Friday, July 11, 2008

TEARING AROUND NORTH DAKOTA

We have been moving so quickly recently that I have hardly had time to take pictures, let alone write a post for the blog.

Yesterday was a travel day, planned to be rather leisurely as we drove around 200 miles from Lake Metigoshe State Park south to a Corps of Engineers campground on Lake Sakakawea. Garrison Dam, a COE dam on the Missouri River, created a huge lake with recreational opportunities abounding.

We commented again and again about the beauty of North Dakota - the rolling hills, fields of yellow and blue flowers (blooming crops), the indescribably lush pastures. Once again, the windshield was so smeared with bug bodies that photos were futile.

We arrived at Downstream Campground at Lake Sakakawea in early afternoon and nestled into site 14 (photo). Busy with lunch and planning our future route, we didn't notice the sky clouding until it suddenly became quite dark. We thought we'd get out for a quick walk before the weather deteriorated - oops, too late! Huge raindrops began to splash down as the campground host came around on her bike to warn us about the incoming weather.

Since our weather radio couldn't receive a signal here, we cranked up the TV antenna for a local station and took a look at the weather on the internet. Yipes! A severe thunderstorm warning - which soon changed to a tornado warning - mentioned by name towns a few miles to the south of us. Sheesh. Happily, the brunt of the storm stayed to the south as it moved past at 40 mph.

Greased up with mosquito repellant, we headed back outside to finish our walk and grill chicken for dinner. We planned to hike the trails to the dam and fish hatchery this morning, since today's drive was only 100 miles or so.

As the sun rises very early, so did we. When I did our usual morning check of the weather, we found a High Wind Warning posted for the exact area of our drive today, winds to 40 mph with gusts over 50 - and a special warning for high profile vehicles (Scoopy!). We quickly ditched breakfast and the planned hike. It was so calm when we were breaking camp that mosquitos swarmed -but that changed early in our drive.

By the time we arrived in Dickinson, our planned stop for three days, the wind was fierce - and it was still well before noon. We are so happy to be in place, in a roomy campground on the banks of a little river, stationary. The forecast for high winds was completely accurate and we have remained inside, listening to the big trees groan, since we got here. I feel sorry for anyone on the road today!

1 comment:

  1. Paws & HoovesJuly 12, 2008 at 6:46 AM

    Boy, it's a good thing you three are so flexible with your plans!!!!! I'm thinking about you!!

    ReplyDelete