left.
12:22 Leaving I-90 at Exit-33 for St. Regis.
12:25 - 12:39 Montana Information center.
12:42 Back on I-90.
12:47 Large river to the right ... switches back and forth.
12:48 Wider valley with flat field and baled hay.
12:55 Crossing Clark Fork (the road continues crossing this river many times!!) ... some yellow clover, purple vetch, white clover ... goatsbeard all gone to seed.
12:58 Valley wider ... farming community ... crossing Clark Fork.
1:01 Man ploughing his field to the right.
1:02 - 1:40 Quartz Flat Rest Area - lunch ... a very pleasant rest area and a nice National Forest campground nearby.
1:41 Back on I-90 and crossing Clark Fork.
1:42 Cows grazing to the right and grass being irrigated.
1:43 Wide valley ... hay to the left, some baled and some cut ready for baling ... also some rolled hay.
1:48 Crossing Clark Fork ... pinkish colored bare rock cliffs along the river to the left.
1:52 Crossing Clark Fork ... seems like an awful lot of bridges had to be built!
1:53 - 1:54 Pull off for the place where I got my cottonwood bark (between Mileposts 72 & 73).
1:57 Exit-75 for Alberton ... some nice houses along the river bank.
2:01 Crossing Clark Fork.
2:02 Crossing Clark Fork.
2:05 Exit-85 for Hudson ... lots of homes before this ... the valley is quite wide now and there are many homes and farms.
2:07 Farmer to the right baling hay.
2:08 People swimming and enjoying a small lake to the left.
2:12 The countryside in the valley is gently rolling rather than flat - very wide valley ... hay and ranching.
2:14 Stacks of multi-colored beehives to the right.
2:15 Exit-96 for US-93 South - have been on this route all the way to Wells, NV.
2:23 A peak to the right with some snow on it.
2:24 Passing Exit-105 for Downtown Missoula and US-12 West (have been on this route all the way to its terminus in Aberdeen, WA.
2:25 East Missoula and turning away from the valley and going into the hills.
2:26 Sam suddenly asked, “What are we going to do for dinner tonight?” I wonder what he was thinking about!
2:26 Crossing Clark Fork.
2:28 Crossing Clark Fork.
2:28 Exit-109 for Bonner ... MT-200 to Great Falls (I turned off here on a previous trip and took MT-200 all the way to within 35 miles of the North Dakota border).
2:29 Butte 112 miles ... lots of horses to be seen ... the forest has changed from that in Idaho - sparse vegetation and the trees are smaller.
2:39 Butte 100 miles ... cattle ... big rolls of hay.
2:41 The valley is a bit narrower ... seems to be mostly ranching.
2:43 Runway on a grassy field to the right ... stopped at Parking Area to change drivers.
2:46 Back on the highway.
2:47 Hay cut ready for baling ... yellow clover in the median and on shoulders.
2:49 Alfalfa to the left and irrigation pipes, then baled hay (small bales) ... on the right an old red brick building which looked a bit like an old power station.
2:56 Crossing Clark Fork ... not many trees on the hillsides, but the hills are green with grass ... there is a flat bottom to this valley ... wild mustard flowering ... ranches.
2:59 Passing a rest area.
3:00 Entering a canyon, steep cliffs both sides - red/yellow ... twisted strata.
3:02 A hawk in flight ... valley opened up ... a ridge of vertical rocky points ahead.
3:04 Crossing Clark Fork ... then the start of the rocky ridge ... then open valley again and a little bit of snow on the mountains ahead to the right.
3:08 Exit-153 for Phillipsburg - Anaconda Loop (a route which I took on another occasion) - lots of ranching.
3:12 Valley of rolling countryside has become very wide.
3:13 Big hay stacks to the left ... irrigated alfalfa, then a field with cut hay followed by a field of baled hay ... getting into Big Sky country, but we still have to cross the Continental Divide and Bozeman Pass.
3:15 A large herd of cattle grazing.
3:17 Hills to the right have no or few trees on them, but are green all over.
3:19 Herefords grazing to the left ... river to the right ... horses, ranches, cattle continue.
3:25 Passing Exit-174 for US-12 East to Helena and beyond (another of my old routes, this one all the way to Minneapolis).
3:26 Crossing Little Blackfoot River ... lovely green hills surrounding the valley.
3:28 Butte 48 miles.
3:29 People paddling in the river to the right.
3:30 Equipment for creating haystacks to the left of the river - a wide flat area in the valley and the mountains with snow on them a little closer on the right.
3:32 Red soil showing through green grass on slopes to the right ... a flock of sheep and a couple of horses.
3:34 Passing Exit-184, the first Exit-for Deer Lodge.
3:36 Can just discern the old prison to the right ... flock of sheep to the left.
3:38 Large field with big rolls of hay ... the valley is green throughout - very pleasant, but not that lush green we saw earlier ... the countryside looks lovely ... my knee is starting to play up and I need to stop for a stretch!
3:46 A collection of buildings to the right with a fence around them - looks like a prison!
3:48 Waterfowl Habitat Area to the left ... can see a big chimney back in the hills at Anaconda.
3:49 Wetlands continue on the left,
3:54 Passing Exit-208 for Anaconda and Opportunity ... MT-1. I had forgotten how wide the valley was here when I joined I-90 after doing the loop road through Anaconda ... beyond the valley on both sides the hills and mountains are forested.
3:56 Hay cut ready for baling, both sides ... two-storey log house under construction to the left ... the area through which we are driving is becoming hillier and the greens are not as strong ... junipers scattered on the hillsides, which on both sides of the river have reddish rock outcropping on their summits.
4:03 Exit-219 - Port of Montana Transportation Hub (I-15 south to Idaho falls) ... Butte is nestled in the mountains.
