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MONDAY - Before leaving North Dakota this morning we had one task to take care of, fill up with gasoline.

The last exit on Interstate-94 West in North Dakota is the town of Beach, ND. Here we found gas for $3.79 and the first station we saw in Montana was $3.99 in the town of Wibaux, MT. To most people 20¢ might not seem like a big deal, but when you multiply in by 30-gallons, that makes a $6 difference on every fillup. ROVER has a 36-gallon tank so 30-gallons is just a little over ¾ of a tank. We don't like to go below ¼ tank if possible.

A little bridge over Beaver Creek in Wibaux, MT cost us a 24-mile detour on the Interstate.
BTW - The bridge is expected to be out of service until late October if you're headed this way.

If you really look at the map of Wibaux above you'll see the huge importance the bridge over Beaver Creek plays in the traffic flow through town. This 1.07 sq. mi. town of 458 residents are basically cutoff from the Interstate traffic even though they have two exits a mile apart. You can get off the Interstate, you just can't get back on and go in the same direction as you were headed before.

In order to head south on Montana Route 7 we had to first get back on the Interstate at Exit 242 and travel east (our only option) to the next exit 6-miles away, make a u-turn and head west on the Interstate and go right past town for another 6-miles before getting off the Interstate and making another u-turn to head east again so we could get off at Exit 241 on the west side of town which has access to Montana Route 7.

WOW! I hope we never have to go through that kind of scenario again!

Once we finally managed to begin our travel on Montana Route 7 we had 68-miles to go to get to Medicine Rocks State Park, our destination for the next two nights.

Along this stretch of road we saw a lot of Montana countryside, but not much else, other than...

More sunflowers,

more corn fields,

and more hay bales drying in the fields.

That is until we got to within a few miles of our turnoff into Medicine Rocks State Park. Then we started seeing rock formations out in the fields that just looked so out of place for the countryside we've been watching for the last hour or more.

We'll get out tomorrow and photograph these swiss cheese looking rocks up close.

There are only 8 sites in the park and we chose #7 (thanks to the camphost's recommendation).

When we arrived the only other camper here was the host.

TUESDAY - The small town of Ekalaka, MT (pop. 404) lies 12-miles south of Medicine Rocks State Park on Montana Route 7.

The Souix Indians aptly named this region "inyan-oka-la-ka" or "rock with a hole in it". Even right at the rear of our campsite there is indeed a large 40-foot wide "rock with a hole in it".

If you look deep inside the hole you'll see there's something very scary living in the hole.

The hole goes left to right, all the way through the rock.

On the face of the rock is a fancy "modern day" carving. Sadly there are so many of these that the original petroglyphs are hard to identify, often obliterated by the recent vandalism.

Looking all the way through the 40-foot wide rock.

I told you there was something very scary looking living in there.

Alright, enough fun for now, let's get out on the trail and see what there is to see around here.

(our late morning view)


The ¾-mile long Sunset Loop Trail begins about 50-yards away from our campsite.

There are several stand alone highly eroded rock formations out here.

Other areas have rock groupings of several peaks close together.

The trail meanders uphill among the rocks.

You'll eventually find yourself up on a ridge overlooking the nearby rock formations.

It's quite the view from up here.

Here's a section of flat top rocks.

Time to decend back to the trail you can see on the right hand side.

It's pretty much flat back to the trailhead from here.

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