D+4: Jamestown, ND, to Miles City, MT

Sh*t just got real.

For me, the center of this journey  for me was crossing the Missouri in Bismarck, ND. That seems to be the entrance to the west.

The drive from Jamestown to Bismarck is — well — a lot of telephone poles. The exits have numbers and warning signs, “No Services.” There aren’t even token place names. It’s empty. Check the level of gas: don’t start west from Jamestown with a quarter tank hoping to fill up at the first truck stop. The first truck stop is Bismarck.

A few miles outside Bismarck, things picked up. Signs. Town names. Services. The long, slow descent to the Missouri River. 

Climbing the far side, the land never returned to the look it had in eastern North Dakota. It never flattened back out. It was wrinkled and got more and more relief as we continued west. Rocks began to appear. Then hills. Ridges. Tors. 

We passed a massive wind farm. A mile or more of turbines.

We encountered oil wells — and saw some of the mile-long (and lethally explosive) oil trains.

We thought that was some amazing sights. 

We were wrong about what seemed amazing.

The Badlands took our breath away.

The park has bison wandering around loose.

Like the own the place.

The badlands continue well past the park boundaries.


The badlands burn.

Read this: https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/ndnotes/ndn13_h.htm

We’re going to figure out how to rent and RV and come back here. This. Is. Amazing.

Dinner at the Iron Skillet in Miles River. Very nice place.

© Steven Lott 2020