Postcards from the Perimeter
I decided to take Highway US-2 for the northern route of our Perimeter Trip after reading “Road Trip USA” by Jamie Jensen.
“… no other cross-country route takes in the variety and extremity of landscape that US‑2 does. Dubbed the Great Northern in memory of the pioneer railroad that parallels the western half of the route, US‑2 is truly the most stunning and unforgettable, not to mention longest, of all the great transcontinental road trips.”
To read on-line about The Great Northern via “Road Trip USA”, click here.
Indeed, the railroad runs right next to the highway. Most of the towns we’ve passed through are centered around a railroad stop with a big grey grain elevator just like the one in the Perimeter Postcard above.
Visiting Shep on the Way Back to US-2
After leaving Helena, MT, we made our way diagonally north to meet back up with US-2 again.
First we stopped for the night in the small town of Fort Benton, MT, visiting the burial spot of Shep perched high on a hill. Who’s Shep? A truly loyal dog with a story that will break your heart.
A Couple Good Campgrounds
Fort Peck, MT
Back on our planned route, after skirting around forest fires, we drove long hot miles (almost too hot, makings for another story) to make it to our camp spot before the night. We were rewarded with a wonderfully refreshing spacious spot at Downstream Campground next to the Fort Peck Dam in Montana.
Fort Peck Dam is the “largest embankment dam in the United States with the fifth-largest man-made reservoir”. It is an Army Corps of Engineers project that provides a number of recreation opportunities including water sports, camping and wildlife viewing (we know for sure there was wildlife because Zack found and ate their poop.)
We stayed one night, enjoying the sunset and sunrise over the water and taking long walks on paved trails. Note: if you stay here, apply bug repellent before leaving your vehicle. Don’t even think about waiting for until they bite … there’s always something biting.
Lewis & Clark State Campground, ND
After we drove across the rest of Montana into North Dakota, we luckily landed a sweet campsite at Lewis & Clark State Campground next to Lake Sakakawea.
There is plenty of history around here. I’d love to come back and meander around looking for Lewis and Clark sightings :->
Meanwhile, it is peaceful with plenty of visual space, places to walk, and beaches for dipping. We’re staying an extra day to catch up on blogging and cooling down, thanks to Betty’s AC.
Here’s our spot from afar …
Our view towards the lake …
And how we relax in the cool of the morning …
Where to next? We’ll be somewhere in North Dakota for the Labor Day weekend, then Minnesota where I hope to spend some quality time with my sister in Duluth!