Entering Saskatchewan, Day 5
May 28, 2012
|AM, Cold and Windy, 43 Degrees
5 PM, 51 Degrees
Traveled From Dickinson North Dakota to Oungre, Province of Saskatchewan, 211 Miles
8:25 AM to 5 PM, 8.5 Hours
As seems to be the norm, we headed out about 8:30 AM from Dickinson ND in brisk, 43 degree weather. Our hopes of a dry day didn’t last long, as the wind picked up and the drizzles started. Both sides of I-94 are covered with beautiful, gently rolling green hills, and dotted with numerous newly constructed oil wells and makeshift trailer camps of the transient oil workers. It’s reminiscent of the days of the gold rush in Alaska.
Turning north from I-94 onto US 85, the gently rolling lands give way to beautiful rocky mountains and canyons. There is a sign “Bighorn Sheep crossing next 5 miles”. Unfortunately they didn’t show themselves for us. We crossed what claimed to be the Scenic Little Missouri River but could more aptly have been named Big Muddy Creek!
We stopped for a short visit at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitor Center and watched the brief park film, discovering the beautiful scenery we had been admiring was the north Dakota Badlands, with its scenic buttes, canyons, and draws. We left without doing the park drives, so missed the park bison and a possible glimpse of park mountain goats.
The first glitch of the trip was at the next truck stop where we stopped for gas. Let me first say that apparently nobody in this part of the country has heard of blacktop. Oh, the main roads are paved, but nothing else, no side roads, no parking lots, no gas station lots or campgrounds. So, you got it…lots of mud! Now I know what my sister must mean when she talks about Vermont’s mud season! It’s hard to tell what color a lot of the vehicles around here are. Ours are not looking too spiffy! Well, Tim’s motorhome went through a large pot hole filled with water, and didn’t come back out the other side. The back bottomed out, and the tired spun. It took 2 ½ hours of maneuvering and various attempts before, with pick-up towing help, he was able to back out of the muck. It had involved unhooking the jeep and taking off the bike rack, so there was a lot of “putting back together” when we were done. The guys were wiped out, so we ended up with another day feeling very long , but short on miles.
The border crossing was uneventful. Even though the border guard was dressed for Bonnie and Clyde in his bullet-proof vest and gun, we didn’t have any problems. Apparently you can expect anything from practically a wave through to a major search depending on what mood they are in, we had only a cursory search done of the inside and select cupboards, though we did have to open all slide out rooms, and open the safe. We were on our way within 15 minutes.`
The city campground we chose because we were tired was not exactly built for large 38 and 45 foot units, and it was a real challenge getting in…probably took us an hour to get both units settled. Made us wish (only briefly) that we had our old 23 foot trailer that tucked in anywhere!