Day 53: July 23rd, 2021

A couple days left in Montana, I woke up with a renewed spirit since my migraine seemed to finally break.  At a very low level, I was able to work it out and just get up later today, take my time, and give myself the space to just BE.  After I was sick of myself, I headed out to the living room where Angela and I planned out heading to Target and touring around Kalispell. I was all for it, something still chill enough to keep me occupied but not too much to trigger another headache. Got to LOVE being an adult!

We had a fantastic trip to Target, I enjoyed just walking around and figuring out what I needed on the next leg of my trip. Then we drove around downtown Kalispell, finding all the murals and fun, quirky stop around town.

 

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Kalispell Montana

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Kalispell Montana

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A MUST every time I have been in Montana is “Mountain Berry Bowls” which is like a smoothie with fresh fruit, seeds, and everything good about life. I LOVE them and accidentally got a large instead of a small….I guess go big or go home! LOL

Mountain Berry Bowls

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Last stop was the “Conrad Mansion” which is this beautiful mansion located in town, turned into a Museum for the public to enjoy. I took the “self” tour for $20, and enjoyed just walking around and looking at everything. In 1892, Charles and his wife, Lettie, founded the town of Kalispell.  They would then build their dream home in 1895, and thus the Conrad Mansion was born.  13,000 square feet, 26 rooms, 8 fireplaces, along with electricity AND air conditioning- yes, they had some money! You can tour this while in town, tours on the hour, choices from a self or guided, prices vary and are listed on their website. It took about an hour to tour on my own, a very unique house to see!

Conrad Mansion 2021

Conrad Mansion 2021

Conrad Mansion 2021

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Conrad Mansion 2021

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Conrad Mansion 2021

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Conrad Mansion 2021

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Conrad Mansion 2021

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Conrad Mansion 2021

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The rest of the day was more relaxing and getting this blog post done so I don’t have to race to finish this tonight. Last day in Montana tomorrow….what adventure will come? We shall see- stay tuned!

Glacier National Park 2021

Thank you for donating to my kindness mission!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 52: July 22nd, 2021

It was one of those mornings where I just took my time and tried to just wake up, fighting another migraine all night.  The smoke filled hotel room triggered something nasty in my head, and it has been coming in waves over the last two days. I have tried my CBD, meds, over-the-counter pills, cold packs, sleeping until I can’t anymore…nothing is working. So I am fighting through it until it stops…lasts 2-3 days, pray it stops. 

 

 

 

 

So I took my Excederin and headed out with Angela to drop the girls off at Camp for their last day. We decided to take it easy today in case my headache wasn’t going to dull out any time soon. We visited Whitefish, Montana, and stopped at a lovely Crepes Place for a Monte Cristo Crepe which is Turkey and Ham with a Raspberry drizzle. DELICIOUS!!! Walter approved. We ate, chatted, it was lovely to do a very “chill” thing since I just wasn’t feeling well.

We walked the downtown area, grabbed some more stickers for the suitcase, salivated over the National Park posters, and then we headed out and back home for a rest afternoon that I really needed.  I played with kittens, took a nap, made phone calls to family to check in, and just relaxed.

Tomorrow is another day, another adventure, and another blog post. See you then!

Glacier National Park 2021

Thank you for supporting my hard work by donating.

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 51: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

After a much needed night of sleep, I was so excited waking up today for my visit to Glacier National Park.  Angela and I had a sitter for her youngest, and then the other two we took to Summer Camp, so we had the day to ourselves and we were MORE than happy for the time to adventure together!

