Day 9 – Warped into Montana!

Yesterday we learned that Minot is also known as the Magic City.  Apparently, it started out as a tent city, and the real city appeared as if by magic.  Bill enlightened me regarding this.  It certainly was magical for us yesterday.

Departure was accomplished promptly at 0935, and – yep – we headed west on 2.  Today we saw a number of oil rigs pumping, more crops, and livestock.  The towns are farther and fewer to be found.  After living so long in a more densely populated area, the landscape here is refreshing.  Our trip book did recommend watching your gas gauge, and not passing a gas station if you were under half a tank.  Today bears out the wisdom of that advice.  Trains are very much a part of the landscape as well.

We warped into Montana around 1245 MDT.  During one portion of our drive, we encountered several dinosaurs on the roadside/hillsides.  We learned that this area is rich in dinosaur fossils.  It also has some missing parts of “2” – kind of like driving the Alaska Highway – you’re on the pavement, then all the sudden, it’s gone!


Our intended destination today was Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs – and we arrived at 1515.  This is located near the Nelson Reservoir State Recreation area.  After setting up camp, Bill relaxed while I got my steps and miles.  I wasn’t able to do a No Excuses workout this morning due to some technical issues – so definitely wanted to hit the pavement/gravel.  Here are some sights from the 3.5 miles:


Notice the hand painted signs warning “Cattle at Large” “Drive Slowly”?  As I walked through this area, I shared the field with the cattle.  They didn’t seem terribly upset – which is a good thing given their size!  This area is also sparsely populated.  Something as simple as running to the grocery store would be a fairly time-consuming undertaking.

When we checked in to the campground, we were warned about an impending thunderstorm.  WOW!!!  They do thunderstorms in a big way around these parts!  We had winds gusting to 60-70mph (shaking the house), and beautiful, majestic thundercloud formations.  I am ever so thankful that we were off the road.

We took advantage of the hot-spring heated pools before supper and the storm and may go back for a quick dip before bed.  Tomorrow we’ll be on the road again!

Miles traveled:  325 today/ trip total 1417.

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