Skip to main content

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 11; Lonely US Route 85 in the Dakotas

Following spending the night in Belle Fourche my destination was in North Dakota in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  From US Route 212 in Belle Fourche it was a solid 174 miles north to Interstate I-95 on a desolate stretch of US Route 85.


This blog entry serves as Part 11 of the 2016 Mountain Trip series, Part 10 can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 10; Devil's Tower National Monument

US Route 85 north of Belle Fourche in South Dakota traverses through rural Butte County and Harding County.  Between Belle Fourche and the North Dakota State Line there isn't much to capture the interest.  The site of interest I did find was the ghost town of Redig in southern Harding County.  Oddly Redig is something I've never been able to find much information on as it rarely ever appears on historical maps.  The community has an abandoned service station that appears to have been last in use in the mid-20th century.  There was no apparent signs of life amid the abandoned buildings and derelict cars.




US 85 enters North Dakota in Bowman County.  The first real town north from Belle Fourche is the County Seat in Bowman at the junction of US 12.  I stopped in Bowman for a refill of gas and a bag of M&Ms before continuing northward on US 85.

US 85 enters Slope County north of Bowman County.  I stopped in Amidon which is the second least populated incorporated County Seat in the United States with a population of 20.  Amidon was founded in 1910 and was anticipated to be a rail siding of a Milwaukee Road Railroad branch line that ultimately never made it to the community.  When Slope County was split from Billings County in 1914 Amidon became the county seat.  Amidon was the last North Dakota County seat to receive electricity by 1950.  Apparently Amidon once had a population of about 150 in the 1920s but along with Slope County has declined.  Reportedly the Amidon County Post Office closed in 2018.


North of Amidon US 85 enters Stark County where it meets I-94 in Belfield.  From Belfield I entered I-94 west towards Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Part 12 of the 2016 Summer Mountain Trip Series can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 12; Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I-94, and Old US 10

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

The western end of US Route 6 and Laws Depot on the Carson & Colorado Railway

Back in June of 2016 I visited the western terminus of US Route 6 at US Route 395 located in Bishop, California of Inyo County on my way to Laws Depot. US 6 is one of the longest US Routes at 3,205 miles between Bishop, CA east to Provincetown, MA.  Historically US 6 was the longest US Route ever when it ended in Long Beach at 3,652 miles.  US 6 is known as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway and is mostly known for traveling through some of the most rural corners of the Continental United States. The endpoint of US 6 expanded wildly westward during the early US Route era.  Below is a summary of endpoints for US 6 that are listed on USends.com: 1927-1931 -  Provincetown, MA west to Erie, PA 1932-1937 -  Provincetown, MA west to Greeley, CO 1937-1964 -  Provincetown, MA west to Long Beach, CA 1964-Present -  Provincetown, MA west to Bishop, CA US 6 was one of the routes heavily truncated during the 1964 California Highway Renumbering.  US 6 had a large mul