Glacier National Park 2021

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Angela lives nearby in Kalispell, so she has been in Glacier a hundred times or more. I always feel comfortable with her, and I felt even better that she drove the “Going to the Sun” road. IT. IS. AMAZING! Terrifying, but amazing! We used the “timed $2 ticket” that was required this year which didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. The ticket wasn’t scanned or punched, just glanced at and waved in with the Annual Pass we had.  We didn’t have to wait long to get in, and we were probably there around 9:30 a.m. We were going in the WEST entrance, and for all the nightmare stories I had read online, I didn’t get the “scare” that was put out there. Everyone had tickets, it seemed, at least in front of us, and nobody seemed to be turning around.  They got the ticket information out there, and from today’s experience, it looks like it works. But without a punch card or scan system, anyone could flash the ticket from any week and possibly still get in. I just didn’t see a lot of “checking” the tickets they insisted everybody having. So heads up on that.

Glacier National Park 2021

We took the long drive up, climbing while ears popping. I squealed with fear and delight, the views something my brain couldn’t comprehend. The view it out of a fairytale, it doesn’t look real.  Maybe an oil painting of Mountains off in the distance, but the height and drop offs VERY real and VERY close to the road. I just held my breath most the time, took pics and videos, and prayed for our safety. It did the job because we got to the top, “Logan Pass.”

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Glacier National Park 2021

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Glacier National Park 2021

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Now, here is where the crowds make everything difficult. NO PARKING AVAILABLE. There is ONE lot, so imagine driving ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the way up the Mountains, you have braved it, you are ready to hike it, and you can’t put your vehicle anywhere. It became this long game of finding people walking to their cars when leaving, getting disappointed over and over again by people just eating at their car or not leaving for whatever reason…it got old fast. I joked I could use the restroom, go to the gift shop and hike the trail before she found a parking spot. ….it was a joke, but we decided to let me go and at least use the restroom and shop while she drove the parking lot.  Thankfully about 25 minutes later she found me, had found a spot, and we were on our way up Logan’s Pass.

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Glacier National Park 2021

Glacier National Park 2021

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We walked the boardwalk area for all of it, and decided to chill on a huge rock at the top. We talked about life, love, and the view. It was the coolest place I have had ever had “girl chat” time in my life! We got Walter out for pics and someone recognized him, so we had her get a pic with him too! He has been a big hit, and so much, that Angela’s family watched the movie tonight to meet him officially (they loved it!)

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Glacier National Park 2021

Glacier National Park 2021

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Glacier National Park 2021

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We drove the long way down, stopped for ice cream, which Walter was ALL about, and then headed back to the house for a much needed nap and rest.  A mild migraine hit this afternoon, so I have been working on it the rest of the afternoon. It was a great day, with a great friend, with spectacular views!

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What will tomorrow bring? Stop back in and find out! Have a great week.

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Thank you for your kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 50: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

This morning was more than welcome after the hellish night I had. Motel 6 was disgusting, I won’t be staying there again. Between checking on my car all night, not being able to sleep even WITH a sleeping pill, and trying to not be fixated on the cigarette smoke in the room…I was wiped today. AND I had an 8 hour drive ahead of me, WHERE would I find the energy for this day?  God willing, I just showered and got the heck out of Dodge and headed towards Butte, Montana.

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3 hours later I arrive in Butte, looking for a specific thing to do, as I didn’t want to expend a lot of energy here when I still had such a long drive ahead of me. I chose the “Copper King Mansion” which I was lucky enough to catch the 10 a.m. tour for $10.  It lasted an hour, and as I listened, I started to not feel very well. I realized I hadn’t eaten a real meal in over a day, living off Red Vines only take you so far. So I finished the tour and headed out to find the infamous Butte, Montana Pasty!

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Butte Montana

Butte Montana

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Clark Mansion Butte Montana

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Clark Mansion Butte Montana

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Clark Mansion Butte Montana

Clark Mansion Butte Montana

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Clark Mansion Butte Montana

Basically a meat pocket, but “Joe’s Pasty Shop” wasn’t something just ordinary, the Travel Channel had been here! Yep, “Man vs Food” had come into town a couple of years ago to try out the famous pasty itself. So of course, while in Rome, I saddled up to a table, ordered my very own, and dug in! It was delicious, even with gravy on the side, and I felt much better after getting some real food into my system.