4:07 Whole hillsides cut away to the left - mining to the left and ahead ... three head frames against the skyline to the left before the cut-away mountains.
4:10 Leaving the highway at Exit-127A.
4:11 - 4:20 McDonald’s - pit stop and change drivers.
4:22 Back on I-90 east and I-15 north.
4:23 Passing Exit-129 for I-15 north to Helena.
4:24 Large white statue atop a hill to the left overlooking the city of Butte.

     Our Lady of the Rockies

     "Our Lady of the Rockies", a 90-foot statue sitting atop the Continental Divide is the result of a dream and six years of hard work.

     With the help of generous donations and a wealth of love and faith, countless volunteers completed a seemingly impossible task. On December 29, 1985 "Our Lady" was placed on the East Ridge to overlook Butte, Montana. The base sits at an elevation of 8510 feet above sea level and 3500 feet above the mile high city of Butte. The statue, lighted and visible at night, is a spectacular sight to behold.


4:26 A very rocky hillside to the left - huge boulders.
4:27 Chain up area ... curved trestle railroad bridge to the left high above the road which has started the climb for the Continental Divide.
4:28 Huge boulders to the left of the road, snow poles along the road both sides and rock cliffs to the left.
4:30 Still climbing ... back into forest as well as all the rocks.
4:31 Continental Divide, El. 6,393 feet ... I had forgotten how rocky this area over the divide was ... rock fins.
4:33 Billings 213 miles ... some thin rock fins.
4:34 6% downgrade for 5 miles (1,586 foot vertical drop in 5 miles - 4,807 feet at bottom)
4:37 The rocks stop, also the trees ... now we have grass and sagebrush,- but are still descending.
4:40 Back on a broad expanse of rolling country -alfalfa, ranching, sagebrush.
4:42 Forest products to the left ... lodgepole pine logs ... hay ... irrigation ... horses and cattle ... lots of houses.
4:45 Exit-249 for Whitehall.
4:46 Billings 198 miles ... huge field of rolled hay to the right ... cultivated fields across the other side of the valley are creeping up the hillsides.
4:49 Tobacco Root Mountains to the right - south.
4:52 Crossing Boulder River (I think this is a mistake because the Boulder River goes through Big Timber, which is further east).
4:54 Rough rocky peaks to the left ... the road is climbing again.
4:55 Vertical rock strata to the left ... cows grazing.
4:57 Chain removal area ... masses of lupines in flower ... and the road descending ... hillsides to the right blue with lupines.
4:59 Old wooden abandoned house to the left ... yellow clover and sagebrush.
5:01 Old log house to the right.
5:03 Prosperous looking farming or ranching country ... cluster of beehives out in the middle of nowhere.
5:04 Huge cultivated fields (alfalfa) both sides throughout the area ... also lots of yellow clover ... some green (alfalfa) fields go as far as the eye can see.
5:08 Exit-274 for Lewis and Clark Caverns ... and through Canyon and Fairy Lake to Helena.
5:10 High snowy mountains to the south.
5:11 Crossing Jefferson River, first of the three rivers which form the headwaters of the Missouri River.
5:11 Exit-278 for Three Forks.
5:12 Crossing the Madison River, the second of the three rivers.
5:13 Rock cliffs around the hill to the right.
5:14 Seed Processing Plant on the right.
5:15 Fields of potatoes ... also wheat or oats.
5:16 A lot of rocky outcropping to the left.
5:17 A dozen or so white horses.
5:18 Vibrant green fields ... fine sprinklers in operation ... a very fertile valley surrounded by high mountains.
5:23 swamp to the right.
5:24 Crossing the Gallatin River - river # 3.
5:27 The weather is looking stormy towards the mountains in the south.
5:30 Outskirts of Bozeman ... Belgrade ... billboard for Famous Daves.
5:32 Miles of flat country under cultivation left and right ... surrounded by mountains.
5:34 Sign for Bozeman exits and our road switches over to the westbound lanes and two-way traffic over a bridge, then back to our side - end of roadwork.
5:37 More roadwork as we drive through Bozeman.
5:38 Switching over again - two-way traffic [passing Exit-309 for US-191 south]/
5:41 Some weird rocks sticking out of the mountain ahead ... a truck load of big bales of hay just entered the highway ahead of us ... still two-way traffic! ... The gray rock on the mountainside looks like a rock wall.
5:45 Switching back to our side, but so does the westbound traffic ... we are driving straight into the mountains.
5:48 The gray rock walls are above us to the right and there are a number of fins to be seen ... forest takes over ... houses and green grass to the left.
5:49 Livingston 15 miles, Billings 131 ... Bozeman Pass, El. 5,750 feet.
5:50 Deer up on the hill to the left.
5:51 A lot of lovely looking homes scattered across the landscape ... a long line of mailboxes, also a long line of garbage cans.
5:53 Crossing Absaroka Range, then immediately descending ... lupines in median.
5:56 Some pretty fancy homes, some not so little and some log.
5:57 A rainbow where heavy clouds are hanging over the mountains.
5:59 Snow on mountains forward to the right.
6:00 Livingston next 2 exits ... can see more of the rainbow now.
6:01 Three small black birds chasing a hawk!. It is obvious that there has been rain through here ... mountains in the distance to the north also have snow on them.
6:03 Big snow fence to the right.
6:04 Exit-333 for Livingston ... left the highway.
6:07 Back on I-90 ... decided to continue ... crossed the Yellowstone River ... the sky is pretty black to the southeast.
6:10 To the right three windmills for generating power ... also snow fences.
Now we are following the Yellowstone River valley with mountains to the north and to the south.
