Jay and Gina's Journal
As we were leaving Medora, I saw “Home on the Range” in white rocks on a small hill. The countryside is really flat again with taller structures very prominent. Coal trains visible due to 25B tons of financially retrievable coal in ND.
We crossed the Yellowstone River early on.
Our rest stop was at a truck stop where Greg and Barbara found cup holders. Jennie bought 10 or so of them to pass out on the bus, since we don’t have cup holders or places to put things on the back of the seats.
Lunch at Rosebud overlooking the Yellowstone River - there a bend in the river and some incredibly beautiful scenery. Afterwards, we stopped at a Dariy Queen in Forsyth, MT. Our fearless leaders had called ahead so the the DQ could arrange to have a couple of extra workers on hand to service our crowd. I think that we’re getting close to the 6000 calories per day that it is estimated that the expedition ate per person during the winter at Ft. Mandan. Their food was almost fat free - ours is NOT!
Several of us started talking to a young couple trying to eat in peace at the tables outside the DQ while we were finishing up our treats. He was a local boy from the town of 2000, working at the electrical plant near a coal mine that took advantage of a vein of coal that runs from the area down to Wyoming. He admitted that a goodly number of the people in the town are his relatives, and of course everyone knew everyone else. His wife is from VA. They met there when he was in the service and he went to visit his buddy’s new baby in the hospital. His wife is the baby’s aunt - sounds like a Hallmark story to me. She moved to Forsyth 4 years ago and enjoys the quiet. Snow starts in Oct. and the trees bud out in May - a long winter for two sons inside. Proper clothing is all important for getting outside. He drove away on his four wheeler!
Our visit to Pompey’s Pillar was quite enjoyable. We climbed to the top of the rock - 203 stairs, - from which we had grand views of the winding Yellowstone. This area is a natural ford, so that Clark - name chiseled in the rock - could observe something in the order of 50,000 buffalo from its top. He could also see snow covered mountains. It wasn’t a clear day so we couldn’t. A replica of his canoes were slashed together below the rock - the first catamaran. Cottonwoods down on the bank were charming. Per Clark’s map, the river came to the base of the tree when he was there. These rivers are well known for changing course. The Yellowstone is the longest undamned river on the continent.
Starting to see more trees - altitude is 2700 feet as we cross the Yellowstone into Billings, which had 10% of the state’s total population. Their congressman represents the most constituents of any congressman - 990K people.
302 miles for the day and 1892 total for the trip
2.5 miles walking (including 203 steps to Pompey’s pillar) for total of 23.23