Joe's Pasty Shop Butte Montana

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Joe's Pasty Shop Butte Montana

Swan Lake Montana

With driving over a total of 10 hours today, I am exhausted. I made it to Angela’s just fine in Kalispell, and had a great dinner with the family, spoiled the kids with Disney goodies- Angela too, and now am hoping to slip into a much needed coma soon.

Angela's House

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I am wiped out. See you tomorrow.

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Thank you for your kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 49: Monday, July 19th, 2021

An early morning up and out, I said my goodbyes to Bismarck and had plans to hit some other North Dakota spots on the way to Montana. It’s always a weird feeling to pack up a week’s worth of living in one spot and not feel a bit of sadness. The room was great at America’s Best Value Inn, for $55 a night, it was a steal in comparison to the Murder Hotel I am staying at this evening. The week before in South Dakota was almost twice as much for the week, and this last room was actually really comfortable. I love when I asked for a smoke-free room and that’s all I can smell right now…thank God for Angela and her washing machine tomorrow.

I took today in sections, making the 7 hour drive a bit more bearable by stopping at some interesting points and treating it like a day long adventure and not a mind numbing, long, drive.  I will be repeating this process tomorrow, waking up crazy early to get the heck out of this area.  The first stop was the CENTER of NORTH AMERICA. I know, North Dakota? How is that the center? AND they actually have a rival in Rugby nearby who says “No, WE are the Center!” I mean, one is LITERALLY located in the town of CENTER, ND, on CENTER boulevard. The other one is at some guys bar in Rugby….I mean, who would benefit more from having it on “their” property? The farmer or the bar owner? It took me awhile to find it, located out in the Country, literally nothing else around. It has flags locating where to drive in, and then a walk way to the exact spot with a sign and boulder on it.  I thought it was cool, so Walter and I took pics of course. (When he wasn’t bogarting the Red Vines…dude, is it possible to share those?)

Center of North America

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Center of North America

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From there it was onto Theodore Roosevelt National Park! Craig and I had such a great time here in 2018, it was his FIRST National Park. So I shared the view with him via video, and bought him a hat for his collection. It was fun to see the “Painted Canyon” on the way to the North entrance, which by the way, is an EXCELLENT way to see Teddy’s Park without having to pay to go in!  The view is incredible and they have a visitors center with a gift shop- so if you need a sticker, pin, postcard, or anything else, this is a great stop. Also a Rest Area, so great to stretch your legs, take the dog for a walk, use the Restroom and then see this gorgeous view!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Painted Canyon

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I used my “America the Beautiful” card to get into the Park’s North entrance, where his log cabin is located, and stopped at that Visitors Center as well followed by a drive through the Park. Just gorgeous. Even with the temps today hitting eventually 112 degrees!

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Right after Teddy’s Park, you enter Montana!! I was happy to be in my destination State for the day, and it was just the long drive to Billings. Another stop on the way, “Pompey’s Pillar National Monument” which was pretty cool! All of the 20 minutes I spent here…this was the hottest part of the day, and I was like standing in front of an open oven just to take the pics. It was cool for a stop. Half hour later I landed at my “Hotel” and pretty much started working on this and will head to bed right after. This hotel I would like to forget as soon as possible, would like my car ok in the morning, and the deadbolt is on the door. I am sure it’s fine, but you get those vibes and it’s hard to shake off. It’s a means to an end to get me to the halfway point to Angela’s home in Kalispell tomorrow. 

Pompeys Pillar National Moument

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I am also having to watch the MANY wildfires that are surrounding Billings right now, pray for me. Morning can’t come soon enough and I will be on my way to a safe home, safe bed, safe friend. See you tomorrow.

