Aside from the bubble bath, nice sheets and a warm breakfast, the best part of Billings was that we made it there alive.
Who does 85.5 gas?
We woke up, packed the car up and had a nice cook-to-order breakfast. Soon we found out they sell 85.5 gasoline in Montana. Who does that? (Well, people in Montana do.) But, I’m used to good ol’ Missouri gas that comes in 87, 89 and 91. So in Montana, our choices were 85.5, 88 and 91. WTF. After a brief pow-wow and a pop quiz for the gas station attendant, we decided on 88 and were off on our journey.
We could not have said farewell to Montana fast enough. We settled for about 80 mph, though.
We entered Wyoming rain-free and ready for a new state. The roads were red. So that was cool. Turns out, we like Wyoming way better. There are still mountains, but the highway doesn’t have to wiggle through narrow passes line in Montana. We drove near to Yellowstone and could see the Grand Tetons in the distance.
Along our drive through Wyoming, we’ve hit a lot more small towns. So it hasn’t seemed like the no man’s land that our trip through Montana appeared to be. At one point, there was a little group of hills with a cow on top of each one. Strange, but true.
The fog in Wyoming was unbelievable. So we took pictures. So believe it. After a quick stop in Gilette for refueling, we pressed on toward South Dakota. In Gilette, the fuel choices included 85, 88 and 91. Not to be confused with the 85.5 at the last station in Montana. Not usually one for the details, I am glad that I caught this difference. Otherwise I probably would have just put the cheapest stuff in and ruined Katie’s car in the middle of nowhere.
Gas Cap Winner
Being the winner I am, I also managed to drive off from the gas station without securing the gas cap. This resulted in a large thumping noise when we got on the highway and my general embarrassment for about 5 miles. Thankfully, we found an exit to pull off at. Katie jumped out of the car (without her shoes on!) and fixed the boo-boo and we were on our way again. Like usual, Elphie just looked at us like we were nuts.
Our goal for today was to make it to Sioux Falls, SD. After the perils of middle Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota were a breeze. We skipped stopping for lunch and chose to snack on a yummy selection of granola bars, fruit snacks, apples, oranges, etc. that Katie picked up at the grocery store before our trip.
Pickin’ Abe’s Nose
Due to the fog and drizzling rain, we chose not to stop at Mount Rushmore. I was mildly bummed to not get a photo picking a president’s nose. But hey, you can’t win (or pick) ‘em all.
Whew! In Sioux
We arrived in Sioux Falls around 8:15pm and found that our hotel was under construction. After a brief “what have I gotten myself into” we found out that it was only the front entrance being worked on and that the rest of the hotel had already been renovated. Our room was very nice – much nicer than I ever expected a Best Western to be.
The real bonus of the hotel, aside from super comfy beds, a flat screen TV and big bathtub, was that it was next to a Ruby Tuesday’s that DELIVERED! Katie and I were on it like white on rice. She got a bison burger (her third burger in three days) and I had a chicken quesadilla. We watched Titanic and enjoyed the fact that we weren’t in a car. I took another wonderful bath, where I reflected on the sheer ridiculousness that we would be home the next day.