Saturday, December 31, 2011

Home Again

I just got back from a bicycle run to SuperTarget... on New Year's Eve in Minnesota!  This continuing warm weather might be a sign that I'm not meant to stop exercising.  It felt great after the 19+ hours we just spent in the car.  It's always hard to leave my sister and the mountains of Montana and watch our vacation come to an end.  We rarely roadtrip in the winter, so we were very thankful for the exceptional weather both on the way out and on the way back.  As my dad says, "It would be bad to have to white-knuckle it that far."  After we left light fog and rain in the western mountains of Montana, we had dry, warm weather the rest of the trip.  Billings was the warmest at 57 degrees! My dad remarked, "Pretty soon we'll have to stop to scrape bugs off the windshield."

Sun Setting in the Badlands of Eastern Montana

We stopped for dinner at Montana's Rib & Chop House in Miles City, MT.  We lucked out and got a table before the Friday night rush began, but even at 5:30, it was busy.  The tables were covered in paper the kids could color on. I lost count of how many games of tic-tac-toe we played, but just as we switched to hangman, the food arrived. My charbroiled burger was amazing, the kids menu food was great, and the prices were reasonable.  One of the best roadtrip dinners I've ever had!

After dinner we headed into North Dakota.   My sister laments that so many good people have left Montana (even far western Montana) to find work in North Dakota.  I was curious about the changes from the recent oil boom, but we crossed the entire state in the dark of night.  All I know is that when we were in Montana, gas was $2.99/gallon, but went right up to $3.29/gallon when we crossed into North Dakota.  I wonder if there is a gas tax difference or if it's just that demand is high with the huge influx of workers needed for fracking. 

Well, back to life in Minnesota!  Happy New Year!

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