After driving 5 hrs today and 265 miles, I decided to stop early. Lucky Lil's Casino is next door, and it's tempting, but I'm strong!
I LOVE Montana! I'm considering this just an exploratory trip, and hope to make my way back through the state when I return to CA. I am also considering spending a couple of months in Idaho and Montana next summer. I want to see Montana from border to border, north to south and east to west. I'm in the southeastern section now and it is absolutely gorgeous. The colors are subdued, unlike some of the red rocks of the southwest, but I feel like I'm in an important place.
Just across the road at the motel I stayed in last night were trains going by fairly often, and I thought they would keep me up all night. I didn't hear a one! But thinking about trains made me think of that time in our country's history, when someone decided that the "final solution" for the Indians would be to get wealthy sportsmen to shoot buffalo from the trains. The theory was that if the buffalo were eradicated the Indians would die of starvation, and they nearly did. And to think that the government named a national monument after a man who would have killed all the Indians himself if he hadn't taken the hit first. I don't understand why he is glorified by having his name on a national monument. I know you can't stop progress, but I find it difficult to exalt the settlers, land grabbers, politicians, and all the rest that committed genocide against the first inhabitants. I normally dislike expressing my views on subject such as this one, because I know I'm in the minority on the issue. But remember it is just my opinion and I don't claim superiority for my opinions.
I drove over US 12 today and what a great road. Just two lanes, but nearly devoid of traffic. The only hassle is when you come to a town, the speed limit goes from 70 to 45, then quickly to 35 and finally to 25 mph. It's not easy to drive 25 after you've been going 65, without feeling like you aren't moving at all.
Shortly after I got on the highway I came to a field with a lot of cattle grazing near the fence - black angus I think. One little calf seemed to be on the wrong side of the fence and all the other youngsters were up against the fence on the "safe" side, to give him comfort I hope. I wonder if his mother would be able to get him back. I though about it for several miles but realized I couldn't have done anything, as I certainly couldn't have lifted him across the fence by myself, and there was no one in sight. The hazards of growing up!
One thing I found conspicuously missing in Montana, for all the wind there are no windmills to be seen. Maybe they have them in a different location - nearer the interstate perhaps.
I mentioned that I plan to come back to Montana, and as you know the weather is not exactly conducive to tent camping, at least this time of year. Maybe I need to rethink what kind of vehicle I will buy, possibly 6 cyl. SUV rather than a smaller (and more fuel efficient) 4 cyl. car). I don't ever want to think of getting even a fair-sized RV again. I'm thinking maybe more in terms of a very small trailer such as a Scamp or Casita, or a Scotty. I really don't want to do anything more than sleep in it, and don't even know if I'd want a kitchen. I could use my 2 burner coleman stove to do any cooking I want to do, outdoors in good weather, plus maybe a very small charcoal grill, and I have a fine Coleman steel belted ice chest that would be better to me than fooling with an RV type fridge.
You see, I want to completely avoid having anything to do with tanks - filling them, and emptying them. That goes for fresh water as well - I can buy large jugs of spring water that is probably more reliably clean and safe than what you might get at campgrounds. Electricity I might go for - lights and plug ins for my small electric heater as well as the little personal fan, however, I can easily set up to not use electric.
I still want to find a permanent place to live, and just travel when I can. Maybe I can do that and maybe I can't, but it's going to be fun thinking about. In the meantime, I just LOVE Montana, and the folks are as friendly here as they are in Georgia and the southeast!
20 hours ago