Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The Long and Winding Road – Days 16-18
Well Saturday night started an epic drive from Val d’Or. We left following Connor’s race and drove into the night through the rain, watching intently for Moose, as every 15 miles there is a watch for Moose sign (we never saw one). We drove about 300 miles and parked at a Flying J Truck Stop between two idling semis. It sounded like we were sleeping on the freeway.
We got an early start and drove almost 1, 000 miles to Fargo, ND. About 100 miles out of Fargo we lost power and had to nurse the View the last 100 miles (fortunately ND is really flat) to the Dodge Dealer (after sleeping at Wal-Mart) where for the 3rd time they replaced the “Resonator” without which the View just doesn’t sound right.
After a couple of hour delay it was onto Bozeman Montana. In just over 48 hours we Driven 1,800 miles, crossed an international border, been in two countries, two provinces, across 3 states (Minesota, North Dakota and Montana) and joined the throngs of RV’s parked at Wal-Mart.
Driving that long non-stop one has time to think, and below are some of the things thunk:
• Lake Superior is superior, at least when compared with other lakes I have seen.
• The Badlands are just that.
• I-94 between Fargo and Billings is the best stretch of Interstate Highway in North America. It is in great condition, there is very little traffic, minimal construction, you pass National Parks and Monuments (including Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which I had never heard of before), and there is not a single outlet mall.
• There are lots of “Worlds Largest” items in North America. Among those that I have seen are Prarie Dog, Rocking Chair, Adirondack Chairs, Snowman, Moose (2), Wolves (2), Sand Hill Crane, Metal Sculpture and Bison. I am disappointed however to have missed the Worlds Largest Ball of Twine mentioned by Clark Griswold (my mentor) in the movie “Vacation”.
• The slowest drivers in the US can be found in Minnesota. I guess they are so used to driving in crumby weather, they can’t adapt to good conditions.
• Amber waves of grain are a truly magnificent sight.
• Thomas Jefferson was a very bright guy and the Louisiana Purchase was a bargain.
• Lewis and Clark were studs and there Journey of Discovery was the ultimate camping trip.
• I am a lucky man to have my wife and family and appreciate her patience with me, even when I forgot her Birthday (so did she, as we both thought it was the following day). I will make it up to her when we get home in September.
Photo Notes - Mom on her birthday at our Home Away from Home, the Wal-Mart parking lot; Theodore Roosevelt National Park; Dinner in Billings, who knew Montana had Casinos, it was all I could do to get Mom out of that place without loosing everything we own.