Big Sky and Wheat

Current Location: Hardin KOA, Hardin, Montana

We were up at almost the crack of dawn today and actually rolled out of the campground in Wyoming before 7:00 AM. Between that and having a short trip today (280 miles), we were checking into the KOA here in Hardin at noon. We had lunch in the trailer after we got set up. The campground here is surrounded by farmland. Directly out our back window is a huge wheat field.

Our site in Hardin

Our site in Hardin

Wheat field

Wheat field

Malcolm fixed a couple things on the trailer since we had the afternoon free. First, he found why the pan in the back of the refrigerator wasn’t draining – a small anti-bug type device at the end of the hose was clogged up. He cleared that out, made sure the rest of the hose was clear and cleaned out the small catch pan a bit. That should eliminate our wet refrigerator when was travel.

Malcolm also found the threaded bolt that came with our bike carrier to keep it from rocking about in the hitch on the back of the trailer. He had to cut the locking one off in Nashville because he lost the keys and it wasn’t staying tight. A search for a proper replacement bolt was a no-go, so he just took the threaded insert out of the hitch and put a bolt and nut through it. That allowed the bike carrier quite a bit of sway – to the point someone signaled us over today and told us “our bike rack looks like it is ready to fall off”. With the original bolt threaded in with a new split washer, it is riding tight again.

Malcolm took the truck downtown to the Ford dealer for his 3:00 appointment to get the oil changed only to find out that they hadn’t penciled him in on the schedule. Fortunately, there was still a 3:00 appointment open (it’s a very small town and a small dealership) so they wrote him in and had it done by 3:30.

We ended up heading back into town about 4:00 to search for some dinner and to retrieve the iPad that Malcolm had left on the counter at the Ford dealership. There wasn’t much in the way of sit-down restaurants that are open at 4:00, so we walked around town a bit but our central time zone stomachs couldn’t wait a whole hour. We ended up eating dinner at a Taco John’s restaurant. The food wasn’t too bad – better than Taco Bell’s in our estimation.

One of the items we found downtown near the train station was a rail car with painted murals on it. The nearby sign explained it was one of the 30 cars on the 1964 Montana Centennial Train. The state of Montana commissioned 150 murals depicting various scenes in Montana history and mounted them on the sides of train cars. The train then made a cross-country trek to the World’s Fair in New York. This is one of only two remaining cars still on display. The town of Hardin, in celebrating its own centennial in 2007, commissioned local artists to refresh the paintings.

Centennial Train Car

Centennial Train Car

The 1927 train station was still intact and is now used for the Chamber of Commerce (that was closed today).

Train station

Train station

The Becker Hotel was one of the first buildings built in Hardin in 1907, when the city was platted. It still stands today, though no longer used as a hotel.

The Becker Hotel

The Becker Hotel

In other news, our son earned his black rope in the Air Force. This was a personal goal of his. We’re very proud of him. This article describes the rope system and its purpose in the Air Force tech school.

Displaying his Black Rope

Displaying his Black Rope

Not many license plates today – 18. Traffic was very light and we left early. We did, however, score yesterday’s elusive Nevada plate.

Today's License Plates

Today’s License Plates

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