We left Livingston to drive the 80...yes 80...miles to Billings across a flat crater like area ringed with rocky limestone-like bluffs. We then turned south to Wyoming following I 90 up into and through the Bighorn Mountains. We crosssed the Crow reservation, saw lots of battle sites and climbed to two passes around 4000-6500 feet. Mountains were rounded and green. At Buffalo we turned east. To the west we could see the snow-topped Tetons. Other than stopping for a picnic lunch in the sunshine along the Powder River we did not stop.
Low sulfur coal is mined along this river and we saw much evidence of mining. There were long coal trains parked, some filled, some empty.
We stayed at high altitude...1400 plus meters or approx. 4000 feet during our drive through Wyoming. Before we descended to South Dakota, we wound up and over a 6500 plus feet pass. Scenery was spectacular.
In South Dakota we drove through gently rolling and flat terrain with views of mountains...some with snowy tops. We did not drive into the mountains again.
We drove into Sturgis hoping to spend the night but hotel rates were high. There is only one hotel in the old town where the action is. We saw the Dirty American pub. Looked like fun. Gord got an oil change. We talked to some interesting people and went on to Rapid City...The gateway to Mt. Rushmore. We've been to see the presidents so we skipped them.
This morning we drove across the undulating state. We saw herds of angus and occasional shorthorn....cattle. we saw few herefords. This is ranching country. We saw cowboys rounding up cattle.
We saw the signs for Deadwood, crossed the Cheyenne River and the Missouri River. We passed through the Badlands...and saw 2 hunters setting out. Signs for Reliance were spotted.
Eventually we crossed the border into Minesota. It is flatter still...and green. Water is lying in fields. Crops of ssunflowers, grains and some hay await harvesting. Today it is cold and windy. We are driving toward dark clouds.
We have almost crossed Minesota today. La Cross and the border are less than 40 miles. St. Charles is a small western town. There are few motels or hotels. Across the road is the A & W...our first burger dinner.
Tonight we will journalize and settle. We hope to be in Chicago tomorrow.