Saturday, May 30, 2009

Journey Across America, Day Four

Miranda wakes up in a cranky mood and we are in the car by 7 a.m. The trip across North Dakota is on roads that are flat and nearly empty, with a speed limit of 75. We get breakfast at Starbucks in Bismarck, famous as the city where I took the AP test. We also see a sign announcing the continental divide at an elevation of 1,400 feet. This makes me laugh because the divide in Montana is more than 6,000 feet up.

I also tell Miranda I nearly died on this stretch of I-94 decades ago when i was driving to a basketball tournament in Fargo. My Camaro was blown into a 360-degree turn on icy roads, but i kept it on the highway, straightened out, and kept on going. Telling that story always makes me feel like a Duke of Hazzard.

The landscape includes several statues of giant cows that we like.

We have a series of unfortunate stops in Eastern Montana. We pull off the road in Glendive after we see a McDonald's sign, but are told the restaurant is out of business and can find no other fast food joints. We drive an hour down the road to Miles City, where we find an excellent DQ. We eat, but forget to gas up the car. That means in another hour we are pulling over in Hysham to get gas. Three stops so soon is unprecedented for us.

I had hoped to stop at a Ralph Lauren outlet store in Billings, Montana's largest city, but we see no signs on the highway for it so we blast on through without stopping.

The snow covered spires of the Rockies suddenly appear, and two hours later we are in Bozeman, where I attended Montana State University.

We pull off for a walk in the charming downtown, and Cappy makes friends with numerous dogs. We eat a fine light dinner at a sidewalk cafe, then hit the road for 80 more miles to Butte, my wife's hometown.

We are staying with my mother-in-law Dorothy, and have a fine visit before falling exhausted into bed. I am troubled because the car is running very hot.
the photos show me in Bozeman, and Miranda in Waterville, just because we need a pix of her

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