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Oregon to Oklahoma

June 2003

Part 10:  Makoshika State Park


The next morning (after analysis) stopped at the local Albertson’s to get fixin’s for our picnic lunch at Makoshika State Park! (That in itself was a trip, trying to get seven people to agree on what they want for a barbeque…) It was really a surprise: the area was flat as a pancake until you drove into the park, and suddenly you were surrounded by Black Hills bluffs! It was gorgeous! After finding a secluded picnic spot on a hill, the guys got the fire started, and David whipped up his famous spicy hamburger meat, which was absolutely delicious! A couple of Black-capped Chickadees called behind us while all this was going on, along with a Spotted Towhee in the distance. I ate way too much, as usual (everyone started complaining about gaining weight on this trip), but after Bill and David (and later Bill and Stu) tossed the football around for awhile everyone went their separate ways for a walk, and Stu wanted to come along with me while I checked out the birds (at the worst time of day, of course). But it was good exercise with magnificent views of the bluffs, and it wasn’t a total loss bird wise as another knockout Mountain Bluebird came sailing in, and Stu got to see it through the bins! Field Sparrows (at the extreme western edge of their range here) had been singing near the picnic site, and we actually got to see one on the walk, along with a couple of territorial Lark Sparrows. On the way back a Lazuli Bunting gave a brief appearance.

Glendive, MT is pretty flat, so the landscape of the nearby state park was certainly a shock!


Next order of business: how to start the fire!  Bill's specialty is the bratwurst!   


We all chow down, including an ant trying to sneak away with a Dorito...


David shows Stu the finer points of throwing a proper American football...


After lunch Stu and I take a stroll up the road to view the scenery


View from the Nature Trail


Looking the other way from the road we hiked up

From there we drove to Glasgow, past Peck Lake and over the dam, where we stopped and walked around a little; I showed the crowd the Cliff Swallow nests (also had a token Roughwing flying around), and a bunny entertained everyone. We found a little road that circled back to where the van was parked so we wouldn’t have to climb the stairs, and I got to laughing at Lisa and Dave because they were getting eaten alive and were racing down the road as fast as they could! I got bitten only once while sauntering back at my own pace, enjoying the nighthawk "beenting" in the distance. When I got back to the van I teased them saying, "Now you know why I wear long pants and shirt sleeves!"


With Peck Lake in the waning light, we trip down the stairs to get a closer view...


Lisa and Dave are chased back to the van by killer mosquitoes, and sunset on the way to Glasgow

We headed into the little podunk town of Glasgow and stayed at a motel (that was not AAA) that supposedly all the chasers stay at; it left much to be desired (David and Bill’s AC didn’t work), but it did the job (so long as you can get an Internet connection, David was happy). As an aside, somewhere we actually ran into a AAA office, so David took the opportunity to get some tour books and since my atlas was falling apart, I decided to get a new one. The lady was taking her time processing David, and when it was my turn she took even longer because somehow the book wasn’t registering correctly, so I finally just asked her if I could pay for the book and she could update her database later! Not only was I concerned because we were illegally parked, but David had just warned everyone about how once we actually start running after storms, there’s no dilly-dallying or else someone’s gonna get left behind!  Didn't want that happening!  

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