6:16 Another windmill on a hill to the right.
6:17 Laurel 90 miles, Billings 104 miles ... green valley and hills ... cattle, hay, irrigation.
6:18 Herd of pronghorns in a field of alfalfa to the right ... hay rolls to the left.
6:20 The valley is closing in ... Milepost 348 - road against hills on right and fairly close to the river on the left ... small flat areas are being cultivated ... also a railway line between I-90 and the river.
6:23 The yuccas on the embankment and hillside are all in bloom.
6:25 High rock cliffs at the right side of the road ... sagebrush and juniper ... truck pulling a line of road signs mounted on wheels - iron centipede.
6:30 A deer running in the grass.
6:33 Sign: “Crazy Mountains” - the high ones to the left with some snow patches.
6:35 Herds of cattle to the left, hay (baled) to the right.
6:37 Cut hay ... baled hay.
6:38 Exit-367 for US-191 North to Harlowton.
6:39 Crazy Mountain Museum to the right, and to the right of the museum a cemetery under the trees. This is at Big Timber.
6:40 Crossing Boulder River.
6:41 Milepost 371.
6:42 Columbus 37 miles, Billings 77 miles ... a lone pronghorn facing the road.
6:43 A herd of cattle.
6:45 Two windmills to the left on the other side of the river ... mule deer to the right.
6:47 Flock of sheep ... the mountains to the north look to be covered with skeleton trees - burn area.
6:48 Prairie Dog State Park to the right ... could see prairie dogs by their burrows.
6:50 More yuccas in flower and passing a very nice rest area ... then rock cliffs and formations among trees to the right, that is the ancient cliffs of the river valley.
6:52 End of cliffs ... fields and big rolls of hay.
6:54 Tractor at work - farmer baling hay. This valley seems to be mostly cattle ranches and hay fields.
6:55 About a dozen horses to the right.
6:56 Milkweed in flower in the median.
6:57 Valley has narrowed and there is not as much farming ... big cottonwood trees.
6:58 Sheep ... valley widening again ... cows.
7:00 Exit-392 ... lumber yard to the left ... burn area on the hills to the right.
7:01 Laurel 42 miles, Billings 56 miles ... burn area continuing ... 3 deer in hay field to the left.
7:03 Pine forest ... Lewis and Clark Trail sign.
7:04 Field of yellow clover and can hardly see the cattle the clover is so high.
7:05 Milepost 309 - crossing Yellowstone River and it has started to rain lightly.
7:07 Driving along the hills on the left - rather rocky and dry looking ... sagebrush and some pine trees ... Billings 47 miles.
7:10 There is still some ranching, but at the moment the countryside looks a little more rugged ... horses ... hay, cut and baled ... we are moving away from the river and into some hills.
7:12 Burn area on the right and all the trees have fallen over - must have been a long time ago.
7:12 Milepost 406 - road has climbed and we have an extensive view.
7:13 6% downgrade.
7:14 Broad farming area as we come back to the valley in Columbus.
7:17 View south to the Beartooth Range - can be seen on the skyline ... we are driving through hills above and to the north of the valley ... the river is below with the fields to the south of it.
7:20 A stone arch underpass under the railway line.
7:21 A collection of beehives.
7:23 More burned trees on the hills to the south ... we are staying in the hills and have rock cliffs below.
7:24 Passing a Rest Area and there are cliffs on the other side of the river.
7:25 Cornfield to the right, the first corn I think we’ve seen.
7:26 Rocky promontories.
7:28 More beehives ... cattle ... corn ... hay ... grain crop.
7:30 Land now much more densely populated or farmed.
7:31 Bulrushes indicating a swampy area.
7:32 Lots of cattle ... horses ... more cattle.
7:34 Reeds ... Russian olives ... milkweed ... hay ... crops.
7:36 Horses and foals.
7:37 Passing Exit-434 for Laurel and Red Lodge.
7:37 Oil refinery on the right.
7:39 Cornfield by the road and behind that large herds of cattle ... rolled hay ... corn ... horses ... Laurel pretty well runs into Billings.
7:47 Billings City Limit.
7:51 Leaving I-90 at Exit-450.
9,699.4 7:53 Arrive at Howard Johnson Express Inn.
8:21 Leaving to go for supper.
8:24 Back on I-90 and going west to Exit-446.
8:27 Leaving the highway at Exit-446, King Street exit ... 84°.
8:36 - 9:49 Olive Garden - soup and salad (always so good) ...($12.60).
9:52 Back on I-90 east.
9,712.5 9:58 Back at Howard Johnson’s ... end of the day.

The day’s total - 595.7 miles
Trip Total - 9,840.5 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 40 - Friday, July 8 - Billings, MT to Medora, ND


9,712.5 7:56 Leave Howard Johnson’s ($63.13) ... I have no idea what we did for breakfast or even if we had any coffee!
We turned west on the freeway to get gas before leaving town.
8:01 Leaving I-90 at Exit-447.
9,716.2 8:04 - 8:16 GAS - Billings, MT - $2.219/gal. - 27.135 gals. - $60.21
Gas had gone up 10¢/gal. since last night at Exit-450.
Roadwork is under way at the intersection where we have to turn so have spent some minutes sitting idling.
8:20 Back on I-90 and going east.
8:22 Passing Exit-450.
8:24 Crossing the Yellowstone River.
8:28 !-90 turns south and we continue east on I-94 ... already the sun is high in the sky and it promises to be a hot day!
8:30 Rocky cliffs and promontories as we proceed along a ridge overlooking the fertile valley of the Yellowstone - wonderful patchwork of greens and browns.
8:34 A lovely green golf course next to and only separated from a sagebrush covered hill by a small meandering stream.
