Day 49: Center of North America, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Pompey’s Pillar
Monday, July 19th, 2021
An early morning up and out, I said my goodbyes to Bismarck and had plans to hit some other North Dakota spots on the way to Montana. It’s always a weird feeling to pack up a week’s worth of living in one spot and not feel a bit of sadness. The room was great at America’s Best Value Inn, for $55 a night, it was a steal in comparison to the Murder Hotel I am staying at this evening. The week before in South Dakota was almost twice as much for the week, and this last room was actually really comfortable. I love when I asked for a smoke-free room and that’s all I can smell right now…thank God for Angela and her washing machine tomorrow.
I took today in sections, making the 7 hour drive a bit more bearable by stopping at some interesting points and treating it like a day long adventure and not a mind numbing, long, drive. I will be repeating this process tomorrow, waking up crazy early to get the heck out of this area. The first stop was the CENTER of NORTH AMERICA. I know, North Dakota? How is that the center? AND they actually have a rival in Rugby nearby who says “No, WE are the Center!” I mean, one is LITERALLY located in the town of CENTER, ND, on CENTER boulevard. The other one is at some guys bar in Rugby….I mean, who would benefit more from having it on “their” property? The farmer or the bar owner? It took me awhile to find it, located out in the Country, literally nothing else around. It has flags locating where to drive in, and then a walk way to the exact spot with a sign and boulder on it. I thought it was cool, so Walter and I took pics of course. (When he wasn’t bogarting the Red Vines…dude, is it possible to share those?)
From there it was onto Theodore Roosevelt National Park! Craig and I had such a great time here in 2018, it was his FIRST National Park. So I shared the view with him via video, and bought him a hat for his collection. It was fun to see the “Painted Canyon” on the way to the North entrance, which by the way, is an EXCELLENT way to see Teddy’s Park without having to pay to go in! The view is incredible and they have a visitors center with a gift shop- so if you need a sticker, pin, postcard, or anything else, this is a great stop. Also a Rest Area, so great to stretch your legs, take the dog for a walk, use the Restroom and then see this gorgeous view!
I used my “America the Beautiful” card to get into the Park’s North entrance, where his log cabin is located, and stopped at that Visitors Center as well followed by a drive through the Park. Just gorgeous. Even with the temps today hitting eventually 112 degrees!
Right after Teddy’s Park, you enter Montana!! I was happy to be in my destination State for the day, and it was just the long drive to Billings. Another stop on the way, “Pompey’s Pillar National Monument” which was pretty cool! All of the 20 minutes I spent here…this was the hottest part of the day, and I was like standing in front of an open oven just to take the pics. It was cool for a stop. Half hour later I landed at my “Hotel” and pretty much started working on this and will head to bed right after. This hotel I would like to forget as soon as possible, would like my car ok in the morning, and the deadbolt is on the door. I am sure it’s fine, but you get those vibes and it’s hard to shake off. It’s a means to an end to get me to the halfway point to Angela’s home in Kalispell tomorrow.
I am also having to watch the MANY wildfires that are surrounding Billings right now, pray for me. Morning can’t come soon enough and I will be on my way to a safe home, safe bed, safe friend. See you tomorrow.
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