There's really only one road across Montana, and Rt. 90 was where we spent our time for the next three (really, two and a half) stops on the trip. It was interesting to watch the landscape change from the characteristic mountains Montana is known for back into flat rocky desert. And as you might have imagined, there were several more adventures in store for us in Big Sky Country.
A happy one-night stay
We've stayed in plenty of campsites in our time, but the one-night stopover at Beavertail Hill State Park in Clinton, Montana had to be one of the strangest.
There are some "standard" rules when it comes to campgrounds. For example:
Our camp "site" was just a pull off from the main road that went through the campground. It was literally like a shoulder on the dirt path. We were right in the road! And we spent most of our time worrying about another big rig coming around the corner and sideswiping us — not to mention the headlights right into our windows...
The door of the trailer technically did open to the campsite, but there were wooden poles barricading vehicle access to the site. We had to position the trailer specifically so our steps would land in between these wooden posts. Again, since we were right on the road, we wanted to be as close to the campsite as possible.
Third, the electric hookups for this site were on the same side as the trailer door. We had to wrap the electric cable around the back of the trailer, and it barely reached the plug.
In all, this campsite was a mess. We started to think they didn't get many big rigs in here. There weren't many sites suitable for anything bigger than a 20-foot trailer. There were a lot of tenters, so we must have been the only ones to miss the memo. Luna wasn't impressed either.
Despite the strange site layout, the space in the actual site was quite spacious. There was a picnic table and tons of room to walk around. Not sure why they didn't let the campers back into it... but I guess they had their reasons?
We spent the night walking around the park and playing cribbage on our new Yellowstone National Park (which we didn't even visit) bear board we bought in Wyoming.
We might have been woken up a few times throughout the night from the headlights of other campers driving around our corner, but luckily nobody hit us. We made it out unscathed! It was time to get back on Rt. 90 and keep trucking east.
Miles and miles to Miles City
Leaving Beavertail Hill State Park, we had a big day of driving in front of us. Six hours to be precise. Although we try to avoid long drives like that, you do sometimes come across some unexpected discoveries. This time, we found Big Sky Sasquatch — an entire store dedicated to bigfoot.
You can be sure I swung that big rig around and squeezed it right in the parking lot!
It was such a cool place! The gift shop had everything and anything you can imagine, all plastered with Bigfoot. They also had a cafe with bigfoot-themed food. It was my kind of place! We grabbed a few souvenirs and got back on the road to our next destination.
We're not huge fans of KOAs, as any regular reader would know, but sometimes they're just what you need on a long trip. They usually have availability, nice amenities, near fun locations, and are RV-friendly — unlike the campground we just came from...
After a long six-hour drive across Montana, we finally pulled into the Miles City KOA. It was just on the outskirts of Miles City, which is really more of a town if you ask me. The entire population is just barely over 8,000 people...
While it might not have been a "city" in the traditional sense, Miles City had a super cute downtown area. The couple who checked us into the campsite told us all about the shopping and dining options. And even better, everything was within walking distance of the campground!
We were here for a couple days, so we didn't do much adventuring on our first day. Plus, we were tired from the long drive. We did, however, get a great sunset.
The "great shopping" in Miles City was mostly just an antique store in the downtown area. The quotes aren't because the store wasn't good (we had a blast). It's because this store was really the only shopping option.
The main street antique store covered three different storefronts on the main road in downtown Miles City plus a large basement. It also had a little soda fountain upstairs with a retro 50s theme. We spent a couple hours looking over everything they had to offer — and it was a lot!
When we went into basement (which was one of our first stops), I spied a chainsaw bear sculpture. I've always wanted one to sit outside of our camper, but they're always crazy expensive. This one was only $40! Needless to say, I scooped it up and carried it with me as we finished our browsing.
Meet our newest camping companion, Stumptopher Woodrow Barkson III
I think that's actually the first time I spelled the name out, and it looks even more ridiculous than I imagined... He's the third because there were two other chainsaw bears in the basement with him. I named them all.
As I said before, we walked to the antique store, which was probably a bit over a mile from the campground. We also had plans to walk to a brewery in town for a "soda" after we finished shopping. In other words, I carried Stumps (as we started calling him) the entire time. Here we are having a beer at the brewery.
Stumps got heavy after a while, but I carried him the several miles all over Miles City, between the antique store, the brewery, and back to the campground. It was totally worth it!
The rest of our time in Miles City was spent working and walking around the park. There was also a massive fluffy dog in one of the neighboring sites that I thought Rose was going to kidnap. She didn't, but we did make sure to take our walks on times when it was outside so we could visit and get a few rubs in.
With a decently relaxing time in Miles City, we didn't realize what was in store for us on the next leg of the trip. Next stop: Middle of Nowhere, literally.
Welcome to the official Middle of Nowhere
You don't always realize what the routes look like when you're booking a trip like this. You just pick spots with available campsites within a decent driving distance of one another. Our next campground was only three hours away, but it was nearly three hours of the most remote driving you'd ever expect.
When I say there was nothing, there was NOTHING. Just the Montana landscape stretched out for miles and miles in all directions. At some points, we started to get worried if we were heading the right way. There's no way anything could possibly be out this far.
Finally, after hours of nothing but barren landscape, we finally made it to our campsite just outside of Glasgow, Montana. What's Glasgow's claim to fame? It's officially the Middle of Nowhere.
That's right. Glasgow is the most populous city (only 3,000 residents) within 110 miles in any direction. The locals were joking that if you pass the one stop sign at the end of town, you wouldn't see another one for several hours. Glasgow is so remote that National Geographic did a special on it and officially dubbed it the Middle of Nowhere.
It's so remote out here that the residents use a local cell provider for their phone service. None of the major carriers reach out here, except Verizon who rents service from the local provider. It was wild!
We stayed in the Downstream Campground in Nashua, Montana, about 20 minutes from Downtown Glasgow. The park itself was huge and very pretty. We spent a lot of time walking around and enjoying the scenery.
We also made friends with our neighbors. They saw our cell signal booster sticking up from our camper and came over to ask us what it was. Well, we say it's a cell booster, but really all it's good for is starting conversations...
Anyway, they told us we just had to check out this local pizza place in Glasgow. They said it was named the best pizza in town for four or five years in a row (if I recall correctly). Their daughter also worked there, which naturally didn't impact their recommendation at all...
One of our lighter workdays, we decided to head into Glasgow and see what the middle of nowhere looks like. It was a cute town with a few shops, restaurants, and a post office. We browsed through some of the shops and eventually made our way to the pizza place. And wouldn't you know it, our friends from the campground were there having lunch!
We enjoyed our slices of pizza and our neighbors even picked up our check. They were so nice!
Now, would I call the pizza the best? Not particularly... But when you're more than 100 miles from any other sort of civilization, I guess it would be pretty great!
Our final day in Middle of Nowhere, Montana was spent on the river. There were several beaches and picnic sites along the main road between Glasgow and our campground. So we put on our suits, packed the cooler, and headed out for a day on the beach.
The weather was perfect, and there wasn't another person anywhere around. I guess there are some perks to being in the middle of nowhere.
With another great Montana experience behind us, we were ready to blow that one stop sign on the edge of Glasgow and drive the 100+ miles back to civilization. Our next stop was another new state for both of us, and we couldn't be more excited! We were off to North Dakota.
He likes pizza.