8:35 The hills to the right are grass covered.
8:38 A large feed lot to the left ... it is beautiful looking across the broad valley to the left - homes, farm buildings, hay stacks, fields, silos, cattle.
8:42 Irrigation canal to the right for farming ... horses.
8:46 Horses to the left ... also cattle country. We have gone down into the valley which now is mostly just cattle ... some corn.
8:47 We are much closer to the river, but can only see the river cliffs on the other side. It is wonderful to see everything still looking so green.
8:50 A brief glimpse of the river.
8:51 Pine trees, cottonwood, Russian olive on some of the hills.
8:57 Nice view of the Yellowstone River.
8:58 Irrigation canal and beehives to the right.
9:00 Passing a Rest Area amid pine-clad rocky hills. Some of the hills are flat looking mesas with precipitous rock cliffs before the slanted hillside!
My back is hurting me a lot again this morning.
9:08 Empty coal train going west ... cornfield to the right.
9:10 A river coming in from the right.
9:11 Crossing a pretty full Bighorn River which flows into the Yellowstone.
9:15 Driving through hills with pines ... some badland-type slopes showing up from time to time, the type of country I love!
9:18 A couple of toadstool type rocks sticking up to the right.
9:22 More “toadstools”.
9:26 Huge wheat field to the right.
9:28 Grassy hills and sagebrush hollows ... irrigation canal ... lots of evening primrose flowering.
9:30 Corn to the left is being irrigated.
9:32 Strip farming - golden grain.
9:40 Exit-87 for Colstrip - 36 miles south on MT-39 ... there is a big power plant there and a lot of coal mining.
9:46 Forsyth, El. 2,525 feet ... beautiful courthouse building with a dome ... a loaded coal train.
9:50 Still seeing vast fields of golden wheat both sides of the road - can see for miles.
9:54 Rosebud Creek.
10:02 Leaving the highway for rest area.
10:02 - 10:19 Rosebud Rest Area.
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10:20 Back on I-94 ... currently we seem to be away from the crops ... good ranching country ... purple vetch at roadside ... milkweed ... all the goatsbeard has flowered and gone to seed.
10:26 An eyesore on the other side of the river - what looks to be a large feed lot is out of place in the midst of all the green fields.
10:30 Near Exit-126 - more fields of golden grain (2 pictures).
10:32 Sagebrush covered hills.
10:33 Valley of badlands.
10:34 More badlands.
10:36 Entering Miles City (where I usually stay).
10:40 Crossing Tongue River ... lots of horses in the area of Miles City.
10:43 Exit-141 - US-12 leaves I-90 for its own route on through North and South Dakota to Minneapolis
10:44 More badlands and a lone pronghorn.
10:45 Cattle ... horses ... badlands.
10:45 Flock of sheep.
10:52 A lot of badland type country ... frequent views of the Yellowstone River.
10:54 We are right above the river which is to the left and there are cattle in the coulees to the right.
10:57 Huge cornfield under irrigation to the right.
10:58 Passing Diamond Ring Ranch.
10:59 Several pronghorns in a coulee.
11:05 Beautiful view of badlands ahead and to the left - lovely color.
11:06 Crossing the Powder River.
11:09 Back into an area of crops ... flowering milkweed in the median.
11:11 Exit-176 for Terry (where I left the highway with my sister) - pictures from car.
11:16 A herd of black cattle - look great against green grass.
11:20 Crossing the Yellowstone River (picture from car).
11:25 Exit-192 - Bad Route Road - I wonder what was behind the naming of this road! Vetch flowering in the median ... a strong wind is blowing and we can feel it buffeting the car.
11:28 Black cows and green grass to the left ... lots of vetch flowering to the right and beyond the fence, also in the median ... horses ... black cattle ... it is amazing just how green everything is.
11:30 Red cattle to the right ... big hay rolls. There is a lot of color in the grasses growing all along the way ... most have gone to seed now and are at various stages of ripeness.
11:32 Lovely farms to the right
11:33 Russian olive taken over in the coulees, but the hills become bare as we climb out ... more cattle ... broad expanse of farming between the road and river.
11:35 Oil pumps to the right and collection tanks ... lots of pumps to the left.
11:36 Irrigation channel ... Exit-206 for Pleasant Road - I wonder if the same people came here after naming Bad Route Road! (See 11:25 - Exit-192) ... planted fields in flat areas.
11:38 Irrigation channel following the contour of the land.
11:40 Coming into Glendive ... road from Glendive to Regina, Canada.
11:43 Crossing the Yellowstone River ... although we are leaving the river we are driving through badlands.
11:47 Surrounded by badlands, yet there are rolls of hay ... three horses standing in a small creek ... I’m amazed how green everything is quite apart from the irrigated fields ... cows ... horses ... the red soil is showing through the green making quite a dramatic picture of the countryside ... lots of grass ... a little sagebrush and a few junipers.
11:51 Huge hay field and rows of baled hay rolls.
11:54 Field of yellow clover being cut and rolled for hay.
11:55 Black cattle grazing on green grass.
11:56 Large herd (black) around a water hole to the left.
11:57 A number of dams or water holes in the area.
11:58 Two hawks in flight ... more cattle.
12:02 Crest of a hill and a distant view to the east ... something growing in fields which is a vibrant emerald green ???
12:04 Cattle to the left.
12:06 Exit-241 - leaving I-94 for Wibaux and the rest area.
12:08 - 12:51 Rest Area and Welcome Center ... lunch stop ... we talked to a man with two greyhound dogs, one, Husky, was what we think of as their usual size, the other, Qtip, looked like a puppy but was in fact a three-year old Italian greyhound.
