Well, I’ve been in North Dakota exactly twice in my life and both times it’s been stormy and raining. I think I’ll have to reconsider the idea of coming here to do a dinosaur dig. Digs are no fun in the rain. Seriously, it stopped raining for about an hour this afternoon and I almost took back my misgivings about the dig but then the rain started up again, so there you are.
Getting back to yesterday for a moment, Hwy. 18 wasn’t bad at the beginning or on the last part. I joined it at a little town called Maple Creek which had a small historic district and people wearing cowboy boots and hats and pulling horse trailers. The road was fine — paved and divided by a yellow line — and the countryside was interesting. Until I hit the dirt and gravel section that went on and on and on. Anyway — ’nuff said!
Today began early and with a light drizzle. I somehow got off to a false start as I must have got a bit turned around last night when I left the highway to come into town to the motel. Anyhow, I got my tank filled and set out on a 2-lane paved highway with a yellow dividing line which was a good beginning. Then I got directions from someone in a store to an interstate which my GPS was avoiding but somehow I missed the overpass (is it possible that overpass means something different in Montana?) and stayed on small, two-lane highways for many hours. The upside was that being Sunday, no-one was working on the construction and there was no traffic so I just sailed along. Also, I could see huge distances in both directions so was able to stop a couple of times and take photos despite the terrible weather.
By the way, you haven’t really seen a rainbow until you’ve seen it stretched across the massive breadth and height of a prairie sky. Wish I’d been able to take a picture of that but I saw it while I was on the I-94E where the speed limit is 120k/h. I did manage to stop at a scenic view rest stop and get a few photos but my phone needed recharging and my ipad doesn’t take great pictures. Probably should upgrade that soon.
Oddly enough, I went through three time zone changes. First, I passed into Central Time, then an hour or so later, I went back into Mountain Time. Then, after I got on the I-94E, I crossed back into Central Time. Also, when driving along the back highway, I saw a sign saying I was leaving Little Missouri National Grasslands without knowing I had ever entered it. Then later, on the I-94E, I entered it again and haven’t left yet. Will update tomorrow for sure.
Arrived in Jamestown in good time in the end. I chose the Gladstone Inn and Suites because of the set-up where rooms exit into the pool area but, alas, my room does not. While there is a restaurant, it is not open on Sundays so I will have to eat elsewhere. The room is huge and football themed. Even the ceiling is set up like a football field. I hope I’ll be able to sleep without dreaming there’s a game going on!
Tomorrow, it’s on to Minneapolis where I will spend two nights, catch my breath, see the Mary Richards’ house, and take in a few sights. It’s a short day of driving and I’m looking forward to the break. Cheers from Jamestown, North Dakota!