I always felt that I 10 in Texas was a long road at 878.6 miles in the state, but even though I 90 is only 554.10 miles long in Montana, it feels much longer. Maybe the preceding part in Wyoming adds to the feeling. In any case, it was a long boring drive through rolling hills & very few trees in sight.
I originally set Matilda, my Garmin, for Bozeman, MT which was about 374 miles from Gillette. At a rest stop along the way I dug out my iPad and went to Hotels.com to check what was available in Bozeman. All were well over $200.00. I checked out some other towns along I 90, and the Super 8 in Big Timber was about the only motel within a comfortable driving distance that was under $200.00. So, I made a reservation at the Super 8 for $133.33 for the night. I checked out the motels in Missoula where I was planning my next stop, and they were even more expensive than Bozeman. I'm now booked for tomorrow night in a cabin at the Little River Motel in St. Regis, a few miles beyond Missoula. I can't wait to see what I get for $112.20!
Speaking of Missoula, I was listening to NPR along the way, and Seeley Lake (just outside of Missoula) has so much smoke that they are evacuating the residents. I hope I can get through the smoke from the British Columbia fires, but it looks like the entire northwest is covered with it. Since I'm booked for 5 days at the Silver Lake Campground in Maple Falls, WA, it may be a smokey week!
Since I arrived at the motel early in the day, I decided to do some spreadsheet work. I keep a spreadsheet of the camping & fuel costs for many of my trips. Now I've always been one to dispute the fact that you save money buying a RV compared to staying in motels. There are plenty of reasons a RV is better, but I never believed cost was one of them. Still, since the cost of motels on this trip was higher than I expected, I sat down & did the math.
Over the 6 years I traveled in the 17B, I stayed in 1090 campgrounds with an average cost of $21.42 per night. That makes a impressive total of $23,347.80 spent on campgrounds. Now, apply that to motel stays for the same number of nights at $100.99 (the average so far on this trip) and you get $110,079.10! That would buy a pretty fancy Escape 21, even many models of Class A motorhomes! Even at the average cost of motels on my 2011 trip to pick up the Escape 17, the total for staying in motels instead of the trailer over the last 5 years would be $67,111.30, still enough for a couple of Escapes.
No photos today, so I used another one of the badlands photos from yesterday. Dinner was a chicken fried steak at the Country Skillet next door to the motel.
Until Tomorrow -