We had a beautiful sunset at the campground in Yellowstone before watching the Amphitheatre program on our final night. Then the next day we crossed the famous Fishing Bridge and crossed up and over the Sylvan Pass at 8530’ before leaving Yellowstone. The vehicle performed very well with all the elevation changes we went through. Goodbye Yellowstone for now.
The Shoshone Forest after Yellowstone was spectacular and then we reached Cody where we went to the Buffalo Bill Museum and saw some interesting artifacts. Then the Ten Sleep Canyon after Cody was also incredible and it’s great having the RV where you can pull over for lunch whenever you see an amazing location.
The next section on the Scenic Byway through the Big Horn Mountains was downright scary. The climb to 9666’ was fine but the downhill section was unbelievable! You know the downhill portion is dangerous when they tell you it’s mandatory that all trucks and RV’s stop to cool their brakes and read the accident signs before you take the next section!!! I never knew it was possible to go downhill for 8 MILES and where they have runaway cable crash braking areas. Thank goodness our brakes didn’t overheat.
Our next stop was at Devils Tower in South Dakota and it was our cheapest campground at $12 per night for a no service site. The local tribes have petitioned for the National Monument (the first one in the U.S.) to be renamed Bears Lodge but this hasn’t been agreed to yet. The base is surrounded by a Black Tailed Prairie Dog village and we heard a program at the Amphitheatre on them. The next morning we did the Red Beds trail around the outer ring and then also did the Towers Trail around the base, a total of 8km by 10:30am. We saw many prayer bundles around the tower as well as the Circle of Sacred Smoke marble statue. What a magical location as you circle the tower. If you saw the 1978 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind you might recognize Devils Tower since it was filmed here.
Next we went through the little town (population 15) of Aladdin where for a mere $1.5 Million you could buy most of the town including the General Store which looked like it was ready to fall down. There was also an interesting historical stop at an old coal mine.
We stayed in Bowman North Dakota and the campground host told us about the Enchanted Highway with large metal sculptures to see so we had to check it out. They included the Tin Family, Teddy Roosevelt rides again, Pheasants on the Prairie, Fisherman’s Dream, World’s Largest Grasshopper in the field, Deer Crossing, and Geese in Flight (Guinness World Record for tallest metal statue). Fun side trip;-)
We arrived at the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park and the temperature was reading 34.5 C and the worst part was that our RV Air Conditioner would not work! The campground host came by to tell us that a series of major storms were coming through and if it got too bad we should come to the Restroom area for shelter. We couldn’t sleep because it was too hot and then at 1 am the sheet lightning, pelting rain and golf ball sized hail came down. All we could do was lie there and pray that our vehicle would not be covered with dents by morning. A second round of pelting rain came through around 4 am with winds so strong the vehicle was rolling back and forth but luckily no hail in that pass. Once it was light out we checked and the roof and chassis survived without any dents, thank goodness! That morning we toured the visitor centre and learned about the Mandan Indians and the CCC which was formed in the depression to put young men to work building the National and State Parks. We also saw the Earthlodge replicas of the On-A-Slant village as well as the Infantry Post.
We travelled to Jamestown where we saw the World’s Largest Buffalo and they had replica frontier village. Next was Fargo where we visited the Tourist Information Centre to see the famous Wood Chipper that was used in the movie Fargo;-) We wanted to stay there but the campground was full so we had to drive on to Minnesota and we stumbled across the Lee Valley Campground where we got the last site and had a pretty sunset.
We have lots of photos from the Minnesota State Parks along the Lake Superior North Shore but those will have to wait until the next post. Today (June 21st) we are heading back in to Canada and will be staying at Sleeping Giant PP for a few days.