12:53 Back on I-94 ... ranching and hay all the way to the State Line ... hay fields ... planted fields.
9,975.3 12:59 Montana/North Dakota State Line ... farming continues.
1:02 Farming continues ... very strong winds waving the grass giving a rippling motion.
1:03 Emerald/yellow green - very vivid, but I don’t know what it is ... the variety of greens in the fields is amazing.
1:06 Passing “Home On The Range” - name of a large farm or ranch on the left ... yellow field (rape) to the right plus Russian olive and other greens.
1:07 Start of some of the badlands ... everything still very green.
1:09 A big cross on the hill to the right.
1:12 Really into the badlands now.
1:17 - 1:19 Scenic Viewpoint - several pictures.
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1:21 Leaving National Grasslands ... Exit-24 - leaving I-94.
1:22 Crossing Sully’s Creek (?)
1:24 Turning into Medora Foundation Campground.
1:25 - 1:35 Camp Office ... allocated a campsite and picked up the tickets for the Pitchfork Fondue and the Medora Musical.
10,001.4 1:37 Backing into site ... set up tent and beds.
2:25 Leaving to go to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
2:29 Crossing Little Missouri Wild and Scenic River.
2:30 Turning into the National park.
2:35 Crossing I-94 ... we could not drive the full loop in the park as some of the road was closed (probably for repairs) ... we stopped to watch the prairie dogs for a while ... next we saw a bison which we stopped to photograph
... and we saw another one further along before turning off for Buck Hill - climbed the short trail to the summit, El. 2,855 feet ... this point afforded a wonderful view north over the park.
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3:54 Leaving from Buck Hill parking area.
3:58 Back on the Loop Road at the point where it is closed and because of this we had to return the way we had come! On the way back we saw another bison, this time ambling along in the middle of the road.
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We stopped at Scoria Point Overlook. The scoria here is the result of coal seams which caught fire and baked the surrounding sand and clay resulting in natural brick, a harder material which remained as softer earth eroded.
4:30 Back at the point where we had turned onto this section of the Scenic Loop Drive and turning onto Canyon Road, but could only go so far before reaching the closed section. Besides we were running out of time.
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4:45 Pretty view of the Little Missouri River.
4:49 Back at the turnoff point and going back into town - Medora 6 miles.
5:10 We arrived at the amphitheater and had time to have a good look around before it was time for the Pitchfork Fondue.


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We had good seats for the Musical ... some special extras celebrating the Musical’s 40th Anniversary.
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As usual Lyle drove elk up to the skyline for sunset, only two instead of the usual three.
One of them decided it was the boss and bunted the other which went over the edge and almost lost his footing!
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10,048.0 11:20 Back at camp - the end of the day and a late night for us!

The day’s total - 335.5 miles
Trip Total - 10,176.0 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 41 - Saturday, July 9 - Medora, ND to Murdo, SD


I was awake at 5:30 and got up at 6 o’clock ... Jo didn’t get up till nearly 7:00.
10,048.0 8:20 Leaving camp and driving into town for the flag ceremony ... saw Lyle and introduced him to Sam and Jo.
9:11 Leaving after the flag ceremony and going to the Joe Ferris General Store.
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9:14 - 10:04 National Park Visitor Center for tour of Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross cabin.
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10,049.4 10:08 Driving out of town ...
10:10 On I-94 at interchange 27.
10:15 Oil pumps and collection tanks to the right.
10:22 Leaving I-94 for US-85 south ... big oil pump by the Exit-ramp.
10:23 Junction with US-85 ... once through Bellfield it is field after field of crops.
10:26 Swamp to the left and hay to the right ... you would think that something would go on forever, then there’s a sudden change ... what is most noticeable is how gree the countryside is whether it be crops or grasslands.
10:32 Sunflowers to the left as far as the eye can see as well as forwards and backwards.
10:33 Fields of yellow clover - solid patches of yellow.
10:34 Dozens of horses around a water hole.
10:41 Oil pumps.
10:43 Prairie dog town ... crops and grasslands continue ... also cattle.
10:49 Turning towards the distant buttes ... the road had been pretty straight up till now.
10:51 Ponds and marshes to the left.
10:52 Strip farming to the right/
10:54 St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Cemetery to the left.
10:55 Entering Amidon.
10:57 Going through a slightly higher area.
10:59 Small area of badlands erosion and the road in a much hillier area - a very interesting area ... mesa-type hills, eroded coulees, ranches, cattle, windmills.
11:02 A lot of beehives to the right and trees along a creek bed.
11:07 Marsh - pond ... cattle.
11:10 About 8 pronghorns to the left ... also lots of hay bales.
11:14 Horses and cattle to the left ... windmill and black cattle to the right ... lots of cattle continue ... hay ... homes not as spread out.
11:16 A row of windmills ... entering Bowman.
10,124.6 11:18 - 11:33 GAS - Bowman, ND - $2.169/gal. - 24.75 gals. _ $53.68
Also some sustenance - $2.04 for two coffees @ 59¢ + 79¢ for a donut.
11:40 Pretty patterns on the ground where hay has been cut and is now brown and beige with green grass already sprouting between the rows of cut grass.
11:44 Passing another torch runner ... oil drilling rig to the right.
11:46 A patchwork quilt, the dark green of the corn interspersed with ripening grain field.
11:49 All open country ... a couple of eagles flying overhead.
11:42 Field covered with rolls of hay, so many in one field that it must have been thickly grassed ... passed a torch runner!
10,142.2 11:51 The North Dakota/South Dakota State line ... tail end of the Black Hills to the right.
11:52 Mixed herd of cows to the left ... meadowlark sitting on a fencepost.
11:55 Beehives to the right ... hawk in flight.
