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Our Philipsburg, MT Trip - October 2013

It is not often that we find ourselves travelling out west twice in the same year. But in 2013 we were helping Gary renovate his new house, a mountain cabin near Phillipsburg, MT. This trip is all about installing the kitchen Dan built in his shop and although it will be a lot of work we do hope to do more than work on this trip.

Travel Map

The travel route like our trip in August began with a short run to Estherville to stay until departure and then a long day to Buffalo, WY and a shorter day to Phillipsburg, MT. The first run from Mason City found us with a flat tire on the trailer we borrowed, so we spent a couple hours in Hanlontown, IA (about 20 miles from Mason City) for the replacement of all four tires on the trailer. This is a borrowed trailer so taking it 1045 miles west and back on bad tires did not make sense. Luckily Frank's Repair and Towing in Hanlontown was right on the spot with getting the tires and replacing them. Great service, fair prices, and friendly, how much better can it be?

Truck and trailer loaded to leave

Our departure was Saturday October 19th at 6:00 AM. We had a heavy frost on the truck and trailer and it looked like rain even though we could see the full moon off to the west. Our first two hours did include some off and on rain, but nothing serious. Our truck, a Chevrolet Colorado has no trouble pulling the 6 X 12 tandem axle but the mileage is horrible. We usually get between 19 and 21 MPG depending on terrain and wind, but with this trailer we are getting 10 to 11 MPG. So we slowed down to 65 MPH and added a couple hours to our day with the many gas stops.

Big Horn Mountains near Buffalo, WY

As we entered Buffalo on I-90 we could see the Big Horn Mountains off to the west and stopped for a picture even though the clouds and fog nearly obscured them. We did see snow in South Dakota, they had a huge early snow storm a couple weeks before this trip that closed the interstate. They had over 40" inches of snow and we saw many cattle dead in the fields as well as a large building that had collapsed with the snow weight. There was a lot of tree damage as well. Luckily it was a sunny day for our travel.

Occidental Hotel in Buffalo

Although we had the trailer in tow we did make a run through downtown Buffalo and have added this small town of 4500 people as one we'd like to take more time to see. The historic downtown is well kept and the Occidental Hotel looks well maintained. Unfortunately we did not have time to do more than drive by. Tomorrow we will be on the road again to Phillipsburg.

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