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Thank you for your kindness!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 48: Sunday, July 18th, 2021

I can’t believe I woke up excited to work today LOL. I had this fun idea to put each State into it’s own “wrap up” post by adding all of the links to my blog posts and their websites in one pretty package.  That way, those looking for a certain State could see everything I did and have the links all on the same page too check out for themselves.  A lot of work, but fulfilling knowing I am helping someone’s next adventure out.  While I did that, Walter filled out postcards for me.

Muppet Walter

Last day here in North Dakota, it’s all about cleaning my car and my hotel room, along with packing up for the early morning drive out and onto Montana. After my late morning routine, I headed out to find lunch somewhere new, one more time here in North Dakota. I had seen “Sickies” near Wendy’s a couple of days ago, and it looked like a “Ford’s Garage” type restaurant.  A garage atmosphere, it was all about burgers, brews, and everything in between. Lunch special was a garage burger with fries, including a soda, for $8! Such a great deal, I ordered it and it came pretty quick. The booth was comfortable and I enjoyed the atmosphere. I would HIGHLY recommend it for a fun bite to eat!

Stickies Bismarck ND

Stickies Bismarck ND

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Stickies Bismarck ND

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Stickies Bismarck ND

Stickies

Now just chilling in my room, getting more writing done. Craig and I planned California (the L.A. area) over the phone, got lots booked, and I am SO EXCITED to see the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Disneyland! We have it all figured out and that makes me feel better. I don’t see him until November, but it will be fun to hang out and have someone to talk to. Lots to look forward too, and when it gets hard, that’s what I have to remind myself of. It’s been fun North Dakota, beautiful State, but I am very happy to move on tomorrow to Montana….my FAVORITE National Park is waiting for me there. 😊 See you tomorrow!

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Thank you for showing kindness by supporting me!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 47: Saturday, July 17th, 2021

After dealing with a migraine in the middle of the night, I worked it out by morning and was finally relaxed to enjoy some much needed work that I had to get done.  I had planned this adventure to a point and then just sort of stopped. Maybe exhaustion, maybe I got busy, but it still needs to be planned and Idaho was on the list first. So I researched for a couple of hours, booked my points of interests, 2 hotels in total with one stay for 5 days and one for 2.  It’s right before I go camping in Yellowstone, so I wanted to book something nice before I don’t have a real bathroom, shower, or bed for a week. Yay, camping is going to be so much fun! LOL

The only thing I had on the roster today was the “Lewis and Clark Riverboat” tour.  Now, online, it sounded amazing. Brunch with a ride down the Missouri river…sounded peaceful. I had in my head my days of standing on the Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom, feeling the wind on my skin, the sunshine on my face.  Listening to the narration as we meander down the River… while an occasional text came in and I would chat with my close ones.  Not today.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck ND

I checked in the white trailer…yes, you heard me.  The gal checked me in and couldn’t be less enthused if she tried.  There was no clear area to park my car, so where I wound up parking I just said a prayer and hoped I would see Ellie again after the boat ride.  There was a long line started, well before 11 a.m. The voyage didn’t shove off until 11:30, so there we all were, standing in the hot sun, it was like being back at Disney! LOL

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I was expecting a real Riverboat, and basically it was a souped up pontoon boat. My ticket was $33, not cheap, so I am expecting this grand ship and I saw this.  Not ugly, just small, and no room for anyone to roam around, so I basically stayed in the same spot the entire time.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck ND

Everybody wanted the open top floor, and even though I wanted the “wind on my face” I also saw how freaking windy it was!  I pictured me trying to eat my food while Walter flew off one way, and my paper plate the other. Yes, paper plates and plastic utensils. The one thing they could make VERY nice was real dishes and silverware. We all know the feeling of eating somewhere with real plates and then plastic… it’s fine dining vs a barbeque.  Yet the tables had linen tablecloths… I understand if this was a measure taken because of the Pandemic (the plastic) but it just made everything feel cheap.  

