7:30 am: Badlands today with a high of 97 forecast- What?
We enjoyed the little town of Carson ND. More curious, friendly and helpful people. We were told of a scenic back route through the badlands that was stunning. Merv was unable to fix our exhaust issue with a kit that turned out to be inadequate for the task. It did take the noise level down a tad and changed the pitch to something less annoying though.
We’ve been out of cell range almost the entire way through North Dakota. Bismarck and here, that’s it. Note to self, don’t travel with cell phones with coverage supplied by your local telephone coop. The two-way radios we brought have been invaluable in communicating between cars. Messages like “Didn’t we want to turn there?” and “Stop at the next gas station” and “Where the hell are we?” go back and forth.
We started out the day traveling along the edge of a thunderstorm. It kept us cool most of the morning. But by the time we got to the town of Amidon , our departure off the tar road to the 34 mile gravel back road through the badlands the clouds had dissipated and it was getting warm. We had expected there to be a gas station there. Note to self, never expect there to be a gas station in a North Dakota town. After a quick calculation, we decided that we had plenty of fuel in our reserve gas cans to get us through to the large tourist town of Medora on the freeway.
The trip through the badlands was impressive. It would be impossible to relate the breadth and scope of that rugged landscape. Photos certainly are not going to to it either. As I mentioned earlier, we took a back road into them. We came in from the south. Most everyone comes in from the freeway and takes the driving tour through Theodore Roosevelt National Park right out of Medora. It was hot but not unbearable as long as we were driving with the breeze blowing on us. When we got to Medora, we saw a thermometer that read 102 degrees!
We are staying at a nice place in the country called Buffalo Gap Lodge with a sweeping view of the badlands out our window.