Joe and I are sitting around the fire in Polebridge, Montana and realized we haven’t blogged on this last trip we are currently on. After wrapping up our cross-country RV trip, we missed Montana by a few weeks due to snowy weather. If it were up to me, I would have towed that bad boy through the Rocky Mountains regardless. No blizzard can stop me! However, Joe is the boring…I MEAN RESPONISBLE one between the two of us. Plus, he does all the driving. HEHE sorry Joe, I love you. Anyways, lets get back on track here. My need to plan led me to booking a trip back for this summer, just two weeks after being home from the RV life. So here is what I came up with and here is what we’ve done so far….
I’ll go into specifics on each different state and stopovers during our 2-week journey, but for starters, I’ll give the general overview of what my few months of research led to.
Flight vs. Driving
The country is finally opened back up, flights are available and both airlines and people seem to be making up for the months inside due to COVID with frequent vacations. With the increase in travel in the last few months, flight costs have gone up and rental car prices have skyrocketed (if you can even find availability with the rental cars). According to the article listed here, rental car costs have gone up in costs as much as 50% in some states. After months of monitoring flight costs and incorporating rental car costs, it was an easy decision to make this trip in Joe’s Ford 150. Because of the remote nature of the majority of our plans, it was also nice to have the entire truck with four-wheel drive and something to hold all of our supplies. So here we go, on June 15th we set out on a 36-hour road trip to Montana!
We decided to split the drive up over 4 days while Joe worked remote. With very little thought, Joe found a town about 9 hours from us, Perrysburg, Ohio. Usually on our travels when Joe plans, things go wrong. For once, things turned out alright. Perrysburg turned out to be a joy with small town feels, history, and river views that made for a nice relaxing afternoon. This was the first and last time on our trip we would have the standard amenities most of us are used to, such as hot showers, beds and a roof over our heads. Ya know, what most people require on vacation! Lol. Sadly, for Joe, this was the only piece of the trip he planned and I don’t do normal vacations. He always says one of these days were going to go on a normal vacation involving pina coladas on the beach. Oh, little did he know the itinerary I had planned for us. Every time he had a question about the trip, I would tell him to refer to said itinerary lol.
Black River falls state forest, Wisconsin
For some reason, we decided to carry Joe’s new backpacking tent, so we said out with the hotels and in with the cost-effective mesh roof. This saved us hundreds of dollars on our way out. Black River Falls State Forest was just a quick stopover for us. We did a short trail hike, read around the fire, then called a quits early for a of night stargazing in the tent. Although the scenery was beautiful, we were just there for a quick night’s rest. There was limited exploring due to us leaving at 5 am the next day. The highlight of this stop was waking up to the yelps of nearby coyotes.
Medora, North Dakota
Joe’s small bladder finally paid off! We B lined it off the highway to find a bathroom and stumbled into a hidden gem, Medora ND. A town with old western vibes nestled in the Badlands of North Dakota. After stocking up on supplies, we walked around town and enjoyed it so much, we questioned staying there for a night. However; to be the most cost-effective, I used campendium app to find BLM land to camp on for free. We drove another 15 minutes west and camped out at Camels Hump Lake. We pulled off the highway onto a rough dirt road and pitched our tent with a lakefront view. After weeks and weeks of Joe telling me ND is the same flat, farmland, this spot turned out to be a unique highlight on our trip. We planned to crash early, but spent the night fishing and comparing childhoods with some locals from Beach, ND that grew up ranching cattle. They went home and we had a frigid night laying in the tent, looking at the stars.
You wish! Here’s a lesson in the patience it takes to drive through eastern Montana. Be prepared for hours and hours of remote farmland just south of the Canadian border. There’s a lot to be said about Montana. Part 2 coming soon……