The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Montana and North Dakota

This day started strong. We had 200 or so miles left to do in Montana, and were were excited about it. And those miles were great.

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Montana delivered a very unexpected Mexican-style church, complete with Spanish graveyard. There was nothing else of the sort anywhere around that we could see.

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We got old and beaten down towns with old and beaten down bars.

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But for some reason, every little town – even the littlest – had a RadioShack. How is this at all possible? Nobody can say.

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Eastern Montana also gave us gigantic metal sculptures like these! RUN, you little ram!

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Oh, and this one.

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Trying to follow old alignments of Route 2, I accidentally drove us a few miles too far south. We stumbled upon this Pennsylvania truss bridge – the largest and last in Montana – spanning the freaking Missouri River. We crossed it, which was lovely, since I didn’t even know it was there. Since we are doing Route 2 all the way across, there’s little need for a map. This is convenient, but sometimes gets us lost. Getting lost, however, can be a really good thing.

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Following an actual old alignment of Route 2, we discovered a really small “Badlands” type environment. It was beautiful, but difficult to photograph. If we had stuck with the regular road, we would have missed this.

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But then we entered North Dakota. And for 150 miles, it was nothing but drilling and fracking. When I was through here five years ago, nothing of the sort was around. They have utterly ruined this portion of an otherwise beautiful state. We didn’t even bother to take pictures. Just imagine south Philadelphia on the prairie. It’s disgusting and they should be ashamed of themselves.

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On the other side of Malta (I think), the fracking stopped, and we were able to enjoy the old road and some lovely small towns. This made our day a lot better, as the whole fracking disaster was incredibly depressing.

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Some towns delivered huge old schools for no reason at all.

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While others (or in this case, the same town) handed us old milk trucks.

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To our flabberghastation, Rugby is (apparently) the geographical center of North America!

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This part of North Dakota was incredibly flooded.

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But at last, we made it to Devil’s Lake – our home for the evening. There, we did our best to not be devoured by mosquitoes.

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One response to “The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Montana and North Dakota

  1. Fosston, MN has a good A&W (yummm…those orange/vanilla floats) along Hwy 2 as you come in from the west side of town. On the east side of town is a tiny little church. Teeny tiny. I went up there exploring a few weeks ago. It was cool being on Hwy 2 there, especially since I’m from Washington and have driven it across the whole state. Safe travels!

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