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I wound up choosing the corner in the buffet area, thinking “at least Ill be close to the food.” I faced out the windows so I could just enjoy the view, Walter never even came out for pics. The engine was SO LOUD underneath me that I couldn’t hear ANY of the narration they were playing over the speakers, and I had one OVER my head!

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The food? Well their version of “brunch” was eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, donuts, and fresh fruit. Sounds good right? Well it was a “Come get it” buffet style.  So if you were on the top deck, you got crumbs. The first floor ate, and then the second, and they decided it was a good idea to have the buffet AND its line of people in the same area as everyone eating on the first floor. So as I ate I had people constantly bumping my table, not paying attention, and I just stared at my phone trying not to react.

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The tour was from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. and honestly it was too long. Nope, I wasn’t drinking, may have been more fun as a booze cruise. They weren’t clear about drinks at ALL- no one came around to let you know that you HAD TO PURCHASE WATER. Yes, not even water was included in the $33 price tag. You would have to go and buy drinks at the bar, any kind, even for your meal. I thought it was a really cheap move – include water.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Bismarck ND

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Worth it? Well you should know what I am going to say- no. It was too crowded, not enough room to roam, not everyone could enjoy an open air environment, the food was lackluster, the lower level was incredibly loud, and nothing was explained once you boarded. Skip it, go to the Dakota Zoo or the Enchanted Highway. See you tomorrow, my last day in North Dakota!

Please support my hard work, it means a lot to me!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

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Day 46: Friday, July 16th, 2021

I slept much better last night, which is weird since I got some bad news before going to bed. Well maybe not bad but disappointing- Kyra got a new job and won’t be able to make it to Washington to hang out with me as planned. The Momma bear in me is very proud of her and wants her to achieve great things, the selfish, friend in me, wanted her to come to save my sanity and enjoy all of the “Twilight” goodness with me…guess it’s just me and Walter. I am going to have to find out if Walter is Team Edward or Team Jacob.  If he has any Vampire sense, he is Team “Lost Boys” …. But there is room for all Vampire love. LOL So life moves on, I am going regardless, I will miss her there and Facetime her a bunch to share it with me.

On the way to the main attraction of the day, I came across “Salem Sue.” Sue can be seen for miles, her beautiful Holstein body standing upon a high hill in the city of New Salem.  Being from WI, I felt I HAD to stop by and see Sue. It wouldn’t be right to not connect with my dairy intolerant history…yes, now as an adult I don’t do so hot with dairy. I LOVE being an adult! LOL The drive up is unpaved, and there is a switchback, so be aware that it is NOT RV or “Trailer pulling” friendly. I could barely get my car in the parking area, as there were a hodge podge of large passenger vans just parked really wonky. Nothing I want more than to BACK UP on a high overlook…reminded me of how I used to feel on the old “Maelstrom” ride at Disney and every time that boat would back out of the building…I knew I was fine but something always made me a tad nervous. So I just parked as best as I could, ran up the hill, grabbed pics, and headed back to my car to get out before the large youth group at the top would have to figure out how to maneuver around my car to get back down. Worth the stop, I donated to her paint job, and I was on my way.

Salem Sue

Salem Sue

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Salem Sue

I then headed down 94 to find “The Enchanted Highway” – you say what? YES! A road full of fun stuff that is for taking pictures and just admiring someone’s artistic work.  Nestled between the small towns of Dickinson and Regent in North Dakota, it stretches about 25 miles showing off it’s creative fantasies. I started from Dickinson off 94 and then took it to Regent which has a gift shop for the Highway a long with the Castle Hotel and an impressive Knight and Dragon on the front lawn. It took me about half an hour to drive the Enchanted Highway, plus another 5-10 minutes at each stop for pics and reading the info posted at each one.  They also have signs at each one telling you for far the next one is…since I didn’t know how far this went, I got nervous on how far “off the beaten track” this road was.  But, it was pretty easy and not very long at all.

Enchanted Highway