Monday, July 12, 2010

Medora and Beyond

The campground where we spent the last two nights was in Medora, North Dakota. That is kind of a fun town with restaurants, shops, museums, and the Theodore Roosevelt NP Visitor Center. At our campground, they provided nightly musical entertainment for four hours by Vern and Rita Davis who promise "Champagne Country." We listened to them for a while the first evening. It was fun and they sing mostly audience requests--ones they know and can remember enough to sing.

Across the road from the park I spotted Mickey and Minnie Mouse driving farm equipment. Their tractors are lighted at night.

The fence along that property has decoration we haven't seen before. We have seen cowboy boots upended on fence posts and old tires hung there, but never baseball caps. It is kind of fun. Today was a different type of drive. We covered 245 miles to Rapid City, South Dakota. Since the back window of the truck is covered with plastic, rather than filled with glass, the wind snaps that plastic back and forth and we could hear the hitch and all sorts of other noise. Usually we talk, listen to the radio and read a novel to each other. Today communication was very difficult. That gave me time to really study the scenery as we drove
. Often we could see for many miles.
We saw cattle and horses, sheep and bee hives, a herd of pronghorn. Some fields had oil wells. Farmers were growing and harvesting hay and wheat, corn, and unknown crops that were blooming either yellow or blue. I believe we have seen corn growing in every state we have been in this year. Whatever we do with all that corn? We only encountered one paving project and one street construction project. We have heard of open range for cattle, but today we twice saw signs warning of "livestock at large." I had time to study the cloud formations. and contemplate how the raindrops and bugs spread out on the windshield. We passed within 7.8 miles of the Center of the Nation. In 1959, when Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union, the US Geodetic Survey declared this spot north of Belle Fourche, SD, as the geographic center of our nation. Since we were pulling the trailer, we didn't drive down the narrow road. There is a monument in Belle Fourche that marks the nearby center more formally. Thankfully, our window was replaced this afternoon in Rapid City and tomorrow we can drive and follow our regular routine. We will read some more of the novel and talk. By the way, I determined today, as we drove and I read the charts in the atlas, that we will have covered 5900 miles around the south, east and north edges of our country by the time we reach Cheyenne tomorrow. We will then have 800 more miles before we arrive back in Coolidge, Arizona, where we started in April. See what a project a quiet mind can find.

1 comment:

  1. Geez, you're not going back to Coolidge soon, I hope. I checked the average monthly temps for Mesa and July was the hottest, with June and August tied for second. I'm thinking once we past the 15th, we'll be on the downhill side. :-D