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Friday we explored the amazing Great Mall of America in Minneapolis. It has three expansive floors of shops with a very large amusement park in the middle.

Great Mall of America in Minneapolis
Great Mall of America in Minneapolis

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.

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Stainless steel escalators
snoopy themed water fountain
Snoopy themed water fountain
One of many rides
One of many rides

Sun Sept 4th we continued westward and stopped in Jamestown North Dakota where we stayed for another few days. We enjoyed the Frontier Village there very much.

Stage Coach at Frontier Village
Stage Coach at Frontier Village

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.

Old Log Cabin
Old Log Cabin

They also have a tribute to Louis L'Amour who grew up in Jamestown and went on to write over 120 western novels.

tribute to Louis L'Amour
Tribute to Louis L'Amour

There were many other buildings set up along the main street which represented life as it had been many years ago, including a Post Office, Dentistry, Sheriff's Office, Jail, Saloon, Bank, Printing Office, one room school room and a church.

Main Street, Frontier Village
Main Street, Frontier Village
Pioneer Church
Pioneer Church

Here is a great old cash register that was in a soda fountain. They also had a pony ride, some tables for a picnic, a great buffalo museum and gift shop and the world's largest buffalo.

old cash register
Old Cash Register
Buffalo Museum
Buffalo Museum
world's largest buffalo
World's Largest Buffalo

The next day we stopped at Roosevelt National Park where we saw these buffalo lounging in the parking lot.

Buffalo in Parking Lot
Buffalo in Parking Lot
Buffalo in Parking Lot
Bull Buffalo in 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.

Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota
Badlands of North Dakota

We did enjoy a few hours in Medora, which is a very cool old western town at the entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Medera Post Office
Medora Post Office

Here is the post office, one of several old hotels, and a couple of official Teddy Bears in one of the many gift shops.

Old Hotel
Old Hotel
Teddy Bears
Teddy Bears

We spent the night in Miles City Montana and on Friday we drove to the Mountain Range RV Park in Columbus Montana which is just west of Billings. (21632.jpg )

Pompey's Pillar
Pompey's Pillar

On the way we stopped at Pompey's Pillar which was a significant landmark along the Yellowstone River 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.

Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River

Clark carved his name and the date on the rock and named it in honor of Sacajawea's son. While I explored the area Dayadevi stayed in the air conditioned coach.

Pompey's Pillar
William C. Clark's Signature on Pompey's Pillar
air conditioned coach
Air conditioned coach

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.

Montana and Yogo sapphires
Montana and Yogo sapphires

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

Evening drive down wet Montana highway
Evening drive down wet Montana highway

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.

big sky country
Highway to White Sulphur Springs
big sky country
Big sky country

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.

Horses on the range
Horses on the range

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.

Hay bales in field
Hay bales in field
Hay bales in field
Hay bales in field
Stacks of round hay bales
Stacks of round hay bales
Stacks of round hay bales
Stacks of round hay bales

Here is a herd of buffalo we saw in the distance.

Herd of Buffalo
Herd of Buffalo

These cows were being visited by a few antelope which I found interesting.

Cattle and Antelope
Cattle and Antelope

Here are some smaller square bales of hay piled in a unique fashion. Notice all the sheep on the hillside beyond the small piles of hay.

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Square bales of hay and sheep
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Square bales of hay and sheep

Here are the more common big round bales in a field near a little town called Two Dot.

big round bales of hay
Big round bales of hay

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.

electric locomotive that serviced the Milwaukee Road
Electric locomotive that serviced the Milwaukee Road
Harlowton train station for the Milwaukee Road
Harlowton train station for the Milwaukee Road

We also saw lots of antelope and a few deer on this day trip.

Antelope
Antelope
Antelope
Antelope

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