I set the alarm for 8:30AM in Bismarck, got up in time for the free Day's Inn breakfast(!), and got on the road by 11. Feeling more confident than ever with the car, cruising along past more rolling hills and fields of North Dakota.
In the western part of the state, I noticed a strange formation at the roadside. It turned out to be one of several large metal sculptures made of scrap metal along the Enchanted Highway, a 100-ft-tall sculpture of Geese in Flight. Big art out on the prairie!
Moving on through Montana, the hills and countryside got bigger. The Eldorado that seems so big back in NYC is just a speck moving across this broad expanse. I managed to pull into Cody, Wyoming just before sunset, and checked into the Irma Hotel, the original 19th-century hotel frequented by Buffalo Bill and other notable Western characters. A great diversion from the standard Day's Inns and modern motels. Total cowboy atmosphere, deer heads on the walls, old style saloon, beautiful woodwork, even a chain-pull toilet, the works.