Saturday, July 23, 2011

turn left at Montana

Yellowstone was right around the corner.  But, we didn't drive a straight line. As CD and I are prone to do, we decided to take the scenic route.  The Beartooth Highway was significantly longer, but it called to us.  And it was worthwhile.  Those choices always are.

Snow.  Yes, after 104°temperatures the morning before, and cold, windy rain the night before, now we encountered snow.  At the first patches we stopped-- even had a snowball fight with a family from Grand Rapids, MI (I owe that boy a snowball down his shirt...) then drove past more and more as we gained elevation.  At 10,947 feet, at the pass, we were above the tree line.  It felt like we were living in a postcard.
The road wound around; sometimes we could see the serpentine path beyond us for four levels.  We reached the northeast entrance to Yellowstone and breathed a sigh of relief.  We'd put over 2200 miles on (my parents') car and we'd made it.
The mountains gave way to plains again, and rivers passed beside us.  We had our first "animal jam" for two female elk at the side of the road.

We reached our rental and spread out.  Books, clothes and more books and more Stuff quickly reached into the corners.  We made it home, if only for five nights.  "Big Sky Country" it says on the Montana license plate.  Yup.  This is the view from our back windows.  "And the skies are not cloudy all day."


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