Location: Morning: 47.555394, -103.202631 Evening: 47.566352, -106.213631
Woke up to fog, drizzle and a good breeze. Figured that was a sign to roll over and snooze for a few more hours. Woke up again around 9:30 and the drizzle had quit but the wind was increasing. Looked like it was going to be one of those days. Packed everything away and hit the road. Thought the sky might get interesting as the clouds broke up so I made another pass through the park since I had to drive by it anyway. Glad I did. Bighorn sheep have been a favorite animal of mine since I was a kid. Driving through dozens of states I’ve seen road signs saying to watch out for them but have never actually seen one in the wild before. When I was walking to the trailhead at the first major overlook some guy said that there was a small group of them on a hill side below the trail. Went and looked and there they were. Fired off a bunch of photos until they moved out of sight. Didn’t get any photos that were super great but I was happy to finally have gotten any at all.
Walking back to the truck I got into a conversation with some guy about my 4runner. He said he had a ’01 version in the same color as mine. People love to talk about 3rd gen 4runners. No one once ever stopped me to talk about my Camry or Nissan Versa but this was the third random conversation I’ve had about the truck. Finished making the last circuit through the park and got a few more decent landscape photos and a couple more really good bison photos.
Drove about an hour to the nearest town with a Walmart and picked up a few things. It was so busy it stressed me out so I didn’t get half of what I needed. Back on the road. Destination is Fort Peck Lake in Montana. The wind kept increasing and I was driving straight into it for 3 hours. It was a fight to keep the truck in a straight line. Those rooftop boxes act like a sail and push me all over the place. Drove through one small town that has to be the most depressed place I’ve ever seen and I’ve driven through every dead or dying hollow in West Virginia. Made it to the first spot on the lake I had marked. It was near the dam and really crowded. A couple of open spots were still available but they were across from a huge group of at least 15 RVs. Also when I was pulling off the main road there were 3 county and state police hanging out. Just didn’t like the overall vibe of the place. Decided to try option 2 even though it was an another hour drive away. After going down the washboard road from hell I made it to the camping area Definitely worth the extra drive. The wind was still a nuisance but the site itself was awesome. Secluded, right on the water and no one around. There was one group of campers but they were half a mile away at least over near the boat launch area. I tried a couple of different spots to see if I could reduce the wind but it was futile. Just decided to pick the spot with the best view and deal with the wind by pointing the truck into it. That helped but cooking was still impossible. Just made a sandwich and watched the sunset.