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8/30/05- Illinois
On Tuesday we drove to Joliet (Map) which is southwest of Chicago. We cleaned up the coach a bit because the next night my girlfriend Marlene, from my Ohio State days, who has lived and worked in Chicago ever since, came to have dinner with us. It was good to see her again after about 30 years.

 stainless steel escalators
Great Mall of America's stainless steel escalators

9/1/05- Wisconsin
On Thursday we drove up to Milwaukee (Map) and picked up Dayadevi's computer. Then we drove as far as Tomah Wisconsin where we dry docked for the night.

9/2/05- Minnesota
Friday we explored the amazing Great Mall of America in Minneapolis (Map). It has three expansive floors of shops with a very large amusement park in the middle. Here are some of the beautiful stainless steel escalators carrying people between floors and a whimsical snoopy themed water fountain in the middle of the mall. You can find just about anything your heart desires in this place and the kids can have a great time too. Here are some more photos of the Great Mall of America.

Then we drove to Jim & Joan's Country Campground in Miltona (Map) where we camped for a couple of days.

Jamestown, North Dakota
Jamestown, North Dakota

9/4/05- Jamestown, North Dakota
We continued westward and stopped in Jamestown North Dakota (Map) where we stayed for another few days. We enjoyed the Frontier Village there very much. They had a fine collection of historical objects including this authentic stage coach, a caboose and the Jamestown train station, an old log cabin which was donated, and a tribute to Louis L'Amour who grew up in Jamestown and went on to write over 120 western novels. Here are some more photos of the Badlands.

9/7/05- Dickenson, North Dakota
On wednesday we continued on to Dickenson N.D. staying at Camp on the Heart.

Buffalo
Buffalo at Roosevelt National Park

9/8/05- Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
The next day we stopped at Roosevelt National Park where we saw these buffalo lounging in the parking lot. We went into the visitors center, but decided not to make the loop through the park itself. Here are a few photos of this interesting but not particularly beautiful or inviting park which is also know as the badlands. Here are some more photos of the Badlands.

Badlands
Badlands at Roosevelt National Park

We did enjoy a few hours in Medora (Map), which is a very cool old western town at the entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Here is the post office, one of several old hotels, and a couple of official Teddy Bears in one of the many gift shops.

Pompey's Pillar
Pompey's Pillar

9/9/05- Billings, Montana
We spent last night in Miles City Montana and today we drove to the Mountain Range RV Park in Columbus Montana which is just west of Billings (Map). On the way we stopped at Pompey's Pillar which was a significant landmark along the Yellowstone River photo for both the Plains Indians and Euro-American explorers, traders, soldiers and immigrants. On July 25th, 1806 it was visited by a 12 man detachment under the command of William Clark that included Sacajawea and her infant son. (21597.jpg) Clark carved his name and the date on the rock and named it in honor of Sacajawea's son. (21635.jpg ) While I explored the area Dayadevi stayed in the air conditioned coach.Here are some more photos of Pompey's Pillar.

9/10/05- Ring Shopping
Saturday morning we stopped into a local jewelry shop which had some beautiful sapphires. Dayadevi had been looking for the perfect ring for me to buy her for our 10th wedding anniversary for many weeks, so when we found a ring that was close to what she had in mind and a heart shaped Montana sapphire, we decided to have a ring created just for her. It will also have two Yogo sapphires on either side of the main stone.

Wet Montana Highway at Dusk
Wet Montana Highway at Dusk

Next we went into Billings to have a look around and then went for a drive in the country until dark.

9/11/05- Big Sky Country, Montana
On Sunday we went for a long drive in Big Sky Country. It was a beautiful day and we started by heading west on I90 to US 89 where we turned north towards White Sulphur Springs (Map). Along the way we stopped to take some photos of this picturesque old barn with a very antique automobile beside it.

Old Barn and Car
Old Barn and Car

We saw lots of horses, although I can't say that any of them were wild horses. And lots and lots of hay, mostly cut and laying in the fields, waiting to dry completely we supposed, and then stacked in preparation for use or sale. I found the big round bales most interesting and we noticed there was still some hay from last year.

Milwaukee Road electric locomotives
The Milwaukee Road electric locomotives

In Harlowton we discovered the last of the electric locomotives that serviced the Milwaukee Road between Harlowton and Avery, Idaho 440 miles away. 84 electric locomotives were built by General Electric in 1915. Here is the nearby train station where it stopped regularly until 1974.

Antelope
Antelope

We also saw lots of antelope and a few deer on this day trip. Here are some more photos of the Big Sky Country..

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