Day 4 (Friday) had us driving from Billings, Montana to Dickinson, North Dakota. It was mostly a driving day and we jumped off I-90 for the first time to I-94 and entered new territory. We reluctantly left the mountains behind and drove into the Great Plains. We crossed the border from Montana into North Dakota and were pelted with tumbleweeds as we plowed into strong winds.
North Dakota was a pleasant surprise – hillier and more lush than we expected. I never thought I’d describe North Dakota as beautiful, but here we are! The rolling landscape transitioned to badlands with vibrant colors that resembled Badlands National Park, which we visited in 2010, but with more vegetation.
We stopped in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park visitor center to collect information for our park visit the next day and then drove another 20 minutes to the hotel in Dickinson, North Dakota. Because of the aforementioned bedtime shenanigans, we’ve been trying to get to hotels by dinnertime so that Zoe can get in bed earlier. This was our earliest hotel arrival yet, which was fortunate for Zoe because it turned out the hotel had an indoor pool with water slides. After some pool playtime, Chris picked up Mexican take-out for dinner, complete with bottled margaritas. We hunkered down for the evening under a tornado watch but thankfully avoided severe weather.
Next, we explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park and trek across North Dakota from Dickinson to Fargo!