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No home, no car, no worries. On the road since 1996, a TechNomad couple share their travel secrets and adventures.

Weather Aborts Camping Plans

Fall Trip from Gould City, Mi to Deadwood, ND

As we departed the Upper Peninsula of Michigan heading northwest on US2, we had high hopes for our plan to camp. However, knowing we would get a late start on the first day, and rain was expected, we resigned ourselves to a hotel in Rhinelander, WI. located on Hwy 8 for the first night.

Then, when checking the weather for the following evening, we found the estimated low temperature was to be 30 degrees. Hmm, the sleeping bags might be rated that low but then again maybe not. Rain was still a possibility. We settled for another evening in a hotel near Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. Could be memories of drying a tent in an up market hotel in Seattle influenced our thinking!

Next to our Minneapolis-St. Paul hotel, we spotted a Gander Mountain outdoor store. We walked over to shop for additional supplies: a coffee press for fresh coffee, a propane heater for the tent, a grill for the propane stove and bags of self-lighting charcoal. Now, we felt better prepared for cold weather.

More cold weather and rain were in the forecast, dictating another hotel evening for Fargo, ND. Oh, well. We entertained ourselves by walking around the nearby mall and going to see a movie instead of sitting before a raging fire.

Well, the weatherman got it right. More rain accompanied by a cold front blew in overnight. Even viewed through a light mist, the Great Plains area is beautiful. The rolling hills covered in tall, brown grass conceal roaming buffalo, herds of cattle, and racing antelope are easily seen from Interstate 94.

We decline an invitation to visit a buffalo farm with a large statue of a buffalo, as advertised on the last billboard. We spot the huge statue of Salem Sue, world largest Holstein cow on a distance rise as we speed by and enjoy the tall, metal "Ducks in Flight" sculpture as we quickly pass.

Finally, the clouds are breaking up and the sun is peaking out. It is still cold. We are resigned now to put off camping until we reach the southwest. It’s another hotel night in Dickerson, ND. Then it is on to our first planned layover.

We depart the interstate and head south on Hwy 85. The sun is still trying to peak out between the clouds, the wind is strong and the rain has stopped. We spot a herd of pronghorn settled in a shallow area next to the road, antlers high, quietly watching the cars pass. Small ponds of water are overflowing with geese.

Occasionally, we spot hunters outfitted in bright orange, walking across the plains with riffles in hand. The vastness of the plains is hard to describe. We have been driving through the vast area of grass covered, rolling hills for three days.

And then, there they are. Far in the distance we spot the looming black hills, just as impressive today as to the plains indians who named them years ago. Tonight we begin a few days rest in Deadwood, SD.

Travel tip: We always remain flexible in our trip plan and travel only a few hours a day.

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