|We broke camp here at General Sibley in Bismarck, ND on Wednesday morning & headed west on I-94, destination Montana. It was a lovely day & the scenery was very pretty for most of our trip with a few interesting things thrown in as well. Our first encounter was with Sue.
Salem Sue (or The World's Largest Holstein Cow) is a large fiberglass Holstein cow sculpture located in New Salem, North Dakota. Salem Sue was built in 1974 for $40,000. Sue stands 38 feet high and is 50 feet long & we could see her for several miles before deciding to stop for a better look. That turned out to be a good decision because as we exited the interstate our pressure pro tire monitoring system let us know that we had a problem. Turned out to be a leaking valve stem so Larry was able to fix it quickly & get us back on the road safely.
Thirty miles south of the nearest major highway, the town of Regent was dying, and Gary Greff decided someone had to do something about it. Hence, the truly gigantic "Geese in Flight" scrap metal sculpture casts it's shadow over I-94 at exit 72, the starting point of North Dakota's Enchanted Highway. This sculpture features 10 geese flying in front of the sun. The largest of the geese is 19 feet in length with a 30 foot wing span. The sculpture, as a whole, is truly enormous: 110 ft. In height, 154 ft. In length, and a whopping 78.8 tons. In fact, the "Geese in Flight" sculpture is in the Guinness World Book of Records as the "World's Largest Scrap Metal Sculpture".
Gary Greff, a metal sculptor and retired school teacher, started the work in 1990 using used oil tanks and oil well pipe for the materials to construct this humongous piece of art. You can read more about Gary & the Enchanted Highway at the link I've attached. I wish we'd realized that this 'Enchanted Highway' was in the area as we would have definitely planned our travel today to spend time on the 32 mile stretch of road. A couple of our friends will be traveling along this stretch of I-94 in a couple of days so perhaps they will take the time to see all of the sculptures. I highly recommend a stop!
We continued along our way past rolling hills filled with sunflowers, hay & even oil drilling rigs as we made our way west. We stopped at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park rest area along I-94 where we were able to view a small part of the South Unit of the park. We enjoyed our lunch with spectacular views & strolled around the property afterward. I encountered a large buffalo lying in the grasses & before we headed out he stood up for us for a nice photo opp!
We'd considered stopping in the Medora area for a day or two but the Medora attractions have all closed for the season & we understand they are doing road work on the scenic drive so it was very dusty, extremely slow & a real pain. Since we've been to these badlands before we decided to keep on moving.
The scenery continued to remain 'badlandy' for several miles, making for a lovely drive. There were numerous trains carrying coal & we crossed the Yellowstone River many times throughout the day. We saw stones spelling Home On The Range as we whizzed by so I had to Google of course. Home On The Range is a therapeutic, working ranch located in western North Dakota, founded in 1949 & licensed to care for 54 boys and girls, ages 12 – 19. Good for them!
We finally crossed into Montana & decided to stop for the night. We arrived at our first campground to discover it was closed/gone. No longer in use, even though it had good reviews! The second one was too tight for our rig, pass. We finally found a small, older park that was too expensive & the hookups were too far to easily use for an overnighter so Larry hooked up the electricity & we let the rest of it go. We seldom have trouble finding a 'good' camping spot but it seems like Montana might take a bit more planning than usual!
Tomorrow we move on toward Billings as we make our way west so, we'll see you on down the road!