In South Dakota the land is hillier or more rolling, otherwise little changed from North Dakota ... crops ... grasslands ... hay ... cattle ... alkaline patches around dried water holes.
12:02 Large water hole off to the left.
12:07 Small sagebrush along roadside.
12:08 The countryside has changed - a lot more rugged, drier, rocky outcropping, flat mesa-type hills ... knobs of hills.
12:10 Oil pumps and collection tanks to the left.
12:13 Passing a torch runner who is being picked up. It is another very windy day, but the sky is blue with a few scattered white clouds and the sun shining.
12:14 Mule deer.
12:17 Entering Buffalo, pop. 380.
12:20 Three pronghorns to the right.
12:23 Another pronghorn.
12:24 Three more ... it is always nice to see these animals throughout the west - I know I was fascinated by them when I saw my first ones in Alberta in the fifties.
12:26 Lots of sagebrush and some weird formations well off to the right of the road.
12:28 Water lying in the low areas.
12:30 Cattle ... badlands - eroded hills above the surrounding green grassed countryside.
12:32 Three pronghorns lying down.
12:33 Two groups of 4 or 5 pronghorns.
12:35 Cattle ... cows and calves ... I don’t remember so many individual hills standing up above the rolling countryside.
12:39 Meadowlark on a fencepost.
12:41 - 12:45 Crow Buttes.
12:53 Sheep ... there seem to be quite a lot of water holes scattered around, some where evidence of alkali can be seen.
1:00 There are a lot of rocks (flat) lying all over the land as if the material below them has eroded away, leaving the rocks stranded!
1:03 Long lines of snow fences, some of the big Wyoming type and some with vertocal slats bound together with wire.
1:04 Large herd of black cattle to the left and nearly all facing this general direction.
1:05 High point of the road ... the road is straight ahead for miles ... just before that I had the feeling we were up on a high plateau ... the road is gradually dropping. The area all looks a lot drier than North Dakota ... a lot of variety in the grasses.
1:09 More snow fences, but the wind has played havoc with them.
1:10 Sagebrush covered flat area ... cattle grazing on the sparse vegetation.
1:12 More broken snow fences.
1:16 The first curve since the crest and start of another straight stretch ... hawk in flight.
1:18 Pretty poor looking land to the right ... the odd tree ... alkaline flats ... sagebrush.
1:21 Pronghorns, four or five ... another with a young one.
1:23 Top of a hill with Belle Fourche ahead at the bottom.
1:27 Almost at the bottom of the hill and entering Belle Fourche, pop. 4,565.
1:28 Pulling off US-85.
1:29 - 1:40 Pamida (grocery store) - pit stop.
1:41 Back on US-85.
1:42 Crossing Belle Fourche River and pulling into the Information center.
1:42 - 2:23 Information Center ... lunch stop ... museum - Bridal gowns by decades ... 115° F in town ... car thermometer - 110° F - no wonder we are feeling the heat so much.
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2:28 On the outskirts of town ... road construction.
2:32 Top of a hill before we descend, the Black Hills looming ahead ... poor looking corn crop to the right.
2:38 Crossing I-90 and turning for the ramp.
2:39 Junction with I-90.
2:41 Some huge new houses to the left of the freeway and up the hill.
2:45 Passing Exit-17, the turnoff for US-85 to Deadwood. All the visible red soil or rock looks even more colorful with the bright green of the grass ... could see some smoke above the forest in the Black Hills - fire ??? Most of the red rock has disappeared since Sturgis.
3:05 Smoke ahead ... keep thinking it is just over the next ridge!
3:08 In the midst of huge amount of smoke now - it is on the other side of the mountain.
3:11 Level with where the smoke is coming from, but can’t see the actual fire.
3:13 Passing Exit-48 ... there are a lot more houses to the north of the Interstate than there were when I was last here.
3:16 Roadwork ... two-way traffic ... it doesn’t look as if they work on Saturdays.
3:24 104° F ... Rapid City.
3:27 Rapid City appears to have spread out to and beyond I-90 ... end of roadwork.
3:30 Starting to see WALL DRUG signs ... have passed the Ellsworth AFB.
3:33 Wall 42 miles.
3:34 Cattle both sides of the road ... there are some very nice dams at the various farms along the way ... the countryside is not nearly as green as it was earlier.
3:38 A large golden crop to the left ... tall grasses waving with the strong wind.
3:40 A couple of nice homes with lakeside properties.
3:46 Exit-84 ... 108° F.
3:52 Golden crops both sides.
3:53 Hay rolls both sides ... car is being buffeted by the strong winds.
3:56 Countryside becoming more rugged ... the coulees, both sides, are much deeper ... the road is descending - down, down, down.
3:59 Exit-98 for Wasta.
4:00 Crossing Cheyenne River and immediately after that the Rest Area - then up and down again.
4:03 110° F ... down ... surrounded by bluffs ... up other side.
4:06 Pond to the left in the very wide median ... the opposing traffic is higher up the hill.
4:07 Big golden crops to the right ... green alfalfa to the left.
4:08 Golden crops both sides.
4:10 Leaving I-90 at Exit-409 for Wall.
4:16 - 4:38 Wall and returning to the highway - just took a brief stroll through Wall Drug.
4:42 Back on I-90 and continuing east.
4:43 Badlands to the north of the road - beautiful colors in the strata.
4:45 Small lake to the right ... whitecaps from the strong wind.
4:48 Prairie Dog town, but most of the little critter are staying underground - cooler!
4:52 Milepost 124 ... 108° F.
5:02 Beehives to the right and an enormous number of hay rolls.
5:13 More beehives ... crops and hay continue.
