Man, did it get cold last night. Much colder than I anticipated – it was 32° F this morning when I pulled out of my campsite at 08:00. I had the furnace turned up a little but it was not quite enough to get out of bed so I kicked up the heat a bit more and crawled back under the covers.
I got a coffee made and walked over to the river for an early-morning glance to see what was stirring around at 06:30. A nice hot espresso on a cold morning in nature – not much better than that. Nothing along the river, but when I turned around to go back to the camper something was stirring in the campground:
He just kept walking towards me and I didn’t know if was friendly or wanted to rumble. I kept the picnic table between us until he stood there looking at me like his feelings were hurt.
It was a big animal – probably shoulder-height on me and hose horns could do some serious damage. I eased over towards him and…
The longhorns have a storied past here in the park going way back to a rancher that drove a large herd to here all the way from Texas. They keep a small herd here as a homage to the history.
As I said, I pulled out of the campground around 08:00 but wanted to stop to look at some rock formations on the way out. They call these “cannonballs” and it is easy to see why. It is a very interesting geologic formation.
And the locals gathered to say “until next time…”
There is a lot to see and some great walking to you can do in this park. I am so glad that I came up yesterday and blew off the other campsite for this great one I had here last night. there are a few more places in the area I would like to see as well; there are a couple of forts that are National Historic Sites that I want to visit, but those were farther than I had time for so I can do that on my next visit here! There is also camping in the National Grasslands as well so keep that in mind. That might be an interesting place to camp.
It was a nice, but long drive today, taking about 8 1/2 hours due to many miles of construction on US 2. The winds were horrendous as well, coming out of the WNW, but was only bad when the highway ran north; when it turned east I got a tailwind which boosted me from 10.2 to 10.9 mpg. I’ll take that, as anything helps with those low numbers.
At one point during construction apparently someone got screwed up. After we were out of construction for MANY miles, as I was going along there was a car on US 2 westbound lanes going east. I do not know how long she had been doing this but cars were having to avoid her. And yes, it was a “her” because I saw her correct her mistake at a crossroad as I went past. Scary situation.
I got to Rugby, ND and stumbled across another unique site to check out:
I was driving down the road and I saw what looked like smoke blowing across the highway a mile or so ahead. I kept looking but all I saw was this white stuff in the air. I had noticed earlier that along the lakeshores are white deposits, which I assume are minerals and salts, and you can see those in this picture.
When I looked back to where I thought it was coming from the water had evaporated quite a lot, exposing the deposits, and with the winds as strong as they were I guess it picked up those deposits and blew them away like a dust storm.
I went past a few lakes and I forgot just how big lakes are in the Midwest. I am used to seeing the ocean, but this was pretty big.
And I wish I could have stopped to see this, but I did not see it in time. It could have also been in a construction area so getting there would have been a problem anyway given the traffic. I didn’t know what it was but I guess it is some memorial to infantry. I thought it might be an old burger joint or a Howard Johnson’s.
I pushed on through the rest of North Dakota and on into Minnesota, ending up in a KOA on the outskirts of Bemidji, MN. I will be here tonight, but honestly I am feeling a little rushed so I may just kick back another night here. Since I ended up driving yesterday for a few hours after planning to sit still for a few days I just may do that here. On top of that it is the weekend and tomorrow it may be hard to find a spot if I move on and the owner said I could stay an extra day here no problem.
It feels good to be able to kick back for a few days, especially driving so much. Yesterday was really nice – a short drive and plenty of time to sightsee and get a few hikes in with plenty of daylight left to enjoy. There’s really no need in driving and driving and driving since I do not need to do that these days. I will really try to limit myself to 5-6 hours a day from here on out.
That’s it for this post.