Autumnsblogspot’s Blog

Badlands and Beyond Part 3 and Final!

Posted on: June 30, 2010

You gotta go back and read the last 2 entries to catch up to this part!

Back on the road in Wyoming  we watch the signs for Route 111 and turn off heading towards Devil’s Tower National Monument which is in the Black Hills National Forest. We were about 15 miles from Devil’s Tower when we first catch a glimpse. WOW Ma was super excited. The first thing she thought of was the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
That’s what everybody thinks of!

Our first glimpse of the Tower from 15 miles away

Finally get there and it is spectacular!! Definitely worth the drive.
There’s a $10 fee to get closer but there’s really no need to go further unless you want to hike the tower or actually touch it. So we saved the money and still got great pictures. It’s absolutely amazing up close.
There’s a KOA campgrounds at the base of the tower which is very nice. They play a movie, (guess which one) nightly and offer lots of fun stuff like swimming pool, fun area for the kiddies, a restaurant/cafe/snack shop. Its very nice and reasonably priced.

Autumn the Great Explorer looking for a "Close Encounter"

Now Ma says since we’ve come this far we might as well head over to Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful Geyser. Let’s go!!

Driving along, we seem to go in and out of the Black Hills areas

Back to I-90 into Gillette, WY where Ma found a Starbucks wifi hotspot! We spent some time driving around this town. Its a big town full of all the modern conveniences like Walmart, Mc Donalds and Starbucks! It seems to be a very culturally diverse place as well. Ma didn’t expect that from a Wyoming town. I guess she didn’t realize it’s one of Wyoming’s largest cities! DUH!

Another thing we noticed is Wyoming doesn’t have many Rest Areas along the interstates. They have plenty of, what they call, Parking Spots. No restrooms or info booths. Just parking.
But finally found a rest area in between Gillette and Buffalo on the Powder River. There doesn’t appear to be any towns anywhere near by.

Monday late afternoon sitting at this  rest area… we are 1440 miles into our trip and  on our way to Yellowstone but here, looking at the maps, Ma thinks we should go  to Billings Montana instead. Only because night is approaching and it appears as there are some huge mountains are coming up.

Those must be the Tetons...and they have snow on them!! YIKES!!!

She doesn’t want to drive thru the mountains in the middle of the night PLUS the interstate goes to Billings. She would have to take a county highway through the mountains in the middle of the night with no rest stops approaching. This sucks but It’s best if she avoids all of that and goes straight into Billings. From there we can decide if we want to head into Yellowstone via another route.

I woke up the next morning in Billings, Montana and I was sick. Ma doesn’t know what’s wrong. I was  throwing up and wouldn’t eat. This had Ma worried. She heads out to find a place for us to get breakfast. She knows I like chicken breast. Uh OH! The “maintenance required” light came up on Ma’s dashboard!!
She called the Toyota dealership in Milwaukee to ask why? The car is has only 10,000 miles on it!
The man on the phone told her there is nothing wrong with the car and that the light will automatically come on every 5000 miles. That’s a relief. But I’m still sick and now I’m starting to get itchy. Ma stops at a local drugstore for some anti-itch medicine. Ma promises to take me to a dog park so she stops at the wifi coffee shop to get online. Wouldn’t you know it?  Billings isn’t a dog-friendly town. No doggy parks. Next, the camera…it’s not working? Ma tried new batteries. Still nothing. Ma is totally bummed. She looks at the map again and I notice that we’re not too far from my boyfriend Jackson’s home in Idaho. She wants to take me but then again Ma is superstitious. She starts to think there’s something more than meets the eye with everything going wrong. She has a decision to make.

She thinks about those big mountains she’d have to drive through. She thinks about having to drive off the main interstate, the camera being broke, the maintenance light on, me being itchy and not eating.
As we look out we see I-94 east to Bismarck, ND. That’s the opposite direction of Jackson in Idaho or Yellowstone National Park.

Ma pulls onto the interstate. She feels horrible but she feels it’s the right decision. She tells me we can always come back once she gets me checked out with my Vet and once she is certain there’s nothing wrong with the car. Ma feels so bad that her tummy is sick too!

We travel along BIG SKY Montana. They call it that because it is truly an eye full of sky as you travel through it. We made a stop at an area which was called the Big Horn Junction. Ma said I couldn’t walk on the grass because there were Rattlesnakes about so I had to stay on the sidewalks.

You are here but where is here?

Watch where you walk in Montana

We were following the The Yellowstone Trail: Great Highway of the Northwest.

