I love being able to see a storm an hour away. Can you see the rain?


I’ve said before, finding a place to sleep near the oil region of North Dakota is a challenge.  I had planned to get to Miles City, Montana before the end of the day, but a storm blew in west of Dickinson. I took the snapshot above from the gas station where I pulled in to assess my situation.

I don’t know why I bothered trying to check my phone; TMobile is useless out west. Luckily, a local guy at the gas station had access to Doppler Radar. He advised me to stay put for the night but then I protested that there didn’t appear to be anywhere to stay.

As it happened, he knew the people who ran a small motel just up the road and offered to call ahead to see if they had a room. If not, maybe they’d let me pitch my tent in the yard (tents come in handy that way!).

I’ve said it before: ASK A LOCAL

He made the call and sure enough, the owner said to come along. Five miles later I pulled in to a 12-room motel across the street from the railroad tracks, a series of silos and a grain elevator.

At first I thought, Oh no, is this a meth lab motel? Then I quieted my mind and tuned in.

My little voice answered. No, this is going to be fine. Don’t be such a city slicker, Tam.

No cleaning game in your room!

Here’s the motel. Sweet and clean!


The woman who owned and ran the place was delightful. I didn’t have ice cubes in my room, so she brought me some from her place and we sat outside for a bit while she told me some funny motel-keeping stories about trying to keep hunters from cleaning game in their rooms. I should have taken a snapshot of the sign in the room prohibiting such activity.

The room itself had just been renovated and the mattress was very comfortable. I slept well. Oh, and that storm? Blew right over without a drop.

Next time you’re in a jam, maybe you’ll think twice about your fears and go with the flow. Oh, and don’t be a city slicker!