Thursday, July 4, 2019
The temperature was 22 C ( 72 F ) at 7 am when I left. The traffic was very light, most likely due to the Independence Day holiday and it remained light for the during of the trip, even in the larger cities. I drove a few hours before stopping for a light breakfast at Panera Bread franchise around 8:30. As I sat, eating my Avacado, EggWhite & Spinach sandwich on a multi-grain bun, as well as, a bear claw pastry and drinking my first cup of coffee this week, I wrote my journal for the previous day. I didn’t realize how much time I had taken writing my journal but when I left, two hours had passed. I had a lot of ground to cover so I decided I wouldn’t stop for long periods of time for the rest of the day.
At this time of year there are a lot of insects, especially butterflies in the area as witnessed by the collage of carcasses and stains on my windshield and grill. Many an insect sacrificed it’s life for this piece of art and every time I filled the car with gas, I needed to clean my windshield.
I drove towards Omaha, Nebraska and I missed my turn from the 80 to the 680 without knowing it and I ended up going south west of Omaha. Fortunately I stopped for lunch shortly after leaving Omaha and when I continued my trip, my GPS instructed me to go back on the 80 East, so I pulled over before going on the highway to figure out where it was taking me. After several attempts at resetting the map, it insisted that I go east. It wasn’t until later on that I noticed that I had added an extra hour onto my trip by missing my turn. There was nothing I could do about it, so I carried on.
At the end of the 29 North and on most of the I 90, the speed limit increased to 80 mph ( 129 km/h ). The calculation on the GPS for ” Time to Destination ” is calculated according to the street speed limits, so I ‘ had to ‘ increase my speed up to 80 if I wanted to make it in the time it had calculated. My 27 hour trip to Grand Forks from Wellman had been increased to 28 hours after my side trip, so I didn’t want to loose any more time, if possible.
As I drove through South Dakota, I remembered the grasslands of rolling hills and the ever persistent ” Wall Drug ” billboards as I neared Rapid City. I took the picture below with my dash camera.
Halfway through South Dakota, the time changed form Central to Mountain time and I gained another hour, which gave me more time to drive but didn’t shorten my trip.
Storm clouds loomed above Rapid City as I approached it. It was 7:30 mountain time and it would have still been sunny but the clouds made it very dark as it started to rain. I was entertained by the numerous fireworks intermixed with lightening as I drove through the city. The rain was quite steady and several times there was a torrential downpour and the traffic slowed down from the speed limit of 75 to 50 mph. The temperature had increased to 27 C ( 81 F ) but it dropped down to 18 C ( 64 F ) as I approached Rapid City.
I stopped just west of Rapid City and searched for a place to stay the night. After 6 failed attempts to find a room in 3 different areas, including a campground, I realized that I would not be lucky in finding a room during Independence Day. The cabins at the campground were also full, however, there were campsites available, but I was not willing to set up my tent during a torrential downpour so I continued to drive west.
The further I drove west, the areas became more remote and there were less options available. It rained, off and on, as I drove through the northeast corner of Wyoming and into Montana and by now I had made up my mind that I would sleep at a rest stop. When I reached the small town of Broadus, Montana, it was 10:30 pm mountain time ( 11:30 CST ). There was a rest stop just before my turn at the junction with the 59, so I pulled in, got out my sleeping bag and pillow, reclined the seat in my car and went to sleep. The temperature had dropped to 14 C ( 57 F ) by the time I went to sleep.
With the unintentional side trip around Omaha, my driving time to Broadus Montana was approximately 14 hours. With stops, I had been on the road almost 17 hours.