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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.

The end.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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8. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
2:01 PM GMT on July 07, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
7. osdianna
4:36 AM GMT on July 07, 2013
Meanwhile Fluffer and Dutchie bask in the 65 to 70 degree weather; marine layer with clearing to sunshine by 11am or so. I had to leave them inside today for an hour or so while I mowed the front (weed-whacked Thursday); you would think I sentenced them to prison! When I was done and opened the door to let them out, they had to examine the perimeter. Fluffer came in about an hour later, but I had to go looking for Dutchie; she was in the fenced back yard with Maggie...both lying in the shade, about 5 feet apart.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. dotmom
7:25 PM GMT on July 06, 2013
Ylee: You are right. We have had a LOT of rain - every day and it is predicted up until next Thursday. No waterwings on Greta and Spec - I'm sending them out IN IT bare as bones! :)
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5. Ylee
6:15 PM GMT on July 06, 2013
I'd think the courses up there have drought and cold tolerant grasses, which enable them to be played on as long as there's no snow.

I'm not sure, though!

Dotmom, there's been a lot of rain on the radar in your neck of the woods these past few days. Have you put water wings on the cats yet? :' )
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4. cybersuze
2:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2013
We watched a documentary last night about a group that floated the Yellowstone River from the edge of the national park to the intersection with the Mississippi River at nOrth Dakota. They went through Miles. have you noticed the river? It's the longest river in the lower 48 without a dam.

slow down!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. insideuk
1:11 PM GMT on July 06, 2013
I can’t help thinking that America has benefited greatly from Joes decision to NOT to pursue a career as a train driver.

‘Look at all those people crowded onto the platform….I think I’ll just keep going to the quieter stations down the line….’

North Dakota and Montana’s short golfist season isn’t really much different to that of Scotland (where the sport has a decently lengthy history behind it) – looking at average temperatures and assuming there are people there who are willing to schwing in anything 7c/45f upwards…

OK, we aren’t talking Floridian types here…

But I suspect they lose far fewer rainy/ gale force wind playing hours than in Scotland. Having said that, Scotland has the benefit of summertime daylight hours stretching ‘til way after pub last orders time. It is a VERY odd experience popping out of a dark little snug in a corner of some old thickset Scottish pub at 11.15pm and discovering it’s still DAYTIME.

You can see where you are walking, you just can’t predict your exact direction for any given step. Short cuts across fields are ill advised.

It’s still light enough to catch the weird looks you get from the farm animals and clambering over wooden stiles after a few beverages should be an Olympic sport in its own right.

Onwards Pudden Head.

Do hope you can find a deserted gas station that suits…

The Tour de France is throwing up almost as much excitement as WU’s Blog Moderation blog comments (seen that?, endless hours of unintentional entertainment). Plenty of thrills and spills on the bikes too, lots of broken bones in crashes and on day one, just 5 miles (a few minutes cycling) short of finishing the days race, a team bus got wedged beneath the overhead gantry which formed the FINISH LINE.

The driver had been instructed to take that route by officials and ended up in full view of the worlds gathered press, slamming his pristine luxury bus into a metal barrier overhead. His roof top air conditioning unit wedged him tight as he hid his face in his hands. Poor guy.

They radioed instructions to the riders to make the finish occur 3km early (which happened to be on a tight chicane and completely unsuitable for a sprint finish), where they had a separate photo finish already set up. So all the sprinters raced forwards thinking they’d almost finished, then the bus got unceremoniously dragged out by a rescue vehicle at the last possible moment. So the organisers again shifted the finish line back to its original placement. The sprinters then had to slow up because otherwise they’d have nothing left to give at the ‘hell for leather’ finish and as a result the fast bikes went into the back of the slowing bikes and there was an almighty pile up of skinny men and their expensive rides.

Another crash, just prior to the finish line, a day or two later provided yet more sights of bashed and bloodied bodies almost zombie like, dragging themselves over the line. Today they are riding the mountains of the Pyrenees, and you have never seen such a patched up, bruised and battered bunch. Some even have confirmed hairline fractures, 5 inch gashes to the bone and chipped pelvises.

But on they go.

They don’t even stop for fuel.

They have to catch their lunch as it’s held aloft in a cloth picnic bag by an assistant standing roadside, as they ride past at 35-40mph.

You know, really, with all Joes readership spread out across the US – you should all be doing this for him when he’s on road trip.

Next person enroute get ready to throw a hot boxed pizza at the guy in a red Camry!
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2. osdianna
4:54 PM GMT on July 05, 2013
I too am enjoying the journey, with the addition of Google Earth. Lots of beautiful country ahead.

Dutchie and Fluffer were remarkably calm throughout the celebration over the last few days; we are one of the few towns left that allows fireworks...supposed to be restricted to the beach but aren't, so naturally we had at least one fire on the 4th in the dune grass, but it wasn't too bad.

Dutchie has found a hidey-hole under and behind some plants up against the front of the house foundation. If Sadie isn't around she can also be found on the bench (see photo on my blog) watching the squirrels and birds.
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1. Arbie
12:39 PM GMT on July 05, 2013
I never thought about what the laws are about pet restraint. I guess because I would never have thought about letting my cats loose in the car. Way too much of a chance to take for me.

I hope everyone in the US had a nice Fourth of July. One effect of the hot weather here in SE Texas is that the humidity burns off some so it is less sauna-like and actually more pleasant. So it was nice sitting outside for the fireworks with temps inthehe 80s and a breeze blowing.

Enjoying the journey as always, Joe and fellow travelers.
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