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50 States Day 62

Day 62, Helena to Hardin, MT 300 miles
 
"Whatever you're thinking, think bigger."
~Tony Hsieh, co-founder of Zappos
 
Amazing that two people can get up, have breakfast, load up and hit the road by 9 A.M. But we accomplished the almost impossible.
Today's ride was a 'get going, get there and get settled early' ride. The weatherman warned us of triple digit heat, and the landscape... well, the entire state can't be Glacier National Park.
We loaded up the cooler and took off, this time making miles for a change, only stopping at 100 miles for rest and 175 for fuel, another rest and a shopping spree where we went crazy and bought a bottle of soda, salad, munchies and a wee bit of potato salad. Room is limited! Oh, and 14 lbs. of ice. Looks like two-a-day for ice in the foreseeable future.
Even with thousands of acres of rangeland, Montana blessed us with bits of beauty; the Tetons, the Rockies, creeks and lakes where one wouldn't expect them.
Not trying to sound like a whiner, but heat, like cold, is cumulative. And after six hours in the full sun, we were crispy. Dumping the leather jacket, for sure. By the shopping spree, both of us were on the edge of crabby. We hustled to the (PP!) KOA and set up camp.
And, (the sound of angels singing) we soaked in the pool! Ahh, what a difference. Both of us regained our will to live and ceased biting each others' heads off. Okay, it wasn't that bad.
As we traveled, we pondered a couple things, and perhaps a reader can enlighten us as well as everyone else.
Freight trains:
Do the engineers have a place to sleep, or do they get off somewhere and get on one going back the next day? Or what do they do?
Farm sprinkler systems:
Some go in an arc, with rubber tractor tires. Does each tire (around every 200 feet) drive itself, or do the farmers move them?
Some go in a straight line, with the same tractor tires. Same question, really.
Some are all aluminum, including the wheels. In the center is a four wheeled section that looks like it drives them. Does it, and the rest of the wheels coast along? Do the farmers just set them at one end and they slowly roll to the other end, or do they move them? We have never seen them move.
That's what you think about when on the range.
Tomorrow we'll visit the Little Bighorn and Custer's Battlefields. I understand they do a reenactment on the anniversary, which was last week. And... spoiler alert... Custer loses. Actually he gets creamed.
Then a schedule change as we move onward to South Dakota, instead of North. Sometimes ya gotta be flexible, and since we wanted to tour the west end of South Dakota and travel east in North Dakota, it appeared prudent to do south first, then north and onto Minnesota. We'll visit Sturgis, Deadwood, Mt Rushmore... it's going to be a great trip.

3 comments:

Tim Rockstar said...

To answer your engineer question, they are union, so there are 9 engineers at a time to make sure someone is awake to... Engineer stuff. Every other day someone has to be ready to brake.

Mel Nason said...

Judy and I spent several days vacationing in SD last July. Besides Sturgis, it sounds like you're going to Deadwood. While in Deadwood, watch the 'Shootout on Main Street' (enacted 3 times/day, except Mon). Also, 'The Shooting of Wild Bill' is held inside Saloon No. 10 at 1:00pm... another MUST SEE! Mount Rushmore is beautiful in the early morning,
but they have a patriotic light show in the late evening that is also spectacular. Don't miss Crazy Horse Memorial (just down the road). Once you're back on I-90 E, stop for refreshments (and high quality Sturgis t-shirts at "Mr. Cheap" prices) at Wall Drug. Back on I-90 E, check out the '1880's Town' in Murdo. While there, view original sets from 'Dances With Wolves' movie and sip a sasparilla in the Saloon while watching a very entertaining two-man comedy show. Back on I-90 E, then Left onto US-83 N about 35 miles to Pierre, SD's capitol. BTW, US-83 N will take you into ND (just E of Bismark. Happy trails!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Cool! I'm exhausted just reading about it. However the idea of watching one man kill another is rather macabre, no? Who would want to be killed? Perhaps they mix it with capitol punishment and the criminal can go out in style?