I woke up to that peaceful sound of raindrops falling on a tent. I lie there and listen for about one half of one second and then in the next 3-5 seconds that followed I;
It seemed like a mountain of work getting packed up this morning. I don’t know if it was less sleep or what but by the time we were all packed and ready to roll out I was exhausted again, winded and dripping with sweat. I changed shirts and we headed out. Loralea, having taking on my preferences for local mom and pop type places for food had asked the KOA staff for breakfast restaurant recommendations. They had suggested “Jordan” its “right down the street”. To “Jordan” we headed. Turns out Jordan is a crossroads, at best. Population 6000 something which sounds promising but the only restaurant was a McDonalds. Loralea and I figured this guy must have though that by local she meant something we didn’t have to drive far for. McGriddles it is. I think this is the first McDonalds I’ve eaten since the Alamo in 2017. Once on the road we made great time. Within the first two or three turns Google popped up twice with “faster route available” one of which saved 1 hour 45 minutes the other was good for 30-45 that never happens. So within the first 45 minutes of the trip we had gone from 8 hours to about 6 and we gain an hour. Delightful. We stopped at a rest stop with good cell signal, hot spotted my phone and made reservations for a campsite at the Medora Campground just outside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and right beside a pool (a feature you won’t find at any State or national park campsite). Loralea had asked the day prior for at least one full day of swimming soon so this should work out perfect to have one day to explore Roosevelt and then give her and the others one day to relax and just enjoy the pool before we hit what I expect will be one of the longest road days. The trip between here and glacier. I had forgotten to even check on Canada's announcement about the border opening yesterday and a mention of it on the radio reminded me to look into it. Unfortunately but expectedly what i found was "Canada said on Monday it would start allowing in fully vaccinated U.S. visitors on Aug. 9 for non-essential travel". July 21 (Reuters). So that takes Alaska out of the plan for this trip. Neither I nor the children are all that disappointed. It just took seven strait ten hour road days off the table as well, so we're ok, but thats why this blog is "Alaska Trip" an not The Alaska trip. It's actually the would-be Alaska trip.
We did in fact arrive at about 6:30. Check in with the office and got the map of many site options. Great debate was had again over which campsite was the best and why. We drove through twice, narrowed it to two and finally after driving through the campground a third time. This time receiving some raised eyebrows from existing campers so I rolled down all the windows so people could see the situation inside the vehicle. I knew seeing these four campsite analysts hard at work would immediately convey everything to ease their concern.
We decided on 229. There was still a bit of wetness and drizzle with plenty of daylight left. We decided to let the office know, play at the playground
and then go checkout the National Park to get a lay of the land so to speak and plan out tomorrows visit. While in the office I noticed a picture of a really cool looking amphitheater built into the side of a mountain. In asking about it I find out that it’s right across the road from the campground. The host has good things to say about it so it sounds worth checking out.
The fourth grade “every child outdoors” park pass worked like a charm. We went a mile or two in and stopped at the prairie dog village to see the inhabitants.
After we saw the prairie dogs and pretty sunset, we headed back to the camp to set up. I stopped by the theater on the way and tickets were reasonable enough for the 5 of us that I got us tickets for the show tomorrow night. I think it's going to be a fun time.
The tent and site went up smooth and flawlessly. I decided to put the rain fly on tonight, lesson learned. I'll pin it back half way so it would be open over the sleeping area. The temperature was supposed to get down into the 50s or 60s overnight and I didn’t want to do anything to keep that out and trap the heat of the day and these small people in here. I had been looking forward to some "cold" sleeping. It’s been hot during the days here with the high this day having been 97.