Day 5 – Thursday August 28 - Canyon, Yellowstone National Park to Hardin, Montana – Today 246 miles – total 1266 miles
Thursday we left Yellowstone. We stopped for breakfast at the lodge at Tower – Roosevelt. Our view out he front window included the mountains and the meadows. It was one of my favorite places we ate in Yellowstone. From Yellowstone we drove from Cooke City, Montana to Red Lodge Montana over the Bear Tooth, Highway which climbs to 10,900 feet from the exit of Yellowstone at 7365 feet. It is a stunning highway that switchbacks up and up and then down and down.
We spent Thursday night in a Bed and Breakfast in Hardin , Montana
Day 6 – Friday, August 29 - Hardin, Montana to Bismarck, North Dakota- Today 477 miles – total 1743 miles
Friday morning before leaving Hardin we visited the Big Horn County Historical Museum. It included twenty historic structures including a one room school house, an old barn, an old log cabin and an old church. All of the building were furnished and fascinating to explore.
Next stop was the Little Bighorn Battlefield which is only 15 miles from Hardin. I visited the battlefield once when I was a kid and I had always wanted to go back. It was a fascinating and moving as I remembered it. The ranger who told us the story of the battle and the Indians and soldiers who were there was wonderful.
From Little Bighorn we drove into North Dakota and stopped in Dickinson where my great grandparents Erb are buried. We also went north in to Dunn County to try to find the remains of their homestead. My Erb Great grandparents moved form Iowa to Dunn county north east of Manning in 1910. My Robinson Great grandparents moved form Wisconsin to north west of manning in 1912. We didn't find the exact location of either homestead but we got a real feel for the country where they homesteaded. I can't even imagine trying to build a farm from scratch there. It is remote, very cold in winter, very hot in summer and rain is unpredictable and undependable.
From Dunn County we headed to Bismarck. I lived in Bismarck from when I was a baby until we moved to Australia when I was 13. I haven't been back since 1986 just before my Grandparents died.
Day 7 – Saturday, August 30 - Bismarck, North Dakota- Today 0 miles – total 1743 miles
This morning Duke and I attended the memorial service for my childhood best friend's Father. It is just a coincidence that we are here for the service. He was a very special man. I am so glad we were able to attend.
This afternoon I gave Duke the Marion Robinson tour of Bismarck. We saw everything from my childhood home to my Grandfather's plaque in the North Dakota Department of Transportation Hall of Honor to the state capital.
It has been so much fun to see how Bismarck has changed and to see my old friends and to remember what it was like when I lived here. Tomorrow we are heading north to Canada.