Alaska, the Last Frontier - Summer 2012 travel blog

wind turbines

Montana isn't Alaska sized, but when you're trying to drive through it, it does take forever. When we are trying to pound down the miles, we favor expressways, but there are none from the NW to the SE in Montana. But it didn't matter much. The two lane route drove through miles of empty. The only interruption in the scenery was a giant wind farm. Mostly the land was dry and dusty. If we saw a patch of green, it was irrigated. The speed limit was 70, faster than we should be shoving our house down the road and we made good time.

We stopped in Billings, a real town of about 100,000 people. We went out to eat and bought a few supplies and went hog wild. In Alaska the meals were so expensive we rarely drank anything but water with a dinner. Tonight we had iced tea and entrees with salads, and the tab was about the same as one entree in AK. Ditto for the grocery store. That $14 watermelon only cost $3. Surprisingly the diesel fuel we bought today was slightly more than the best prices we found in Fairbanks and Anchorage. But fuel in the US is always a bargain compared to Canada. The fuel bill on our last stop there was so high, the credit card company suspected fraud and shut us down.

This is annoying and embarrassing. When I tried to use that card at the campground today, it was declined. The bank had sent us an email with a code# to fix the problem, but by the time we had internet, the code had expired. And getting our credit card shut down often happens when we're in places where calling the company to verify purchases is also difficult. You would think that after a summer spent using that card in the frigid north, a large charge from the same area would not be alarming. They often say they are closing the card for our protection. In actuality the bank is protecting itself and inconveniencing us. But no one asked me.

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