We had stayed hitched up in this site so getting going was easy, however, we still didn’t get on the way until 10! We talked with Dan and realized we were only about a 5 hour distance from him, so we decided to check with the Columbia Falls campground (Whispering Pines) and go there for tonight. Excited to see those 2! We did stop in Great Falls because I discovered there were 2 yarn shops and 1 fabric shop all on Central Ave. within a few blocks of each other. Jackpot! It’s an old downtown trying to revitalize with some new, interesting shops and cafes, mixed with some old vacant buildings.
I went to Yarn and Honey, Farmer’s Daughter Fiber Shop and Big Sky Quilts. The 2 yarn shops were the best, but I enjoyed all 3. At the first one, they were so helpful that I couldn't not purchase the yarn and pattern! Farmer's Daughter was a beautiful shop with very interesting fabric as well as their own line of hand-dyed yarn. I did buy a bag pattern and jacket pattern, but no yarn or fabric. I'm kind of wishing now that I had purchased one of the books by the owner. Big Sky Quilts was so-so. I did pick out 2 Charley Harper prints to add to my collection. Just buying small amounts for sometime in the future.
Then on to Columbia Falls! We enjoyed the drive on Hwy 89 north and Hwy 2 west. It was over 80 all afternoon, until we entered the Glacier area. Some beautiful scenery, large wheat fields and no oil fields here.
We got into the campground well before dark and we knew where to park this time! After we were set up we went to meet Dan and Loti at Gunsight Saloon. They had live music and a large outdoor area. So good to see them! They had been on a big buying spree in Kalispell for wedding supplies. We talked and ate and had a couple beers, Bob and I shared the barbecue dinner of brisket and pulled pork, it was delicious. Then time to head back to the trailer after picking up a few grocery items. Dan was pumped about his trip tomorrow with Dylan and Matthew to Minneapolis!
Woke up to bright sunrise through the back windows, we had left the curtains open to bring in the light, something we don’t usually get to do. We had no neighbors, so it seemed like a good idea. A beautiful view of the ND Badlands is not a bad way to start the day. I've always wanted to visit this area, so I'm glad we could do it on this trip. Temp was 37. A little breakfast, a shower and on the way. Driving down towards Theodore Roosevelt NP, we watched the oil fields and trucks and ranching areas. We stopped at the NP visitor center to get a stamp for my book and a magnet for our board. Continued west on I-94 and crossed into Montana. At Glendive, we left the interstate and took Hwy. 200S. That became just plain Hwy 200 at Circle. We had thought that we would stop for the night at a place in Jordan, but it was early when we got there so we continued on. The towns are pretty sparse out here, and the campgrounds even sparser on this highway, so we ended up driving to Lewistown and staying at Mountain Acres RV Park. The wide open plains began turning into forested hills before Lewistown.
Again, confusing when we arrived after the office had closed. Usually there is some kind of communication from the owner/manager about site number, but the woman who spoke to Bob was new at the job. So we just picked our own site. Lots of people in this campground, some areas are permanent spots. There was a group of youth tent camping with a wilderness organization, with lots of canoes and backpacks. That would have been amazing to do when we were teenagers! More barking dogs in this spot than usual.
Up about 8, beautiful cool sunny morning. A quiet night and feeling refreshed. After a quick breakfast we drove around the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to see the visitor center there in Medora. Had to get a stamp for my collection! Back on I-94 west. We did see a very hazardous driver weaving around the road, but otherwise the traffic was very easy. We are seeing a lot of oil fields and the work and equipment that goes with that.
About noon, we weren’t sure where we would stop for lunch, but Bob saw a sign for a quilt shop at the next exit so we pulled in there. I got to browse in the quilt shop, Suzi’s Stash, which also sold lunches and coffee! I bought quilting postcards and a pattern for tool holder. Because I just threw away some patterns and I have room for more! We ate salads in the trailer, but we realized the fridge wasn’t cooling. It had worked fine at home, so we restarted it and heard the propane light. Checked later on and it was cooling back down. Continued westward, rolling hills and wheat fields and trees turning. At Dickinson we turned onto Hwy 22 north. Found Little Missouri State Park, a beautiful spot. Parked right on the edge of the badlands bluffs. We were the only people in the park, nobody was in the office when we arrived. It was a little confusing about sites and reservations, I did try online but had a hard time with the website and reception. So I did call the reservations number and found out that we could pretty much take any site we wanted and then call back. She's in some office far away so couldn't be more helpful. We drove through the campsites, all empty. So we picked one with a super view, intending to unhook and try the online service again. A park ranger did show up while we were unhooking, kind of scolded us for parking without a reservation. He was a young guy and clearly thought he was dealing with some old duffers!
Took a walk in the evening and Bob grilled steaks. I cleaned up the floors in the trailer and then watched a beautiful sunset. This park has accommodations for horses, with corrals for each site. Therefore, some horse odors and flies and bees. After dark, 2 other rigs pulled in, horse trailers with sleeping space in front.
We gained an hour today and I did just a little knitting in the truck. I've been getting better with the new invisalign braces I just got, but I lost a little button and a hook from my teeth. I've still got plenty of other attachments to keep those teeth moving! Kim, who set me up with these braces, told me not to worry if some come loose so I won't!
Packing, packing, packing! Checklists used and revised and updated. We are getting ready to leave for an epic trip to the wedding of our son, Dan, to Loti. Such a great couple! But first, we have to get there! We are taking the trailer and driving to Montana, staying for about 10 days for the festivities, then driving into Utah to visit a National Park or 2. Then up to Truckee to see the kids and grandkids there and see how their new home is shaping up! So we have a trek ahead, and plenty to remember (or forget) to do!
Bob realized as soon as he woke up that he forgot to get the oil changed for the truck yesterday, so he got out early to get in the line for that. Also discovered the rear brakes needed to be replaced. Back at home, we finished up whatever was left to do. The trailer was pretty well packed and stocked yesterday, but the pickup was the main thing for today. We always end up arranging and rearranging what stuff goes where in the pickup bed and backseat. That storage space is key to bringing many of the things we desire to have with us. We have very little outside storage space in the trailer, and the inside storage space is already occupied. So things like grill, generator, bikes, tools, etc., have to go into the truck. We did try to improve things for this trip by sorting and boxing some of the key things. We created a "First out, Last in" box for the basic things we need to get parked, leveled and unhooked from the trailer. That seems to be helping.
Finally got underway about 1PM. Driving on I-94 west, stopped at the Freeport exit to meet Leisl to pick up the forgotten belongings from our recent sewing outing, and give her a bag of books for the little library. Driving through Red River Valley, very flat, big fields, big combines, big dust clouds for soybean harvest. They have semi trucks in the fields to haul the beans, a lot different than the tractprs and wagons we had 50 years ago! The road was pretty smooth and straight, so I did get a stocking cap cast on. Drove 331 miles to a county park near Jamestown. We had thought we might be sleeping at a rest stop but the park was much better, we stayed hooked up this time. This little park was a good find. We're worn out so early to bed.
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Hi! I'm Pam! Join me on this journey through the next steps of life!