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Crossing Dakotas

Up not so early on July 5th

and back across the Missouri River on to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation for drive most of the way west across South Dakota, across the SW corner of North Dakota, and into eastern Montana with the night’s stop in Miles City, Montana.

The allure of driving on roads like U.S. 12 is the possibilities of surprises like we found in Lemmon, South Dakota. After a coffee break including peach cobbler at the Alaska Café we noticed a striking sculpture just a block away. Standing under the sign for the Grand River Museum is a likeness of a cowboy riding a dinosaur, an amazing sculpture by local artist John Lopez. After a tour of the wonderful Museum that featured more sculpture by Mr. Lopez, we were directed to his gallery on Main Street where a long conversation with the artist began. This developed into a formal interview that I recorded. Look for an extended story on John Lopez and his art, including a video profile, on this site in the future.

Marmarth, ND…a town that’s seen it’s more exciting times (see for some info). On our so brief passing through we only go to seen the monuments of times gone are posted on the Gallery page of this site and Facebook.

The side story is the temperature: it hit 100F in Mobridge on the 4th, and today’s temps would steadily rise to 104! But at least it’s dry heat. Despite this intense heat, as we were driving in eastern Montana a bobbing figure appeared ahead. As we approached, the bobbing figure turned into a man running at an impressive rate with apparent determination. It was like coming upon Forest Gump on his return trip east. I understand dedication to something including physical fitness as a challenge, but running on a 104-degree day in the middle of the day seems a bit twisted. The man looked to be in his middle 50s but the pained expression on his face seemed more like 70s. To each his own…on this day I’ll take the air-conditioned Explorer.

Thursday (July 6) will start with drive on a back road along the Yellowstone River before rejoining U.S 12 for a drive to Roundup, MT. Stay tuned.

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