5:22 Beehives to the right ... cows and water hole to the left ... it is obvious that it is “Home James and don’t spare the horses!” We stopped for gas in Bowman, lunch in Belle Fourche and a water stop in Wall. Since Wall Jo has been driving and the road is very rough and my back is hurting.
5:24 Beehives to the left, wheat to the right.
5:29 More bees.
5:32 A bison lying in a field to the left - just before the 1880 Town.
5:34 102° F.
5:36 Entering Central Time Zone so now the time is 6:36/
6:38 Canada geese on a small lake to the right.
6:39 Another lake at the side of the road.
6:40 Ripened wheat fields left and right.
6:47 Wonderful patchwork of color from light to very dark green, yellows, golds, etc.
6:49 Beige rolls of hay in a green field ... 99° F.
6:50 Leaving I-90 at Exit-191 - Murdo.
10,435.5 6:56 Sioux Motel - Room 26 ($57.15) ... walked across the street to the Rusty Spur for dinner (Beer with Surf ‘n Turf - very good - $16.93).

The day’s total - 387.5 miles
Trip Total - 10,563.5 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip

DAY 42 - Sunday, July 10 - Murdo, SD to Lincoln, NE


10,435.5 7:30 Leave Sioux Motel - Supposed to be Continental breakfast, but the office wasn’t even open!
7:33 Junction with US-83 and pulling into a Shell service station to get coffee (.69¢).
7:40 Back on US-83.
7:41 Crossing over I-90 ... it is a sunny morning, but very windy.
7:45 The biggest colony of beehives seen to dat ... the countryside is quite hilly ... lovely dams here and there ... yellow/green color because of the yellow clover.
7:47 A deserted two-storey farmhouse - sad!
7:48 Lots of cattle to the left and a mob of horses to the right - mares and foals, one of which looked like a newborn.
7:51 Crest in the road, then down into a valley where many trees are lining the White River.
7:52 Crossing White River and going up the other side of the valley.
7:53 Fields of sunflowers, but the plants weren’t very big ... the road is winding around a lot as well as going up and down, and there are a lot of trucks on the road.
8:00 Crossing Little White River, also tree lined.
8:02 Entering White River, pop. 595 ... out of town there are a lot of trees in the coulees (ravines, gullies!)
8:04 Big dam to the right in a coulee.
I think the countryside looks wonderful - the hills are grass covered, no trees, lots of yellow clover, thousands of rolls of hay, horses and cattle - the same scene mile after mile, but I never tire of the wide open spaces.
8:13 79° F ... the whole color of the hillside changes when purple vetch predominates rather than the yellow clover ... a lot more cattle being raised in this area.
8:14 The hills have changed again - not nearly as many trees.
8:15 Welcome to Rosebud Indian Reservation ... big lake to the right with a number of pelicans.
8:18 Prairie dog town to the left, then another one to the right.
8:20 More prairie dogs.
8:21 Junction with US-18 and turning left ... big herds of cattle.
8:24 Entering Mission, pop. 730.
8:26 Turning right with US-83 and leaving US-18.
8:29 After leaving Mission the hills are bare except for grass - a few trees in some of the ravines.
8:34 A number of “old-fashioned” haystacks.
8:37 A field of corn to the left and a grain crop to the right.
8:39 Something being irrigated to the right, also more old fashioned haystacks ... then some prairie dogs followed by hay rolls ... black cattle ... rolling grasslands.
8:42 A variety of wild sunflowers.
8:46 A big power-generating windmill to the right.
10,503.4 8:47 Passing Rosebud casino and entering Nebraska - almost home! ... purple vetch, white evening primrose.
8:50 Ditch full of black-eyed Susans.
8:51 Farmer cutting hay to the right - could see just how tall the grass was where he was cutting it. The big rolls of hay are far more impressive than the old fashioned “cubes”.
8:53 Corn being irrigated.
8:54 Descending and the hills are covered with pine trees.
8:55 Crossing Minnechaduza Creek and entering Valentine, pop. 2,820.
8:56 Junction with NE-12 and turning to the right to drive along Main Street through downtown.
8:58 Junction with US-20.
9:00 Lots of yellow flowers - covering entire fields.
9:03 Boots on fenceposts to the left, then leaving US-20 as we turn south with US-83.
Thedford 60 miles.
9:04 Farmers cutting and baling hay.
9:05 Cornfields and beans.
9:06 Grasslands ... hay rolls.
9:07 We are getting into the sandhills.
9:08 A turtle on the shoulder.
9:08 Some horses ... it looks as if the yuccas have already flowered and gone to seed.
9:12 Windmill ... herd of cattle in distance to the right ...crossing an irrigation channel full of water ... another windmill - these pop up all across the landscape.
9:14 Thedford 46 miles.
9:15 Big lake to the right ... hay rolls and windmill.
9:17 Big lake to the left.
9:19 Marshland left and right ... picnic table under trees for shade to the left.
9:20 More marshes - all part of the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.
9:21 Information markers for the Refuge.
9:22 Milkweed, also yuccas, flowering.
9:23 Lake to the right and interpretive markers.
9:24 Big lake to the left ... turtle fence to prevent turtles from crossing the road ... guide into culverts under the road.
9:25 More interpretive markers to the left ... stopped for pictures of turtle fence.
2005_07_10a.jpg 2005_07_10b.jpg
9:31 Leaving the Refuge.
9:32 Windmills and Herefords.
9:33 Goose Creek ... another marshland area between the sandhills.
9:34 Lake to the left ... pond and windmill to the right ... you sure can tell the area of the country which does have water.
9:36 A crop of corn which is being irrigated ... lots of color - various greens, beiges, yellows and pinks and reds in the grass heads ... also a variety of textures. I am still amazed at the number of ponds of water throughout the sandhills.
