49

Montana checked off the list: my 49th state. Stayed for a few days in Billings. Lots of prairie ‘tween Dickinson, ND and Billings, lots of cows. One thing that has puzzled me on my travels over the past year and that is the apparent lack of land usage for agricultural purposes. Out west it makes some sense because so much of the land is owned by the government, but even so, it’s been noticeable and puzzling, as I say. Found a cool trail to hike at a place called Phipps Park. The main geologic feature of the area is a series of rimrock ridges left by the sea that was here millions of years ago and as further cut by the Yellowstone River. The trail at Phipps Park takes you up on one of these ridges.

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It’s about 300′ up to the ridge, so in my case there was plenty of huffin’ and puffin’, but once on the top there were some spectacular views.

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There were a lot of little side trails, as can be seen in the photo just above, making for an interesting place to explore. The other neat thing: there was a disc golf course that ran all up and down the ridge.

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Blisters, though. My boots failed me with blisters on both heels.

The Rig has 2 propane tanks, each holds 10 gals of propane. When hooked up to electricity most things run on electric, except the oven/stove. But when boondocking with no electric then the propane or battery power takes the lead: refrigerator, heater, the LED lights, vent fans. Some things don’t work without shore power: microwave, A/C, the AC outlets. Bottom line: I don’t use a lot of propane. So far while traveling I’ve had to refill one tank a month. But in Billings I ran out of propane in both tanks. Fortunately I was in a place where it was no problem getting them filled. Seemed odd, though.

Spent the weekend driving from Billings to Heber City, UT, which is near the ski areas just outside of Salt Lake City. The drive from Billings took me west to Bozeman then south, along the west side of Yellowstone Park. The scenery on this part of the drive was fabulous. Most of Yellowstone Park doesn’t open until May 1st, so it’s still a bit early in the season, a good bit of snow still on the ground.IMG_5161 (2)IMG_5162 (2)IMG_5167 (2)

The scenery from Billings to Bozeman was less rocky than that seen back to the east: rolling hills with lots of greenery and some heavily-forested patches. Some rock outcroppings, but not a lot.

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Salt Lake City is underrated as a mountain destination, I think. Of course it’s located on the Great Salt Lake, which is an interesting geologic feature, but not particularly scenic, but SLC is also surrounded by mountains. Here’s a shot driving through downtown on I-15.

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Hard to beat the view from my RV site:

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Heber City is about 45 minutes southeast of downtown SLC. It’s not itself a ski town, but just a few miles away from Park City and Deer Valley (think 2002 Olympics), which are world-class ski areas. Heber is in a valley with a couple of beautiful lakes within a few miles. So, all in all, a good location. Time to check on some hiking trails…

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