Is this a big country, or what?
Four days, something like 2,400 miles, and quite possibly the only route from Raleigh, NC to Missoula, MT which incorporates nearly 100 miles between towns of any size (Nebraska Sandhills) and some 20 miles of gravel roads (Ardmore, SD to Edgemont, SD).
And at this point, it's all good. The venerable F350 ran like a trusty old sewing machine, turned 187,000 miles enroute, and achieved an honest and documented 17 mpg on diesel fuel along the way. Who knew that running 68-72 mph, tops, would make such a difference as opposed to running 80 mph or more? Well, truth be told, I knew, but I hadn't the willpower to run slower the way the truck was set up for the past several years. The tire and suspension mods to the truck after taking her out of service as a daily driver made her even more of a handfu to drive at speed,l so it's just plain uncomfortable to run much over 70 nowadays.
And that's fine. It's a 4 day trip any way you cut it, so turning down the speed makes for far fewer white knuckles, an increased enjoyment of the scenery (and MAN do I have some things to say about the Nebraska Sandhills!), and hopefully extends the life of what most would likely regard as the most unlikely of RoadTrip chariots, the longbed CrewCab diesel pickup truck.
So we made it to Missoula. Beers at Stockman's, sammiches and fries, and some much-needed sleep are in the immediate future. Early tomorrow, breakfast at the Oxford, a final trip through the Albertsons, and then the 30 mile grind up Rock Creek Canyon for a week "off the grid". Absent an update of some sort tomorrow, I'll be checking in in about a week, ideally with some pictures (including the one my wife took today including the truck with probably 500 species of bugs in the bugscreen, instead of the grill).
Sounds like a mosiac of note
500 species in one photo!
Could be a new record.
Back home in NC
I departed southwestern MT somewhat ahead of schedule and aborted the return trip's "Nebraska Drive-Through", both due to the fact that business called back home and since I'd logged a ton of miles bombing around the back roads and trails in the Rock Creek basin, the Pioneer Mountains, the Big Hole, and Lemhi Pass, so my need for dust and mud was well-served by late last week.
The wifi connection at the place in the Pioneers didn't work out as planned so no posts. Details and photo uploads to come later, probably over this coming weekend.
For now, just noting having completed 5,779 miles since early am 7 July. And noting I'll be driving my old Lincoln daily driver for a while. Need to separate my backside from the truck's driver's seat for a while.