Thursday, June 26, 2008

Montana, Montana

Filled up at Dickinson, N.Dak.- super unleaded with 10% ethanol for 3.99/gal. We averaged 21 mpg going 75 mph through North Dakota yesterday. They also sell something called Red Dyed Diesel, which I found out on the radio is only used in Off Road Vehicles.

Here's a unique North Dakota MacLand service:

Sometime today we switched to Mountain Time - not sure when.

Have you ever heard of Theodore Roosevelt National Park? Neither had we. After driving though flat, flat flat North Dakota at 75 miles per hour, all of a sudden, we were in canyonlands - the Badlands of N.D. It's a huge geological formation - very impressive and awesome out here in Western North Dakota, which is referred to as Rough Rider Country. Who Knew??

Entering Montana, our Nuvi told us to leave the freeway and take a Montana Highway toward Great Falls. This was a 2 lane highway, with two way traffic, and the speed limit is 70! We found out why, though. Most of it is as straight as an arrow, and there's no traffic. Dick counted 10 cars in 30 miles!

For some reason, railroad cars are stored on the tracks alongside the highway - there were hundreds of them - no kidding - and they weren't boxcars or tankers or anything normal - they were called All Purpose Spine Cars. Google tells me that those cars are used to carry trailers or containers. Montana is ready!

Eastern Montana is flat, flat, flat. We saw some antelope and deer, and lots of cattle and horses and sheep. We filled up at Circle, MT just because we could tell from the map that it might be the last chance for a long, long time - nobody lives here! We only needed a quarter of a tank, but Dick didn't want to take any chances. Dick asked the gas station man about a good place to eat and he mentioned one that was 140 miles down the road!

We stayed at the Quality Inn in downtown Great Falls. We went looking for caches and found seven of them right around town in the usual places - fire hall, Boy Scouts, neighborhood parks, etc. One was unique - it was near the Mercy helicopter at the local hospital. While we were searching for the cache, the helicopter took off and flew away! It was quite an experience. It was a fun afternoon of caching.

The Missouri River flows through Great Falls - I actually never expected to find the Missouri River in Montana. So much for my geography expertise! The Falls are not that Great.

We liked Great Falls.