We made a 3 day trip to Minot, North Dakota last week. We left Las Cruces, New Mexico on Tuesday around 4 pm. We had a good trip, I-25 to Las Vegas, NM of 345 miles, overnighted at Wal-Mart. Arrived around 10:25. The cool night proved to be great sleeping weather. Found we needed some repair on my repaired converter cover. I bought some Gorilla glue at Wal-Mart to do the repair. We were able to get a fairly early start the following morning.
The trip via I-25 from Las Vegas to Wheatland, WY was for another 495 miles. We had a good drive through Colorado Springs & Castle Rock and Denver was not too heavy into rush hour when we got through it. We enjoyed a good night at Wheatland's Lewis Park (where we had stayed going & returning last year) which offers free camping with electric hook-up (there is a donation box). Three very long & noisy trains came by during the night, the campground being very close to the tracks. We got another fairly early start the next morning.
The next morning we got off I-25 at Douglas, WY on to WY 59 to Gillette, WY & I-90 to Spearfish, SD, then US 85 to Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park North Unit near Watford, ND. This trip added about 504 miles, plus the miles to drive the tour drive. The first 6 or 7 miles from the entrance is under construction, very dusty and slow going. But we got to see many Bison.
Friday morning found us sleeping late. We had less than 200 miles to drive. But they proved to be slow miles, using much gasoline. Fuel wise and ease of driving, I believe if we had gone to the South Unit, then followed I-94 to Bismarck, ND then US 83 to Minot it would have cost less in fuel. US 85 is at times very rough, with a lot of hills and dells, ups & downs. At Watford where we took ND Route 23, it is much the same. Both have many large dump trucks and tanker trucks roaming them as well.
From Teddy R's North Unit to Minot AFB proved to be 157 miles. We left at around 12:15 pm Central Time and arrived around 4:30 pm at the AFB with a stop at Wal-Mart in Minot and to eat a very late lunch. Total miles would be about 1501 plus 18 added on at T. Roosevelt.
The 2009 Ford F-150 worked like a charm, very little strain towing the Scamp & very comfy for us with the long bed. Gas mileage varied from 13.47 mpg to 18.5 mpg with us doing to math. The inboard computer Average Mileage was always higher? With our own averaging we had two at 16.36 & 16.20 between Las Cruces & Pueblo, CO; the 18.5 to Cheyenne, WY; two 14.71 & 14.8 to Belfield, ND and the 13.47 mpg to New Town, ND.
We saw the usual Pronghorns along the way from Las Vegas on. We got to see some very long coal trains between Douglas & Gillette as well as a good size Bison herd. On the tour drive at Teddy R's we saw many Bison and when we were leaving the campground many were bedded down across from the dump station.
We arrived at Minot AFB in time for their annual air show. We went to the small show for base personnel on Friday as well as to the one on Saturday open to the public. Amazing what men & their flying machines can do. I especially liked the fly byes of an old WWII P-38 with a new fighter jet together.
Of course our highlights and the reasons for our trip are getting to see our two grand-daughters ages 3 and 1. They are a delight.
We are using the Scamp as sleeping quarters while here. It fit just right in their drive way.
Edited by DesertHawk, 19 July 2009 - 03:58 PM.