Monday, June 22, 2020

Ever eastward.....

6:34 am - Monday - June 22nd - Billings, MT - 53° F, 78% humidity, wind 10 mph out of the north by northwest.....clear, blue skies this morning with a forecast high today of 83° F.  The view this morning.......↴


After four glorious days dry camping at LaDuke Springs Campground on the Yellowstone River we bade farewell around 8:40 am and began rolling our wheels north back to Livingston and I-90 eastbound.  The 43 miles on US-89 were mostly flat and slightly downhill.  As we came into Livingston we decided to make a quick stop at the CONOCO fuel station to take on 30 gallons of diesel.  My fuel gauge showed about 1/8 of a tank left....it gets terribly inaccurate when it is below 1/4 and we had put on almost 1,000 miles since we last paid the rent in Grand Junction.  Once I put in the 30 gallons the gauge jumped from 1/8 to over 1/3 full, so we did have plenty of fuel after all to make it to Laurel, MT where we could use our fuel card at a Travel Center of America fuel station to get 22¢  off a gallon, or $1.97/gallon.  I took on 126 gallons saving almost $28 off the pump price of $2.19/gallon.  This is the second time I have paid under $2/gallon for diesel since we left Wittmann, AZ almost 2 months ago.  In all we covered 1,046 miles from Grand Junction, CO to Laurel, MT on 156 gallons (the 30 gallons we took on in Livingston, and the 126 gallons we added in Laurel) for a rough average of 6.6 miles per gallon....not too bad considering the number of grinding climbs and descents we made over that time.

The distance from Livingston to Laurel was just over 100 miles of mostly flat driving along the banks of the mighty Yellowstone River which I-90 follows, and from there it was another 12 miles to the Cabela's in Billings, MT where we planned to overnight.  This Cabela's has about 10 RV lanes, a well as a free dump station, which we plan to utilize Monday morning before we depart Billings for our next destination......


.....the drive was effortless.....just set the cruise control, and hang onto the steering wheel.....we were parked in our overnight sites by 1 pm, and enjoying the balmy breezes associated with the 3,400' elevation of Billings compared to LaDuke where we sat at 5,500' elevation.  The high temp in Billings was 82° F Sunday, and it was nice to begin to feel summer like temperatures again.  After a brief rest TLE and I went inside Cabela's to do some shopping.  We needed a grease splatter screen for when we are cooking bacon inside, or outside and wanted to check out their small, cast iron Dutch ovens.  We found both items at very fair prices. Of course, TLE also found a new, short sleeved hiking shirt without which she could not live.

We spent the rest of the afternoon reading, but around 5 pm decided to walk over to the local Pop Eye's Chicken place to eat dinner.  Upon our arrival by foot we found that ONLY the drive through lanes were open for service.....no in store ordering, or dining.....doh!  We ended up walking back a block to Burger King.....a very poor second choice, but certainly serviceable.  We were back home a little after 6 pm and continued our reading endeavors.  I finished the two book Western series by Elmer Kelton (Sons of Texas), and began another Western by William W. Johnston, recommended to me by Claude.  By 9 pm I was ready for the rack and bid adieu to TLE who is more of a 'night person', and continued to read into the night.....


.....of course the sun does not set in these northern latitudes until after 9 pm, and I was able to get these pictures before hitting the aforementioned rack for the night....




.....we are once again in travel mode, and will be moving pretty much every day until we arrive in Keyston, SD on Thursday, or Friday for a two week stay.

Thanks for stopping by!

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