I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 12:33 PM GMT on July 05, 2013
Until late Wednesday, it was just a bunch of driving. Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa look pretty much alike, except for the exceptions... All were lush and green. Summer was exploding. It had been cool the first two days, but now it was more summerish.
I was in Fargo around 3 PM Wednesday, back in North Dakota. After never going through Fargo, this was the second visit for me in a year. The mild day suddenly was windy. Hot and windy. Like ARIZONA! I was on I-94 West, a great road. Sure, it was a freeway. But one worth taking. Pretty straight most of the time. Then the occasional odd shift for a quick trip NORTH or south, probably due to an old fight over the land where the farmer won, then soon we were back to due west. Always wide open vistas, rolling hills, 75 mph speed limit, and no cops.
God bless America!
I pulled into Valley City, but had trouble finding a hotel near a restaurant that looked good to me. I only searched for a short time, then I was back on 94 westbound. The next metro area was Jamestown. It fit my requirements nicely, with plenty of restaurantal options as well as hotels. I also noticed the town had two 18 hole golf courses.
North Dakota and Montana have a surprising amount of golf courses. Many of the small towns have a golf course, always a welcome surprise for me. The number of golf courses is even more surprising considering the short summer playing season. Like Dutch, these areas are either getting cold as winter approaches, very cold as winter encroaches, or still cold as winter fizzles out. That covers about eight or nine months of the year. I have to admit these towns look very inviting right now. Not sure how they will look in a few months...
I woke up July 4th wanting to play golf. I had made some general plans to try AGAIN to play Bully Pulpit in Medora, western North Dakota. I tried on another trip a few years ago. It did not work out then. Plans are made to break if something better pops up. I know where that course is, and I will be on the first tee sooner or later. So I was up early and it was a perfect morning. So I decided to check out the local courses first besides waiting to drive 250 miles and be playing in 90 degrees.
After looking at Hillcrest and finding a group teeing off just as I drove up (nobody else around), I went and found Jamestown Country Club. Nice course with trees everywhere. I was able to run out and get off the tee just as the masses were approaching. When I looked back they were all lined up just behind me.
The golf started out bad, but there were highlights later on.
I finished and headed toward Medora. I was going to check out the local motels with a western theme, as well as Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I pulled over at a lookout high in the hills that overlooked some of the park. Red and white rock formations as far as I could see. Unfortunately, there were also tourists as far as I could see. Hey, it WAS the 4th of July! Then I went into Medora to see if I could get a room. The town was small and geared toward those teeming tourists. I looked around and was not real interested in fighting the crowds. My gas tank was running low, the warning light was on. And I saw no gas stations right away. Finally, it was just 2 PM, and there were eight hours of daylight left. I chose to move on.
So now I sit in Miles City, Montana. Several years ago I stayed here, as well as played golf at the nice local course.
The morning weather here told about severe weather last night north of here, in Roundup and Harlowtown. (Played golf in both of those towns a few years ago). Also bad weather in Billings. That is where I am headed now, more interstate to Billings. Never been there yet.
Then I will find some easier roads to enjoy as I slow down a bit, with my current ETA set for Monday in Ocean Shores.
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