Sunday, August 3, 2014

Thoughts From The Road

The Big Daddy and I logged 3000 miles on the car and more gas station and rest area stops than we could count.  All that time in a car watching the scenery gives one more than enough time to observe some things.

This must be hay bailing season from here to Montana.  We saw all shapes and sizes of hay bales.  Stacked, rolled and pancake size.

I only saw a few (one especially handsome one on an ATV repairing a fence) and have but one word to describe them.  Hubba hubba.  So cute I had to use the same word twice.

They are essential to the farm/ranching life and are like hay bales......unique to each place and daily being mended.

Believe me, this seems to be the only form of vegetation in the entire state of Wyoming.

We did little interstate driving and more highway roads.  Some were so desolate that I prayed for me and the few people we passed that they have no car problems.  There isn't a mile marker, a water tower, a town or business for miles and miles to even guess where a tow truck would find you.  That is if you could even get a two truck to help you out.

Little Towns
We passed so many of these.  One had a sign with a population of 35.  How in the world???  I couldn't imagine where you grocery shop, get your hair colored or send your kids to school.  Remote, isolated, small.  Maybe the point in some cases is not to be found.

Gas Stations
Some looked liked they'd been around since The Flintstones.  Regardless, they are a welcome sight and despite sometimes having more than half a tank stopping and filling up is a given as God Only Knows when you will come across the next one.

Liquor Stores & Casino
They are one in the same.  What could go possibly wrong with that?

I cannot remember the last time I've seen someone throwing garbage out their car window but we followed two yahoos in Montana who decided to clean their car of Dorito bags and other snack trash.  It is a disheartening experience to see someone toss their garbage onto such a pristine place.

Hotel Pillows
I thought about bringing our own pillows but talked myself out of it.  Next time I will think better of it.  Regardless of the price, from a Motel 6 to the Hilton Garden Inn, hotel pillows are crappy, flat things that will make your neck do funny things for days.

Wild Animals
Mark wanted to see a bear.  I wanted to see moose.  His wish came true when twenty miles from Glacier a black bear crossed the road in front of us.  I never saw any moose but we did see lots of deer, prong-horned antelope and buffalo.

Farm Stands
The entire western half of Montana has roadside stands selling cherries.  Closer to Glacier they sell huckleberries.  We stopped at one that was selling three varieties of cherries, bought six pounds and ate every single one.

Climate Change
It is most undoubtedly here.  Once we left the midwest we saw evidence of forest fires EVERYWHERE.  Massive swaths of burnt trees as far as the eye could see.  And Glacier National Park?  We didn't see any glaciers though a few still exist.  At one time there were 150 in the park.  Now there are 25 and they aren't expected to be around much longer.

We passed a water truck which we first assumed was headed to Washington State due to their forest fires.  In reality, though, these trucks are used for fracking.  While proponents of fracking say that it uses less water than the average household (and this is true), water used for fracking can never be reused.  The water we use in our homes is always being recycled.  Water that has been used for fracking then becomes toxic.  In a time when so many states are in dire drought conditions it is disturbing to see trucks of water tanks going to support such a controversial and environmentally harmful endeavor.  

We not only survived eight days together in a car, we had a really, really good time.  That's not to say we didn't have our moments but they were small and insignificant.......which is fitting under the majesty of nature's handwork.

Big Skies & Starry Nights
Without a doubt, Montana has the biggest sky, the brightest stars and freshest air. 

I am smitten.

The answer to fracking?

Almost to Idaho so no sagebrush.
My sherpa.

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