Drove to Billings Montana, where we camped in the Mun. Tourist Park. The road went down, down, down, for miles after we left Mammoth, following the Yellowstone River, until it finally reached fairly level country, all at once, where no further fall was perceptible at all, and hotter than Dante. At Billings it was 108. The park there is a nice place for an overnight stop with laundry & showers & fair water. It thundered in the evening & blew like sixty but only a dozen drops fell. It hadn't rained there for four months but the park is irrigated and is green. The city water is of course Yellowstone River water, good flavor but only moderately cool.
Next morning we rose late as we had to get into a store for a tire. We found a Montgomery Ward Stor & bought one. Before we got home we had to buy 1 more and 3 tubes.
Thur. July 10
Drove till after dark, stopping in a little place of which we didn't even know the name near the western line of N. Dakota. Nothing much happened. A hot dusty drive, through country beginning to show signs of greenness, though still very dry, and always intensely hot.
We left the park Wed. AM at 11, having been held up an hour by a one way detour, and drove 250 miles. Next day, an earlier start and 275 miles.
Fri. July 11
Got a very early start, about 4:00 AM and drove to Detroit Lakes, Min. near western border. This is another nice stopping place, with good shade and bathing (lake).
Sat. July 11 [sic]
Rose and started without breakfast, and got so good a start we ate it in Duluth on the east side of the state. Crossed a small strip of Wisconsin and found ourselves once more in Michigan, though a long way from home yet. Drove quite late and made camp in a schoolhouse yard near Iron Mountain. We set up our bed in the woodhouse, so we didn't even have to use the tent. The mosquitos were a little troublesome, but we draped netting over the head on stakes. A young couple parked their coupe in the yard nearby quite late and I could hear them smacking away. This was our longest days run, over 500 miles.
Sun. July 12
Rose about 3 as usual and started without breakfast. We reached St. Ignace at 11 and drove on a ferry almost at once. At 12:30 we were over. The restaurants in Mackinaw City were so exorbitant that we refused to eat in them and walked out. We got a good dinner in Levering for 50 cents each, which was breakfast as well for us. We drove into Lansing about 6:00, pretty tired, and excessively dirty, having driven from Yellowstone in five days. As the first two days were short, we think it can be done in four another time. We spent considerable time in changing tires, probably making a dozen or so repairs. Our jack didn't work very well either, and often had to be coaxed 5 min. before it would put the car up. The route by which we went out is by far the best and quickest. The northern route is practically all gravel or earth and very rough & poor west of Minnesota! The route for speed and comfort is certainly via Chicago, Elgin, Algona, Black Hills, Kadoka, Sundance, Big Muddy Pass, Cody, but the place to stop after this trip is West Thumb, not Lake, or else one of the roadside camps along the Yellowstone Lake shore, or on the Y. river.
Mon. July 14
Somewhere I've crossed my dates for Sun. was the 13th. We reached home the 13th, we started from home Friday the 13th of June. Unpacked and unscrambled the goods and took MH's duffle over. He greased the car. Inventoried the groceries, settled with M.H., refilled the bags for another trip.