With so much driving over the last few days the Old Man and I were done. We needed a place to crash and just hang out. Luna needed maintenance so we found a dealership in BIllings, MT and headed that way.
Billings Mercedes couldn’t get us in for over a week and while the Old Man and I were ready to rest a bit a week in Billings MT seemed a bit long so we called the Mercedes in Sioux Falls, SD and made appoint for a week out and then just rested. Well worked and rested. Spending even two nights in one spot felt like a luxury after the last few weeks.
Weekend coming I took half day Friday and we headed down to Little Bighorn National Park to explore and spend the night. PSA: If you plan to travel or just want to visit a lot of National Parks the annual pass is way worth the money. We have saved so much using it and since it gets you into National Monuments as well it has paid for itself so many times over. Plus we get “free” entertainment.
We booked a tour given by Apsaalooke Tours that would allow to see all of the Battle sites without having to navigate Luna on a tiny road. Plus the Native guide gave us the run down of the entire battle from both the American and Native side, which the Old Man loved. I got a bit lost in the battle and realized it was a good thing I never had to be in the Army. Little Bighorn is unique in that it has headstones for the dead soldiers and warriors where they actually fell. As the soldiers following the battle just buried the dead in shallow graves where they fell in order to get the hell out of dodge after a terrible loss. Very unusual, but makes for an impactful visual.
The original plan was to tour Little Big Horn, and then sleep near the interstate at a free spot so we could get up early and head on into Theodore National Park. What ended up happening is we took way less time than we thought at Little BigHorn so we went ahead and drove on into Medora, ND. On the way from Little BigHorn to Medora we ran into a shredded tire, more accurately a semi shredded its tire in front of us and busted our windshield pretty good. So now we were on a mission to get an appointment in Bismarck, ND or Fargo ND. to get the windshield fixed.
A bit rattled by my collision with a flying piece of tire at 75mph The Old Man suggested we stop at Boots Bar and Grill for a beer and some food. Little did I know he meant Rocky Mountain Oysters to start. UGH. The Old Man is way more food adventurous than I am, I of course opened my big mouth to say that he was going to make me try it too. Apparently he had not planned on it, but since I offered. I tried one bite to his two or three actual ones. I state that is just proof that I will eat anything with ranch, and I will never order them again. They weren’t horrible but the texture is interesting.
After dinner we drove through Theodore Roosevelt National Park a little bit to see if the campground had any spots. DUH no! But we did get to see a few wild horses enjoying some grass and walking in front of Luna. It was now almost 930pm and we were done we found a pay campground with one or two spots open and crashed.
After reviewing our schedule we realized we had a few extra days to make a 3-4 hour drive so we called an audible and booked a second night at the RV park, while I did laundry and worked, the Old Man moved us to the new spot and we hung out under the awning worked outside and planned our attack on Medora, ND and TRNP. Taking a glorious half day from work we headed into Medora (walking distance) and toured the cute little town. Theodora Roosevelt has always been one of my favorite presidents and then the Old Man and I listen to a biography on him on our way up to Alaska and while he seemed a bit black and white on issues, it made me love him even more. I was just sad the biography stopped when McKinley died. I guess I will have to find another one his actual presidency. After reading that book I was super excited to see what TR saw in Dakota Territory and maybe walk a little in his shoes.
We stopped and had some lunch/dinner and picked up some beer and headed back to Luna and the dogs for a nice relaxing evening. With all the running around it was nice to just sit around and talk, watch a little TV, and then hit the hay without worrying about what time we needed to be on the road.
We had visions of waking up early and driving the park during sunrise, but the rain made for a hard to wake up morning and very little sunrise. Once we finally got moving we headed into the park, drove it stopping for a few pictures of the same herd of wild horses and a herd of Bison. I got to see land that TR walked on, hunted on, and then eventually set aside to save it from us pesky humans. A few bucks (ok more than a few) in the gift shop and it was time to head onto Sioux Falls, SD.
We camped on Moon Lake in North Dakota to break up the drive and give us time away from people. All these RV parks and National Park really had us anti-people and we knew we in for more of the same in Sioux Falls. Moon Lake was great easy access roads and nice place to camp. You are allowed 10 days and we talked about staying, but the Old Man had a podcast that needed better internet than Moon Lake could provide so we decided one night and then head into Sioux Falls.
Next up Sioux Falls which while a great town I am sure, I don’t see us exploring too much. We are going to try and move up our windshield appointment from Thursday so that hopefully we can get out of the city Wednesday afternoon and start making our way west to Mt. Rushmore and Wyoming.