Thursday, July 17, 2008

Moving to Montana soon

Straight arrow south into Montana across empty country. Sandwich tea at a store called Kathy's Place in Pangman, Sask. Across the border in no time. Then we hit a snag - no motel space for miles. There is a new oil boom in Montana and every room has been taken up by a roughneck in a large pickup truck, booked by the week. We drive late to Glendive, Montana where we get the last room at the Days Inn, one queen bed in the smoking section. Late takeaway supper from Subway. A guy leaves his big truck running while he dawdles in the store - they ain't saving gas here - that thang got a hemi?
Next morning into town for the bank and a quick gander at the BNSF railyards. Turn east on 1-90 for the Badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Bison, Prairie Dogs and wild Mustangs in the blazing sunshine on a hilly trail. Stopped by the Sheriff in Medora for speeding - he looked like Buford T. Justice - I guess he didn't book me because he was coming towards me - he said "at least we know this car can go over the speed limit" - 25 mph.
To Bismarck, ND - a town with some marvelous architecture including the Spanish-style Northern Pacific railroad depot. Appropriately Mexican food at the depot while the freight trains go howling past. Stay at the Select Inn - $60 for two incl breakfast and use of laundry. The US is far cheaper than Canada and much better value for money at present, vindicating our decision to cut back below the border, roads are better too.
After pitstops at the outsize metal Sand Crane in Steele, ND and the High-Line railroad bridge in Valley City, ND we are back in Minnesota in Lake Wobegon country. To Fergus Falls, MN for Otter Tail County Historical Society and more Gebo research. Back on the highway we head into Minneapolis where we stay downtown at the Holiday Inn Express. To Zelo in the pavement-cafe district for pasta and blush wine [Rose].
Listening to the Soggy Bottom Boys: I am a man of constant sorrow; Tracy Byrd: Ten rounds with Jose Cuervo.

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