Even being screwed, the day was fine.

Monday, 11 May 2009.  After a fair night’s sleep, I did get this sleep rather early, I awoke to find a basically clear sky out my front window.  While it was a little chilly when I got up, the temps later in the day are supposed to be up around 70.  I can deal with this.  I got a few things done around the room including packing up and changing clothes and then headed out to a local restaurant for breakfast.  It was obvious lie and hang out for the locals.  This is always a good sign.  The breakfast wasn’t bad and the price was relatively decent.  I also took the time to gas up as now that I am not near cities I tend to fill up the tank much more frequently as a safety precaution.  It is quite easy to drive a hunter more miles without ever seeing a gas station. 

Now to tackle the north section of Teddy Roosevelt National Park.  After the visit I headed south for Dickinson which is just a little bit east of the north-south line through a Watford City.  However, I will now be on Mountain standard Time.  I enjoy a heading west as when I a cross into a new timed zone, I gain an extra hour.  Of course, heading east can be a real pain when I’m driving all day trying to make time and distance and losing that hour each day.

As of loaded up the car with the last bits and notice something shiny in my right front tire.  I thought it was a stone but it turned out to be screw of some sort.  This was not a good thing.  I was directed to a local gas station.  The chap said, as soon as the could open up a bay, he would take care of my tire.  As it turned out to screw had not completely penetrated the tired but the mechanic apply the patch to the inside for safety’s sake.  The whole thing took about 90 minutes to two hours and costs under $15.  Feeling much better at a little bit safer I headed down the road to Theodore Roosevelt National Park North. 

The rolling countryside in itself was quite pretty.  I couldn’t help but stop and take some pictures of the entry landscape to the park at a scenic overlook.  Unfortunately the road through the park ended only 6 miles into the park.  Part of the roadway was sliding off the side of the cliff and this was sort of poor to drive on. 

I did stop and take some pictures at the various turnoffs along the portion of the road that was open.  At the end of the open road there was a 1.5 mile nature walk.  As I had plenty of time and I’ve been sitting in the car for a while I thought a stroll along the path would be fun, and it was.  Of course, there was the warnings that buffaloes are dangerous and do not get close, and that there were Rocky Mountain rattlesnakes in the area to add to the excitement of the walk. 

In my own fashion I did the walk all along the path. Then as I came back along the path I took pictures of the various views noted in the brochure about the path.  I tried to include the number posts that coincided with points of interest. 

Today had become warm enough so that while I was happy I had long pants on I did take off my long sleeve shirt.  It was mostly sunny and actually beautiful with a nice breeze.  On my way out of the park I stopped by the ranger station which was now open and asked the ranger there what do you do if you run into a Buffalo along the path.  This suggestion coincided with what I thought one should do, which is to climb up the side of the hill or down as the case may be and let the Buffalo go by.  Of course, while doing this one should make sure you are not going to be stepping on a rattlesnake which would also ruin your whole day.  Afterwards, one can find a suitable location where one can change one’s underwear.  🙂 

The weather continued to be sunny as they drove into a new time zone down the road to Dickinson.  I found my hotel, that squared away and even got online with no real problem.  The question of dinner was solved by going over to KFC. 

As I drove into Dickinson, I noticed a nasty line of clouds approaching from the West.  Soon it became dark and thunder and lightning crashed around the town.  This was augmented by some heavy rain which ended a fairly quickly.  Soon the sun was shining again. 

Back at the motel and made arrangements for Tuesday night’s lodging in Miles City, MT, and also checked on road conditions beyond Billings.  It looks as if the road I would love to take into Yellowstone is still closed.  However there are still some very pretty roads to drive through if I come in via the north entrance.  Once I get to the Bozeman area, I’ll check and see if the road I wish to take through Glacier National Park is open. 

So for it had a chance to see some very pretty countryside.  I’m looking forward to now driving through some tall mountains.

But first some sleep.

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