Ma calls some friends in Minnesota and tells them we’ll be coming through their way. They tell us to make sure we stop in.
We make a stop in Miles City, MT. Nice little town but so far there’s been not a lot to see in Montana and we’re almost all the way through the state. We pass the Powder River again! Remember that from Wyoming?

And soon we’d be in North Dakota

Goodbye Montana..Hello North Dakota

By the time we hit Bismarck, North Dakota I’m feeling better and eating but Ma doesn’t feel s good It’s not her broken foot…she hasn’t complained about that once and has been a real trooper! But she feel sick inside. She drove such a long way only to have our trip come to an end. But we’re heading back to Milwaukee to have me and the car looked at.

We pass through an area called the National Grasslands then make a stop at a fast food restaurant in a place called Dickinson, ND. Ma can not believe what she sees. There is a woman driving around with a chicken stuck in the grill of her car. It’s dead with it;s head in the grill and body dangling about.but Ma wonders if it died that way or what? Before Ma has a chance to ask the woman about the chicken she hears truck horns honking and the woman laughing and waving. I think it was fairly obvious that these folks think it was funny to have a chicken sticking out of the car grill. That made Ma even sicker.

We pass Bismarck and then there’s not much after that until you get to Fargo.

Found the cutest town name called Home On The Range.

Home home on the range..where the deer and the ...Where's the deer??

There is much beautiful scenery along the drive but not a lot to see or do. Once we make Fargo Ma kept thinking about the movie called Fargo.  BOL!!  Once you pass there you are now in Minnesota. What a difference in scenery. From big sky country of Montana to mountain filled terrains in North Dakota to the land of 10,000 Lakes in Minnesota.

Ma hasn’t been up to see her friends in Wayzata since 2003 and she was surprised she remembered how to get to their place. Wayzata is just west of Minneapolis on Lake Minnetonka. BoyOBoy…. they were sure happy to see Ma and made me feel right at home. They actually had us spend the night and we bar-b-qued on the grill and they made me my favorite..chicken! YUM! They had a cat named Princess and she was very nice to me. She didn’t try to scratch me either! Whoosh

The next day we were back on the road headed towards Wisconsin Dells. This has always been one of Ma’s favorite places.  It’s a town in central Wisconsin, only 2 hours from home, and it has lots of huge resorts and fun attractions. It’s the water slides that bring families here. The main street is simply packed with touristy places and old fashioned motels some with hot tubs right in the room. We get a room and then Ma heads over to  Noah’s Arc, one of the bigger water parks and manages a half-a-day pass out of the guy at the window. She spends half a day resting in the waters as I catch up on my beauty rest. I dream of our fun little holiday to the wild west.
Ma says we will do more traveling as soon as she knows everything is good to go!
Until then, take good care my friends!
Love Autumn

Autumn the Great Explorer signing out!


7 Responses to "Badlands and Beyond Part 3 and Final!"

Oh my dogness. Detour. That would be an understatement. The good news is: we are glad you are safe and sound and where you can get answers to your questions and rest at ease. And now you know you are a GREAT traveler and you and your ma can make another trip together. SOON! Hopefully.

Be sure to share that one with us, too. We’ve loved this. ‘Specially ’cause you visited a lot of places dear and close to Moma’s heart.

Jake and Fergi xxoo

You awe a gweat explowewe that’s fow suwe!!!
You have been to mowe places and seen mowe things and done mow things than any of us..and those places awe soopew gowgeous!!!!
i’m so glad you and youw mom awe safe and no wattlews got you and you didn’t climb things you shouldn’t
Thank you fow taking us along it’s been spectacoolaw!!!!
smoochie kisses

I’ve stopped at Big Horn Junction rest stop and saw those signs in the grass- Makes you wonder how they got there 😉 Enjoy your drive! It was my favorite part!

You and your mom are such explorers, Autumn! Mom has never been out west so reading about your adventures has been a real treat for us!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Hi Square cousin. Wow that was a super smashing spectacular story of your intrepid adventures with your Mom Autumn. I love coming along for the ride and casting my pies over all the spectacular sights with you. My peepers nearly popped out of my head when I saw the size of that tower.And a town called Home on the Range …wooohooo how cute ! That was such a lot of driving too – you drove more miles than the whole length of my country!! I think your Mom made a wsie decision to turn back. You can always have more adventures and you bet I’m coming along. Kisses and wiry hugs to you for taking me along. It’s wagging to see your lovely country. Eric xxxxx

Awwww! My butiful gurl is such a great explorer! Me so sad you couldn’t come and see me, but maybe next time. Sniff, sniff. But me hopes you are feelin all betta and that your ma got her car and camera fixed. Smooches, Jackson

We just found your blog and it is pawsome! Thanks for sharing your adventures! It makes us want to leave the city for a while!

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