View Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Yellowstone River Valley, Lewis and Clark Expedition return route near Billings Montana

Yellowstone River Valley

We survived the Rally.

But we are still tired a week later.

We departed Theodore Roosevelt National Park two days before our assigned arrival day at the rally, to stay in New Town, North Dakota, Marina & RV Park and for the first time ever, in almost two years of travel, we looked at our assigned site and rejected it – and drove on. After the rally, we headed west, to follow the Yellowstone River Valley all the way to Yellowstone National Park.

The only thing we require in a parking spot is it has to be big enough and somewhat level. Not entirely level; just somewhat level. This RV parking spot was on a hill and the direction of parking would have been unsafe.  Not only that, but the site was on wet grass. The only improvement to the site was the grass was cut short, so that we could see that we would have been stuck in the mud. 

We needed a new plan, fast. This was the only place in town. We could have backtracked to the previous town but they had a Rodeo that weekend and they were full. We found a haven for two days at Parshall Bay ten miles further south (20 miles on the road).  The site was still sloped on wet grass, but this site held promise, as long as it didn’t continue to rain and we didn’t get stuck.


Arrival at Minot was chaos. We got lucky, made a wrong turn, skipped receiving, went directly to a muddy gravel parking spot and stopped. The traffic directors sent us that way. Perhaps the only reason was to get us out of the way. In the long term, it turned out fine.  I called our parking area the east mud. We had it much better than some, and way worse than others. I saw handicap parking with the door over a deep puddle. The worst part of our parking area was we were directly below the trains.  Minot is not a quiet town, train whistles all night long. We still haven’t caught up on sleep.

Overall, not including parking, where some RVs waited for hours in queue, the rally was very good.  We saw old friends, met new friends, learned much more about RVs and RV-ing.  Seminars made it clear that we had made a good choice in moving to South Dakota when we departed California. The most interesting seminar was about the electrical system upgrades we will be putting into our RV, all so we can be the more independent for longer periods. The most beneficial seminar was about RV tires that we will need to replace soon due to age.

Lewis and Clark State Park

After departure, we knew we would need some relax time so we went to Lewis and Clark State Park on the Missouri River and should have stayed longer. Two days wasn’t enough. One night in Miles City Montana brings us to Billings Montana where we are in our second ever KOA park. Tomorrow we will be in Livingston Montana.  We are moving fast to get to Yellowstone before the snows come to the high country.       

This is Pompeys Pillar, we know that the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped here during the first crossing of the west, because William Clark mentioned it in his diary (July 25, 1806) and because he scratched his name into the sandstone.  This is the only remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

Here is a link to the google map for the area.

Link to our 2019 Route.

Link to our route Minot North Dakota to Boise

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6 thoughts on “Yellowstone River Valley”

  1. to Bill

    Our plans are for Dr appointment in San Diego in December.

    Then, assuming I don’t need more appointments; we want to gradually cross the desert until we get to Brownsville Texas, then turn northeast at least until Pensacola.

    I really want Tami to see a graduation ceremony at Whiting.

    The east does scare me…mostly because of the trees, and all the people.


  2. Thank you! …Very interesting*. It is a highlight for OBI WAN & I to receive your messages and stories with photos. When things quiet a bit I will send a few to you two. Thanks again**. Kaitland & OBI

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