Sunday, June 29
The wonderful thing about children is that they view the world with an unabashed innocence. It's cute between the hours of 7am and 8pm. It's not so cute between the hours of 10pm and 4am. It was during this time slot that our darling little Maisy decided to throw a party in our third resting spot of the trip: Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Having never traveled the North Route myself - Tracy had passed through this way back in the day for a glass workshop in Red Deer, Alberta - I hadn't heard of this park sporting a presidential moniker.
Apparently, Teddy spent some significant time in North Dakota trying his hand at the ranching business before settling down in Washington. The time spent must have been worthwhile since he's famously quoted (in North Dakota anyway) as saying "I never would have become president if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota."
"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month."
I like this one. It has a ring of Kurt Vonnegut to it. And perhaps he's right. At the end of the day, Maisy never asked to live in a 13ft trailer for two months. I kept trying to remind myself this as we all grumbled through a sleep deprived evening and following morning. You can see the delight in our eyes as a Bison joined us for breakfast:
Along with the Bison we were able to enjoy some time with a staple of the Great Plains:
The Prairie Dog. What a joke: I'd rather own a standard poodle. At least they can catch a ball. While neither the Bison nor the Prairie Dog are featured in our menagerie, we often try to convince people that our Musk Ox and Meerkat are close enough for their needs. After all, how different can a silhouette of a meerkat and a prairie dog be?
While our first national park of the trip was great, despite the baby-insomnia and hordes of gnats, we had to move on to stay on schedule.
As we were already passing through Miles City, MT., we knew that the Range Rider's Museum was a required stop.
Grandpa Bill had been raving about the eclectic collection at this place for years and it would have been a crime not to drop in. Boy were we glad we did.
Not shown is the equally impressive gun collection. I'm not kidding either , they had rifles from nearly every decade since their invention. And just in case you're worried that the ladies were left out...
Over two hundred hats! Apparently, ladies like hats. But the most interesting collection had to be:
After a brief and uneventful stay-over in Billings, MT (Wendy's was voted the "Best place to get Coffee" in 2003) we made it to our old stomping grounds in Bozeman, MT.
Arriving early in the day for once, we immediately dropped our trailer off at the local KOA and headed up to a favorite swimming hole: Hyalite Reservoir.
The view and weather convinced us to use one of our two "wild card" days and spend an extra day in Bozeman. So today we recharge, soak in some hot springs, and prepare ourselves for the descent south through Idaho, starting tomorrow.