Junction of US 12 and US 89 East of White Sulphur Springs, MTI continued east on US 12. It parallels the Musselshell River between Checkerboard, MT, and Melstone, MT. Then it crosses badlands to Forsyth, MT, and follows the Yellowstone River to Miles City, MT. These are southern tributaries of the Missouri River.
From Forsyth, MT, to Eau Claire, WI, US 12 follows the Yellowstone Trail laid out by a trail-booster association in the days of named highways.
US 12 in MontanaThe route east lacks rain in the shadow cast by the Rocky Mountains along the Continental Divide to the west. On the upper Musselshell, some source of water seems to nourish cottonwoods in the creek bottoms. Perhaps there are springs. Things are dry for a good ways on either side of Miles City, MT. You don't really see row crops until after you cross the Missouri River itself in the middle of South Dakota at Mobridge.
The Jersey Lilly, Ingomar, MT"The town of Ingomar is located between Roundup and Forsyth on US 12 in east-central Montana." That about says it and probably tells you all you need to know about it and maybe even more than you wanted to know. However, if you stop at:
The Jersey Lilly... you will discover it to be a beehive of activity and the hub of society for miles around -- not your wimpy Midwestern miles either but honest to God Montana miles -- and I must point out as well that they do serve Moose Drool.
Ingomar has no paved streets and reposes upon the open range. You have to cross cattle grates on either side of the rail grade, getting into town from the highway. What attracted my attention was their roadside marker, which quoted a few stanzas from the Ingomar brochure.
Big Sky CampgroundThe reason for the extended stay was to regain confidence in the mechanical worthiness of my motorcycle. The voltmeter on the dashboard indicated that the battery wasn't charging, coming into Forsyth, MT. I ordered a new voltage regulator, waited until it arrived, and installed it before riding the bike. Then I fiddled with the electrical wiring for a couple of days, trying to make the voltmeter work. Cleaning some contacts ultimately turned the trick.
1294 US 12
Miles City, MT 59301
Petrified Wood Park, Lemmon, SDFinally one comes to the Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon, SD. What can one say? Here were collected tons of stones from the surrounding landscape as though the city's boosters had hoped to corner the market. Here the rubble was glued to the outside surfaces of a whole city block-full of cement obelisks, a museum, and a gas station in a technique which might as well be named paleontological appliqué.
US 12 in South DakotaHere it is -- the nub, the nut, the moral of the story I've been telling: The more things change -- the more they stay the same.
One sees a lot of motorhomes the size of Greyhound buses coming down the road, but one notices a lot more sitting in campgrounds. With fuel tanks in excess of 100 gallons and ranges approaching a thousand miles, these behemoths, like the old-time passenger trains, are built to travel the long haul. In the heyday of railroads, the idle (rich or not) lavished weeks on their tour of Glacier Park by horseback. It's not so different for an RV owner to round up partners, cart them all off to one well known, scenic destination, and spend a large portion of the season there.
That's not the way it is with automobile touring! You need food, fuel, and a place to sleep because you can't take it with you like a railroad -- like a motorhome rolling down the interstate. It's more like piloting a steamboat up a river. You have to tie up every once in while to chop firewood, to duck windy weather, and to wait out the dark. You're a lot more dependent on the path you have to take.
Roadside attractions are the tinkling echoes of times gone by. The modern traveler doesn't apprehend the need. His trip is only about where he's bound. It's not about the territory he hurries through. Still, those of us journeying more lightly on the land can stop to see something before the emptiness swallows it.
Monument: Sacagawea Memorial, Mobridge, SDSacagawea (Sacajawea, Sakakawea), the Shoshone interpreter of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is presumed to have been buried at Fort Manuel, which is now mostly inundated by Lake Oahe. This is her memorial.
Monument: Sitting Bull's Grave, Mobridge, SDAt the same site as the Sacagawea Memorial on a bluff overlooking the Oahe Reservoir on the Missouri River at Mobridge, SD, is the final resting place of Sitting Bull. He was not buried here initially. The bust is by the late American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski who is best known for his design and early work on the Crazy Horse Memorial near Custer, SD. The portrait on the nearby marker is unattributed.
Kountry Kamping and Kabins
2712 W US 12
PO Box 907
Mobridge, SD 57601-0907
Chief Kandiyohi, Willmar, MN
AN IDEALIZED STATUE TYPIFYING THE MEANING OF THE WORD *
This Indian image first became part of Willmar in 1915, when it appeared as the Kandiyohi County Bank symbol. That same year, artist Eben E. Lawson, commissioned by the bank, created "Kandiyohi," a smaller sculpture which was the basis for this larger statue.
In 1929, "Chief Kandiyohi" (a nickname the Indian symbol received, although there never really was a chief by that name) found a home with the Bank of Willmar following several bank mergers.
Bank of Willmar President Norman Tallakson contracted to have the 17-foot statue made in 1956. It was mounted on the bank overlooking Litchfield Avenue for 27 years.
On July 25, 1983, the statue was moved to this site, after it was donated to the City of Willmar and Kandiyohi County by First American Bank and Trust of Willmar.
This marker was sponsored by First American Bank and Trust of Willmar and Erected in 1985
* "Where the Buffalo Fish Come"
Willmar, MN, is the county seat of Kandiyohi County.
Biggest Ball of Twine, Darwin, MNThe biggest ball of twine defies description.
|That hasn't stopped "Weird Al" Yankovick from
The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota in song.
JR Ranch MotelI was back in Wisconsin.
734 US 12
Hudson, WI 54016
Statue: Paul Bunyan, Eau Claire, WI"Miniatures" of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox grace the entrance to a logging camp reconstructed from artifacts of the 1890s.
Paul Bunyan Logging CampA nearby museum houses displays of local history.
Chippewa Valley MuseumExpect to spend several hours reading the extensive and detailed exhibit notes. There is an audacious attempt cogently to convey geographic movement of Indian tribes from traditionally assumed prehistoric origins through the historic diaspora in advance of European invasion to their present-day reservation holdings. This is difficult to do without descending to granularity of bands within tribes. That exhibit focuses on Ojibwa and neighboring tribes to show how they hopscotched one another throughout the Midwest much like the Slavic Tribes before the Mongol Hordes in central Asia.
Lake Wissota State ParkIt started sprinkling just as I was setting up my tent and never really let up that night. The next morning, it still showed no overt signs of stopping. I had passed my last night away from home, so I folded my tent wet and went on my way. From here, I followed WI 29 east to Green Bay, leaving the Yellowstone Trail at Abbotsford, WI, where it turned south to US 10 near Marshfield, WI.
18127 CTH O
Chippewa Falls WI 54729
Marker: Geological Center of the Northern Half of the Western HemisphereThis spot in Section 14, in the Town of Rietbrock, Marathon County is the exact center of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. It is here that the 90th meridian of longtitude (sic) bisects the 45th parallel of latitude, meaning it is exactly halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, and is a quarter of the way around the earth from Greenwich, England.
Marathon County Park Commission
I asked an old cartographer where he would rather bePoniatowski is one of those rare Polish names with a superabundance of vowels. I have it on good authority that you don't need them all. Instead, you say the name Pon-uh-TUSK-y.
He mumbled there's a place that's always fascinated me
I'll prob'ly mispronounce it he admitted with a sigh
It's P-O-N-I-A-T-O "duh-BULL-yew" S-K-I.