Monday, August 30, 2010

mild wild west

Big Horn, Montana yesterday and a sign that pointed to the right off the road saying 'Battlefield of Custer's Last Stand'. All we saw there was a very, very large corn field that was irrigated and more of the Badlands beyond where it wasn't and you have wonder why a bunch of crazy white guys came all the way beyond the middle of nowhere to fight a bunch of Indians. There's not much out here worth fighting over and I have to think the country would have been a better place today if we'd left the middle to the tribes.

Montana rolled by the window for quite a while so it seemed we were almost to Bismarck before we actually crossed into North Dakota. We saw mile after mile of rolling hills, buttes and mesas, and more grass than you could wave a stick at. Multiply layered clouds lit parts of the landscape like roving spotlights. Huge wheat farms were interspersed with badlands and painted canyons. It's easy to forget just how big this country is unless you see it from a car window now and again.

We've also seen some enormous car dealerships on our way - never mind the RV sales centers and every larger town seems to have a Harley-Davidson franchise. Some of the towns are still involved in mining and smelting. It's a different breed of people out here from most we know on the coasts and cars and trucks are a way of life. Of course, all I have to do is imagine this landscape in winter and I want to keep going right now. Personally, I prefer a city bus or taxi.

Next we go to Duluth, only 450 miles but we'll be getting off the highway and traveling narrower roads through more state parks. I've got the camera handy again. My computer doesn't know what time it is and neither do I.

Not everyone can stand living out here.Yesterday afternoon I actually saw a woman on the other side of the highway hitch-hiking with 10 suitcases. I hope someone gave her a lift.


Lisa said...

The woman standing on the side of the road with ten suitcases makes for a great opening to a story.

Pagan Sphinx said...

To what Lisa said: it really does make you wonder what the story is there, with the ten suitcases.

I loved your travelogue from the road. I have never driven across the country and it's something I'm really longing to do.

Loved the photos, too.

Have a safe trip. Good to hear from you.

La Belette Rouge said...

Seriously, 10??? Lisa is so right. I hope that she got a ride. And I hope you are enjoying the journey!

Nancy said...

I loved Montana and South Dakota - very different landscape than we're used to here in the mountains. Minnesota should still be beautiful, but have to agree with the cold.

Poor lady. She needs a semi to pick her up with all that luggage.

susan said...

lisa - It really does especially considering the fact she looked pretty pissed off and there was more stuff than ten suitcases. Maybe it was the beginning of an interstate yard sale.

pagan sphinx - This is my second trip across the country by car and both have been extraordinary. Of course, if one had lots of time and lots of money for good hotels it would be better. Then again, besides long haul trucks we've also seen a lot of RV's and trailers.

la belette rouge - At least ten but there were various sacks and boxes too. It really looked as though she was leaving home but I can't imagine anyone stopping out there and loading it all up in their back seat.

nancy - Montana was stunning and so was North Dakota for a while but we were very happy this time to arrive in Minnesota. As we drove everything began getting greener and the lakes and rivers were very beautiful under a clear sky.

Spadoman said...

Duluth! You better wave, I can almost see Duluth from my house.
Hope you're journey is going good. Still jealous that you're on the road and I'm not!


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