Boringest road in the US! Nothing but fields, a few trees, and some cows all across Montana on US 2. Then we got to North Dakota. Seems like from then on it only got worse: heavy construction on the highway because of all the oil tankers and other heavy equipment usage for some years now due to the discovery of oil in the area from Williston to east of Minot (pronounced Mine-ott). The area is being built up quite a bit and that also includes dorm style housing which look like modern military barracks. Traffic is very heavy no matter the time of day.
After we got past Minot, there was no traffic and it was a four-lane road with no construction. We stopped in Rugby where the world’s tallest man (over eight feet tall) lived and the Geographical Center of North America. The sun is up around 5 a.m. and doesn’t go down until after 10 p.m. We spent the night in Devils Lake which we were told is rising year after year (not due to snow melt).
In eastern North Dakota, we saw lots of ducks and geese in the many, many marshes, puddles, ponds, lakes, rivers, and even in the ditches alongside the roadway.
Then we got to Itasca State Park in Minnesota where the mosquitoes and midges about carried us off. It got worse in Michigan! I waded across the Mississippi River near the Visitor Center in the park. As we were leaving the park that morning, a black bear ran across the road in front of us, paused, then took off into the woods.
From Duluth the huge bridge was up and down and winding as it crossed Lake Superior into Wisconsin
We left US 2 in the UP and took I-75 south to pick up US 23 which skirts Lake Huron. We stopped just south of another huge bridge where repairs were being made (so the speed limit was 20 for trucks and 45 for everyone else) to take the ferry across to Mackinac Island for the day. We missed the 7:30 a.m. ferry by minutes. Then got on the 8:30 ferry to have two busloads of fifth graders get on, too! Talk about noisy!!! Nobody wanted to sit up top in the open because of the spray from the boat except for about six students who half way across the bay came in from the cold and wet.
The weather was foggy and cold even when the forecast was for high 70s. We walked blocks and blocks very slowly taking in the wonderful old mansions and resort inns built in the late 1800s. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to attempt the steep hill up to the old fort. The horse drawn carriages were a little too expensive. After eating lunch, we returned to the mainland on the 1 p.m. ferry.
We stayed on US 23 til it met US 20 in Ohio which we then took east to US 250 south angling toward Virginia to Front Royal then on to Luray before heading back home. Yet again crossing over the 45th parallel.