Our Philipsburg, MT Trip - August 2014
After an overnight stay in Estherville, which we use to cut two hours off the first full day of travel, we got on the road early headed for I-90 and our overnight stay in Buffalo, WY. According to our on-line search we were told to plan on 9 hours and 15 minutes of driving, but of course that does not include stops along the way. Our actual road time was closer to 11-hours with a few detours along the way.
Our first misadventrue this morning was missing a construction detour and taking an alternate route from Jackson, MN west for about 20 miles before we could get back on I-90. So much for my chatting while driving. We hit serious rain just west of Murdo, the sky turned deep dark blue to the north side of the road and then came right over us with some heavy rain and some hail stones. Luckily the hail and rain were short lived and we were dry to the west of Rapid City where we caught a few more rain drops while the sun was shining. The rest of the trip was sunny and warm but not unbearable.
Along the way we made the usual rest stops as well as fuel stops (gas is NOT cheap out here) and we also pulled off to take a picture of this huge open prairie area, which is the Buffalo Gap National Grassland. This is located west of Kadoka. We don't know for certain but are estimating that the view on the bluff above this area is at least 10-miles of unbroken grassland.
We arrived in Buffalo early enough to take a drive mentioned by the motel manager. This was on US Highway 16 going west out of Buffalo or it is called the Cloud Peak Scenic Byway. This is a two-lane road leading to Yellowstone National Park, but along the way is the Tie Hack Reservoir. We do not know where the name originates from, but we know it was well worth the 10-mile drive on Highway 16 and the 2-miles on gravel to get to the boat ramp. It was a pretty drive between heavily wooded forest land of Lodge Pole Pine and Aspen trees.
There is a walking trail to take visitors to the concrete dam that is just to the left of the boat ramp. It is a breath taking view over the edge of the dam that is probably 100 feet to the river below.
Looking over the dam we could see the rugged rocks of this portion of the Big Horn Mountain Range.
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