It was pretty close to 4-1/2 hrs from Adrian to Hastings. Maybe a bit more, there was some construction. It is hard to say but after almost 5,000 miles through North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and South Dakota some of the worst roads we have seen are right here. I 90 and US 52 are in pretty poor shape. It was a stark contrast between I 90 in South Dakota and Minnesota. So why is this? What is it about Minnesota? I 94 heading NW towards Fargo when we left was the same way.
Our last stop before home.
We left the Devils Tower National Monument after two nights. It rained a bit overnight. We went up over the top of the Black Hills into South Dakota and then down towards Rapid City and then east. It started raining again, the wind was blowing from the north at 20-30 mph. We had to stop at one point because one of the awnings was trying to unwind in the wind. We pulled into a gas station parking lot where there was another coach there with the same problem. We added a couple of ropes to hold the awning in place. It was fine. So it just poured and blew all the way across the wasteland. This has to be the most boring drive we have ever done.
The drive across Wyoming was interesting, diverse and engaging. Things to look at, wonder about, ask questions and postulate answers. From Caspar we headed north east towards Gillette and then a bit east to the first National Monument in America, Devils Tower. Yes, there is no apostrophe. Whether left out on purpose or accident it is as the act of Congress declared it to be.
Just as Richard Dreyfus imagined it, it looks like a giant pile of mashed potatoes formed with a fork. More than 1,500 ft high. In fact, it is a highly regarded sacred place by many Native American people.
A few more days to get home. There is the vast wasteland of South Dakota to cross. A Corp of Enginners Campground at Big Bend Dam looks like our next stop.
We have really enjoyed our time here in Colter Bay, Grand Teton National Park, The National Elk Refuge and Yellowstone National Park. There is so much to do and see that two weeks is hardly enough.
Schwabacher Road gets you down to a side channel of the Snake River. Another one of these dirt roads on which most people don’t want to get their cars dirty. But when you get to the end of the dirt road there is a small parking area near where Schwabacher’s homestead was. There was river access through the channels out to the Snake. Not something used by anyone other than fishing folk now. No boats.
There are many side roads and trails in the Tetons. Some have names, some do not. Some are easy to follow, many are not. It is up to each visitor to look for these places and to go or not go.
Every angle looks different and I just never got tired of looking up at the mountains. Up on Signal Mountain I didn’t have to look up as much.