Crazy traveling days..

From my last post, I mentioned I planned to get off of I-90 and head north to Rt. 2.  I took Highway 83 up from I-90.  Beautiful, beautiful road – rolling hills of ranches, grasslands all the way.  I had a chuckle in South Dakota, as I came into a wee town with a population of 89 in Mound City.  Laughing, as they had a post office. 89 people and they have a post office!?!  At the opposite edge of town, less than a city block length of town, I understood why they got a post office.  Mound City happens to have the County Courthouse of all things.  I guess anything is possible, but this just tickled the heck out of me.  South Dakota has the best all around road system – whether interstates or back roads – others could learn alot from them.

North Dakota, on the other hand, had horrible roads in most places. With the oil boom, they should have redone all their roads in this State. Gads, what a waste that it hasn’t happened.  I understand Highway 83 is good all the way up to Rt. 2, but I did not take it north from Bismarck.  I stopped in Bismarck for the night and the next morning on awakening at 5:30 am – discovered pea soup fog. Could barely see the rig next to me.  Went about having a leisurely breakfast, shower, etc. and the fog had lifted enough to go ahead and leave… or so I thought.  Got out to 83 and realized I wasn’t going anywhere fast. So found a grocery store and went shopping.  When finished, the fog had lifted a whole lot, but not from the north (83).  At this point, I figured I would make a short day of that day, and stop at Theodore Roosevelt’s National Park… 2 hours away. Theo’s park is a great NP, altho I have never been there in a RV, years ago did tent camping, hiking there. Just a beautiful scenic park. I’m hoping the buffalo are still roaming thru the campground like they did years ago. Time will tell.

So I got gas, and headed to I-94 and headed west about 8am.  It was foggy but doable. Just wish others would turn on their headlights… but all went pretty well.  My next best opportunity to head north was on 85, just past Dickinson.  Not the best or wisest choice on my part.  Remember my mentioning the oil boom in North Dakota.  For some ungodly reason, I thought it would be on Rt 2 at or in Williston.  If it is, I don’t know, as I did not go that way.  Highway 85 though, was disastrous.  It started out ok, even with seeing miles after miles of oil rigs spaced about a 1/4 miles from each other on both sides of the road, but the oil tanker trucks… all kinds of trucks for that matter, hogging the road to and fro with the combo of the fog… Not a fun place to be.

Then to see the damage to the fields, apparently getting more oil rigs in.. Did they buy out all the farmers? Or what?  Lousy work ethics, but guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  On one side of the road was the National Grasslands, which I could not see at all that day due to the fog, but they are awesome normally and across the road are oil rigs… none stop.    About 2 miles from the turn to the National Park, I pulled over to take a picture or two.

Hills near the National Park

View looking down where I was going

The turn into the National Park was on the left, and I was in the wrong lane to turn left. Trucks don’t particular care if you want to turn left, just get out of their way.  Immediately after that turn, its a steep climb back up. No turning back.  As it was, I am so happy I did not stay at the National Park on two very major points.  Considering I did that day on Memorial Day… I could not fathom doing the next 50 miles on a normal work day.  Major, major road constructions, truck traffic, dirt beyond dirt (or mud if it rained), everyone driving the fastest they could go over potholed roads beyond description. It swallowed cars frequently. Not good for RV’s.  I wish I could have taken a picture of even a fraction of this nightmare, but I was doing good just getting thru the mess. And the road construction at the Rt 2/ 85 exchange was unbelievable potholed mess.  Get me out of here!!!!

One highlight in that mess… near the town of Alexander was a ranch with very green pastures on hills, at the highest areas, were buffalo enjoying the grasses, just below them were cattle.  Nice!

On Rt 2, once I put a distanced between the mess… was good road.  As tired as I was from the day so far… there was no place to park, to pull over for a potty break, nothing.  So I kept going. I found a side road to pull off on to do a mini-break and to check for a place to stay the night.  Two places listed – could not find either. One was a city park, another was a casino in wee towns I drove thru. I arrived at Wolf Point, MT (280 miles from Bismarck) to Rancho RV Park. What a joke. On my Find a Friend app, it said I was parked at Moe’s Trailer Park.  Well, I’m happy to say its not that, it is a RV park with basic camping. I met Moe, man in charge, is one of the many Indians here.  He was a hoot, and had me park in the shade even tho I was dry camping.  I just wanted to crash.  I forgot to take a picture of the little corner of his park. It was green, soothing for raw edges, and quiet. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.  It looks like they took over an old motel… I have no idea if there were showers, laundry or anything else available. I took a nap initially, then went to bed at 7 pm.  Its still hot in the 80’s here, but with great relief, I am finally in dryer climes. 
The secondary reason I’m glad I did not stay at the national park, they got slammed with golf ball hail and 70 mph winds that night.  Tons of rain. Flooding from slow moving thunderstorms, which I happen to drive under as I got into Montana. Breathe of fresh air knowing I was not there then.
I had no desire to sit at Rancho RV park more then necessary, but I really would like to find a place to park for several days…  so I put another long day under my belt.  I am now at Shelby. I was going to stop in Havre… but found no place for RV’s to park, nothing I had listed in my various apps could be found. The road construction leading into town was one rough road as well. Did I miss a turn because of it? Not sure, but I found nothing else.  So kept going.
The constant road thru rolling hills and valleys, tons of grasslands, and hundreds of cattle was lulling me into a state I knew I had to change.  So the next available cell phone pull out, I would take and take a break. And it was an absolute delight.  Mountains. Honest-to-goodness mountains, snow covered mountains at that. It has been months since these eyes have seen the mountains and there they are… but they are on the horizon.  Oh I have missed the mountains… but this rejuvenated me. Onward.
So in Shelby… trying to find a gas station that my RV would fit in, that was working, was troublesome. But eventually found one right before my stop for the night – so hoped it would be a decent one.  You know, a girl can dream, but it doesn’t mean diddly-squat sometimes.
Glacier View RV Park…  is across the road from a train yard, a very busy train yard and behind a motel.  The following are my views. No glacier to be had.

White building on left is the back side of motel

Train yard… several tracks.

There are 6 parking places for RV’s, only one big enough for me. Yes, they have electrical, water and sewer – but I would not touch anything but the electrical.  No trash cans, no bathrooms, no nothing else. On two sides are alleys.  And I’m the only one here.  Not too comforting, but the next destination is 79 miles away… that’s the mountains… can’t wait!

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