Keystone, SD, to Scobey, MT

The Black Hills region really is a tricky one to visit. It’s just not a safe bet in the shoulder season. I’m lucky that I got a good day for Mount Rushmore and will only return to the area if I can afford time off in the dead of summer. I do not regret my detour in the least though since it meant meeting Vicki, getting work done, and, of course, seeing Mount Rushmore. Oh, and eating amazing free food, too! 🙂

It was raining so hard in Keystone today that the bridge between the main road and the camping area was closed for fear that it would get under water! A local guy showed me an alternate way out, a little rough, but doable in the truck. I was worried that that would wash out, too, so once I knew about the bridge closure, I was in departure mode!

I’d emptied a lot of the truck so I could transport passengers, so I had the fun task of refilling it in pouring rain today. Let’s just say I didn’t care to make it neat and tidy! I was done by about 10:30 and it was time to go since the rain wasn’t letting up and I was taking the flooding warnings seriously. It was almost 20 fake degrees warmer in northern Montana/southern SK and clear skied so, really, there really was no point in hanging around.

I headed to Rapid City and did a pointless Walmart stop since they didn’t have what I wanted. I then continued on to Spearfish, where I decided to get lunch. I haven’t been to Applebee’s at all on this trip, so I stopped there, but there was a huge lineup. I instead went to a Perkins across the interstate and had a pot of coffee and a burger. The server told me I had to order dessert and was very insistent about it, so I decided to try their chocolate pie. The bill came with the slice and as it turned out, they had a coffee and pie special that meant that my meal was about 30 cents LESS expensive with my buying the pie than if I hadn’t! Too funny. I didn’t feel guilty for leaving most of it behind as it was way too sweet, but the couple of mouthfuls I had were a treat.

Then, I drove in incessant pouring rain. So much water… But I could see a clearing to the north and I finally got patches of blue sky and white clouds as I approached Miles City, Montana. The weather remained fairly clear until just shy of Glendive where the sky let loose again. The rain was falling so hard I knew it couldn’t possibly last, and it didn’t. The rest of the drive was in increasingly clear and warm weather. It was about 70 fake degrees when I pulled in Scobey, versus about 50 in Keystone!

Coming into Scobey, gas was foremost on my mind. With tomorrow being a holiday Monday, I knew I had about a 0% chance of being able to get gas in Coronach and about a -100% chance of being able to do so in Willow Bunch. I didn’t think I had quite enough to be able to get to Assiniboia on Tuesday, so, really, I had to find fuel tonight. Moreover, I much preferred to fill up on cheap US gas! But this was late on a Sunday night in a small town, so I had a feeling the gas station would be closed. It technically wasn’t… but it’s pay at the pump place and it’s difficult to pay at the pump with a Canadian card at most stations. I swiped my Visa and was relieved that it was approved immediately! That done, it was time to find a bed for the night.

There are two places to stay in Scobey. The first wanted $86 for a room. PASS. The next wanted $58, more than I wanted to pay, but not enough to make me want to find a place to sleep with the truck and reorganize everything to clear the bed. The ‘room’ is hilarious. It’s actually a two-bedroom suite! You walk into the main room and there is a bed, dresser, etc. Then there is another bedroom with a fridge and microwave. The hallway has a big closet, then there is a bathroom! The suite even has a proper desk and computer chair!!!

By the time I lugged in my valuables, I realised that my noontime burger was very far away and I was actually feeling a little faint. I asked the motel lady about the odds of there being a place open for dinner and she said the restaurant nearly right next door was open till 10:00! I went and spent my last $20 in cash on a beer, steak, and baked potato. Yes, it was a big restaurant day, but it’s back to reasonableness tomorrow, what with Canadian food prices and all. 🙂

Time for bed. I want to be on the road by 7:30 tomorrow so I can be at the border for its 8:00 o’clock opening. I only have 60 miles to go to home and Google claims that will take two hours. Unless the border crossing is disastrous, Google is being ridiculous!