9:39 A farm and big hay rolls.
9:41 Crossing the North Loop River - lots of water.
9:42 A dozen pelicans by a large lake to the right.
9:43 Geese on a smaller lake to the right ... big herds of cows to the left.
9:44 Farms ... windmills ... cattle ... hay.
9:45 Horses ... windmill ... cattle yards ... more horses.
9:48 Yuccas flowering.
9:49 Lake to the left.
9:53 Horses.
9:55 80° F ... yellow coneflowers.
9:57 Lots of yellow coneflowers.
9:58 Cattle ... the Sandhills are really something to see.
9:59 Welcome to Thedford, est. 1887.
10:01 Junction with NE-2 and leaving US-83 ... Grand Island 149 miles ... double railway tracks to our right and we are following the valley of the Middle Fork of the Loop River ... we are still in sandhill territory.
10:06 Three sets of railway tracks and a female pheasant sitting in the middle of them.
10:08 First empty coal train going west.
10:10 The river is pretty big at this point.
10:11 Start of the National Forest to the right beyond the sandhills on the other side of the river.
10:14 Passing the entrance to the Nebraska National Forest Recreation Area.
10:16 Driving through Halsey ... Broken Bow 51 miles ... train track now a single line ... because of the river valley we are seeing many more trees.
10:19 Second empty coal train going west.
10:20 About twenty long sheds for raising chickens, or turkeys, or pigs, to the right.
10:21 82° F.
10:23 Large hawk in flight.
10:25 Broken Bow 41 miles.
10:26 Crossing Middle Loop River whilst driving through Dunning.
10:27 Crossing Dismal River - running pretty full.
10:39 Third empty coal train ... I was reading and ignoring the scenery!!!
10:44 Irrigating cornfields.
10:45 More corn as we enter Anselmo and both sides of the road after Anselmo ... also hay, then more corn - going on and on.
10:52 Still continuing to see corn and the irrigation sprinklers are working everywhere ... I really think this is a lot different from the first time I drove through here.
10:54 First evidence of wheat harvest ... golden bales of hay ... the corn is pretty high.
10:56 Currently the valley is very wide ... can see sandhills way in the distance to the right beyond the cornfields.
10:58 A row of old-fashioned hay stacks near the side of the road.
10:59 Another such row.
11:00 Passing a NE State Historical marker - ?
11:02 Another empty coal train.
11:04 Lots of wild sunflower plants, but not many flowers yet.
11:05 Entering Broken Bow, pop. 3491.
10,643.1 11:09 - 11:20 GAS - Broken Bow, NE - $2.299/gal. - 31.822 gals. - $73.16
Going back into town center ... 83° F.
11:22 - 11:55 Had lunch in the Town Square ... a train went through town whilst we were here.
11:56 Back on NE-2 (also NE-92).
11:59 Grand Island 81 miles ... alfalfa ... hay ... corn.
I have been in pain all morning and I really wish I knew what was wrong!
12:05 Another empty coal train ... double tracks since Broken Bow.
12:07 Catching up to a full train with one engine at the back and a single one in front - a very long train.
12:13 Entering Ansley ... everything is still very green ... corn ... alfalfa ... grasses.
12:19 Entering Mason City, pop. 178 ... 86° F.
12:22 Embankment of black-eyed Susans.
12:25 Shoulders and embankment a carpet of black-eyed Susans.
12:27 Three locomotives pulling an empty train ... beans ... corn.
12:29 Entering Litchfield, pop. 280 ... some stationary train cars full of big rocks.
12:31 Two red-tail hawks.
12:35 Entering Hazard, pop. 66 ... beans ... corn.
12:39 Entering Sweetwater, unincorp.
12:45 Entering Ravenna, pop. 1,341 ... Grand Island 31 miles.
12:46 Crossing South Loop River ... corn one side, horses and grasslands on the other.
12:48 Cattle and grasslands to the left.
12:55 Great blue heron by a pond.
1:00 Entering Cairo, pop. 790 ... interesting metal sign (?) ... Grand island 17 miles.
1:05 86° F ... there is no doubt that we are back in corn country! ... can’t see the sandhills any more and the land is much flatter.
1:11 Entering grand island, pop. 42,940.
1:13 Junction with and turning south onto US-281 ... Lincoln 100 miles.
1:19 The corn is becoming taller and taller.
1:21 An old abandoned farmhouse to the right ... lakefront development - dug the lake, then developed it!
1:22 Corn.
1:26 Crossing Platte River then going over I-80.
1:27 Junction with I-80 ... Lincoln next stop.
1:30 Lincoln 84 miles.
The pain I have is persisting and I am worried about it - I don’t think it is my back - maybe cracked rib or two or even kidney stones!
1:42 88° F.
2:36 Lincoln the next 7 interchanges ... I’ve been asleep since the last notation - the first time I think I have ever done that - easier on pain! This just shows how tired I’ve been from not sleeping well the last few nights.
2:37 Loaded coal train to the right of the road ... the weather is sort of oppressive - quite a haze in the air and the State Capitol barely visible.
2:40 Leaving I-80 at Exit-397 for US-77 to Beatrice ... 95° F in Lincoln.
2:46 Leaving US-77 at Old Cheney Road.
2:47 Lincoln City Limit.
2:48 Turning into Culver’s (16th and Old Cheney).
2:49 - 3:11 Culver’s - root beer float (Jo’s treat).
3:16 Turning onto 40th Street.
10,825.0 3:20 Home ... 42 days and 10,953.0 miles ... What a trip!

The day’s total - 389.5 miles
Trip Total - 10,953.0 miles includes 128 miles on the Denali bus trip