After Devils tower we headed West again and chose to go up through Montana since we had only spent one night there previously and had not volunteered there yet.
A couple of things I forgot to mention in my last posts: SD- kids can get their drivers licenses at age 14! They aren’t allowed to ride the bus at age 14, so they either need to have their parents drive them or get their license and drive themselves. The highways are marked with signs where people have died while driving…maybe that is why there are so many?
Devils Tower is where Close Encounters of the third kind was filmed.
After Devils tower we headed to Billings, MT where we stayed at a KOA. We had a great location in the campground because we were on the end of the farthest row backed up to a little pond. I thought it was a good sign that as soon as we got set up and I sat down outside in my chair I was able to sit and watch the woodpeckers that were all around. The weather was great! While we were there we volunteered at the Billings food bank. We got there about 9:30am and got instructions on how things worked and where everything was located. We were to help another volunteer, Janice, help hand out bags of food and loose items of produce to those who came in from 10-3. There were times when it got super busy, especially after lunch. It really is a good feeling to see some of the people really light up with the food they are receiving. They also have a kitchen upstairs that cooks meals for other groups of people and someday I hope we get to help with that. It was a very productive day and as usual we met really nice people and felt good and tired at the end of it all.
While there we got the laundry done, had awesome showers ( we usually just use the camper shower because most campground showers aren’t so nice, but these were the best we have ever seen, so we took advantage of it so we could have very long, hot showers and got to shave our legs with plenty of space and time). There was also cable TV! We do miss TV sometimes, especially the Food network and HGTV. We did our shopping at Walmart, went to a pawn shop and sold our old TV for 30 bucks and after removing the hardrives we also recycled the two computers we had been dragging around with us since we left. Yay for less clutter! What a productive day.
Our next drive was to Lake Delmoe outside of Butte, MT. The drive to the lake was a bit hairy. After getting off the highway it was a 10 mile drive on a dirt/gravel road that had a lot of washboard sections and big potholes where we really had to go slow. We definitely did not want to break another wine glass! We could have stopped at a lot of unofficial camping sites, but we were determined to get to the lake. We didn’t run into too many other cars or campers which was good because it was pretty narrow with just a few pull off spots. We made it there ok and there were about 10 sites with only about 3 occupied by motorcycle enthusiasts. We had read that this area was a huge draw for ATV and Motorcycle riders. There were definitely a lot of trails that we saw and it looked like a lot of fun. As soon as we got setup it started raining, but it quit after about an hour, so we were able to go for a quick walk to explore. The setup didn’t take long because there were no hookups to do. The lake was low because it had been drained to be used for irrigation, but it was beautiful. Very secluded.
It rained off and on all night and was raining in the morning too, but just lightly. We had debated about staying through the day, but decided if it was going to rain all day or if we had to hang around and listen to motorcycles and ATV’s all day it was best just to go. So, after a quick look at the gravel road we decided to chance it and get the heck out of there before it got any worse. It really wasn’t too bad of a drive on the way out. We took a different road out and even though it was still gravel and mud, it seemed to have less wash boarding. After we got back on the paved road we crossed the highway and ended up on a muddy dirt road. I seriously thought we were going to either get stuck or slide off the road. Kat was loving the drive though. We usually have the GPS and google maps going on the phone and we were wondering why the GPS wasn’t taking us the way we wanted to go like on google maps. We figured out why the GPS did what she did… it was a dirt road and that is not her first choice! Fat Henry and the camper needed a serious bath. During the drive we listened to audio book and got to Idaho-my last state! I have now been to all of the lower 48 states. That has been a goal of mine since I started traveling for work about 17 years ago. As we got close to the Idaho border a big storm showed up behind us. Man oh man was it getting dark back there! Drive faster Kat!