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Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Miles City, MT to Bismarck, ND

(Menoken, ND) Hi 76 Lo 48 -- Thank you so much for all the nice comments on yesterday’s post about our milestone of visiting all 48 states. It’s been a great journey, and it’s nowhere over. We’ll be visiting the places we liked, to spend more time.

Our trip yesterday along I-94 was smooth, but long for us. We like to limit our trips to four hours or so, and yesterday's was about six hours. It was very cloudy but we didn’t get any rain. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)













About halfway on our trip we drove through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We didn't have time to do a proper visit, but one of the rest stops on I-94 has a park Visitors Center and an overlook that looks out over the Badlands.

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (136)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (105)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (108)

It was a beautiful view, and the lighting changed constantly as we stood there with the sun coming in and out of the clouds.
2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (106)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (107)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (110)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (111)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (116)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (122)

2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (129)

We saw quite a few oil rigs when we got into North Dakota, but most of the oil fields are in the northern part of the state.
2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (142)

We also saw some pretty highway decorations.
2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (154)

I thought I was seeing things. Is that a cow on that hill?
2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (177)

It sure was.
2014-08-29 views from Miles City MT to Menoken, ND 48th state (178)

We saw a lot of cattle on this trip, and in some places a few were grazing outside the fenced area. I hope they don't wander onto the highway. It’s amazing the ranchers can keep track of their cattle with all the land they have to roam.

We’ll tell you about our RV park tomorrow, then we’ll be on our way again on Monday.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our Map Is Complete!

(Menoken, ND) Hi 73 Lo 61 -- We had cloudy weather but no rain on our travels today from Miles City, MT to Menoken, ND (10 miles east of Bismarck). We'll have more about the trip tomorrow.

Today is a very special day. Our arrival in North Dakota marks the final of the 48 states that we've visited since we began our full time journey. We have stayed at least one night in our RV in every state. We moved into Tumbleweed in North Carolina on December 11, 2009 and became full timers as of that date. We started our travels in the Spring of 2010 with a very nervous and tentative trip to Florida, and over four years and 48 states later here we are in Menoken, ND.

Here are all the photos I took as we entered each state for the first time. Sorry for the sloppy arrangement. They're in date order, but I couldn't avoid the gaps between the photos. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

2009-12-11 North Carolina2010-03-10 South Carolina2010-03-12 Georgia2010-03-14 Florida
2010-04-17 Tennessee2010-04-21 Kentucky2010-04-23  Illinois

2011-05-30 Maryland
2010-05-23 Missouri2010-09-18 Ohio2010-09-22 Pennsylania


2010-10-02  Virginia2011-06-06 New York2011-07-07 Michigan2011-07-13 Wisconsin
2012-06-12 Kansas2011-08-02 IOWA2011-09-28  West Virginia2012-04-09 Alabama
2012-05-10 indiana2012-07-07 Wyoming sign2012-06-23 Nebraska
2012-07-01 South Dakota2012-07-16 Colorado2012-8-13 New Mexico
2012-8-15 Texas2012-8-22 Oklahoma2012-09-17 Louisana
2012-09-24 Mississippi2013-07-17 delaware2013-07-22 New Jersey2013-08-03 Masschusetts
2013-07-29 Connecticut2013-07-31 Rhode Island sign2013-08-15 New Hampshire2013-08-19 maine
2014-04-31 Arizona2014-05-20 Utah2014-06-01 Nevada2014-07-07 california
2014-07-10 Oregon2014-07-18 Washington2014-08-09 Idaho
2014-08-12 Montana2014-08-29 North Dakota


We placed the North Dakota sticker on the map we have on the end of our slide out.
2014-08-29 all 48 states

2010-14 states filled in

Our son Rick, who is a professional web designer, created this infographic that summarizes our travels since 2010. (You can see a larger, more detailed version of it here.)



















One thing we can honestly say about our great country is, there is beauty in every state. We can honestly say that as of today, we've seen them all! :)  We want to thank all of our readers for following along with us. We've enjoyed sharing our travels with you.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Range Riders Museum

(Miles City, MT) Hi 90 Lo 56 – Today we drove into downtown Miles City to check out the Range Riders Museum. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

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The museum is housed in a group of low buildings, and was founded in 1939.
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The main building has several rooms with display after display of all types of items from the pioneer days of the 1800’s, including saddles, chaps, household items, knives, cameras, watches, boots and clothing, and you name it.

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One whole room contained old tools of every kind.

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There was a display of boots worn by famous Montana cowboys.

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Along with their hats.
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After seeing some of these sweaty hats I didn’t feel so bad about wearing some of my old ball caps.
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This display had an incredible number of women’s hats. They were very colorful.
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This diorama showed what a lady’s sewing room would have looked like in the 1800’s.
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One exhibit that surprised us was this display of dinosaur bones. Apparently there have been a lot of dinosaur remains dug up in Montana.

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How about all these types of barbed wire. Believe it or not each one had a name.
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With all the cattle ranches in Montana, cattle brands are a big deal. This display showed many of the historical brands from this area.
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And the branding irons.
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Of course, you would expect a large number of firearms in a museum in the west and we weren’t disappointed. This is just a very small portion of the large room that contained the firearms collection donated by a guy named Bert Clark.

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There were hundreds of long guns, hand guns, knives, and native American bows and arrows. This display of arrowhead was amazing!

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Some of the handguns dated to the 1700’s, like these old flintlock pistols.
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Many of the firearms were found buried around the countryside, and were displayed in the condition they were in when they were found. Several were found on the Little Big Horn battlefield, which is not that far away from here.

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One of the other buildings was an original pioneer house that was moved to this site.
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And there was also an original schoolhouse. It also was moved to this site.
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A chuck wagon and stage coach sat in the yard.
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The largest building was a barn that had dozens of old buggies, cars, and other larger machine items. They covered the time period of the 1800’s up through the mid-1900’s.

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These old fire engines were pretty neat.
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Around the top of the walls were many items that wouldn’t fit on the floor.
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This old chair was very unique looking, with all the animal horns on it.

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One thing we sure didn’t expect to see was an iron lung. Those of us of a certain age remember these.

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And for the life of me I can’t figure out what this thing is. All I know is it’s electrical, and it has over 20 clamp-on electrical connectors at the ends of all those wires.

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Anybody?

The Range Riders Museum is a must see if you’re ever in this part of the country. It’s open from April 1 to November 1. We always love to see how everyone lived in the “old days”, and it always makes us thankful for the modern conveniences we have today.

Tomorrow we’re moving to North Dakota, our 48th and final state in our five-year (and counting) full time journey. (We have no plans to tow Tumbleweed to Alaska.) We’re looking forward to adding the last state sticker to our map.