Ain't nuthin like ridin' a finehorse in a new country- Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove
Monday, January 11, 2016
Sheridan to Missoula~
The days are getting longer! Last week when I was heading east - it was still dark when I left Sheridan at 7 a.m. This morning, there was light! I'd worried that the roads would be icy, but it was warmer than yesterday morning's six degrees! Sunday morning the sun was shining & it was so pretty out. I went out to the Bronco to get my camera & the minute I opened the door, the cold hit me! My fingers went numb in an instant! I rushed back to the house to the loud laughter of my family! :-) Even my tea was frozen IN my thermos!
Racing the train :-)
After taking a day off - I was back on the road. Over a week of mostly traveling, I'm actually getting used to it! Watching the country roll by is almost like being in the middle of a travel video. The higher the sun got in the sky - the more beautiful the day became. Stunning blue, wide open sky, a high layer of clouds & the dazzling white of the snow.
East of Livingston~
Soon though - I had another challenge... Wind! It hit like the blast from a bomb! Sweeping the snow across the road with a fury. I had to keep the wheel tilted to the outside to even begin to stay in my lane. It was brutal & the Bronco was bucking like his namesake! My gas gauge was dropping fast! I'd planned to stop in Bozeman, but hadn't seen a mileage sign for quite a while. Instead - Livingston was coming up & I decided to get off there. Oh My Gosh! What a BEAUTIFUL place! The mountains were all around & so amazing! The guy at the mini mart was so friendly, I told him he must really enjoy living in such a beautiful place. He had been born & raised there. He said that they used to get lots of snow, that now & for the last few years, hardly Any snow. Instead - he continued; the temperatures have been colder for longer. Weeks of sub-freezing temperatures. Across the street was a jeweler. In my hurry to leave home I'd forgotten a ring & my watch. I walked in & asked the sales person if he had a ring with a local stone for a reasonable price? He took me to a case with an amazing ring with three small Montana Sapphires. The first I'd ever seen & the exact color of the river below! The cost was a paltry $3,500. :-)
The river was Montana Sapphire blue - darker than the beautiful afternoon blue sky. It's a long haul across to Butte, but my audio book helped & so did a dry road over the pass.
Almost to Butte
Finally - another town to check off. Another quick stop for gas, another shorter pass & up ahead the day's goal, Missoula. I was surprised at all the haze in the air. Not sure what kind of plant is putting the up the plume of steam?
I was happy to see the exit for the motel come up. Another fill up & check in. The staff remembered me & after hearing the distance I'd traveled since they'd seen me last week - they upgraded my room. Four flights of steps, I ask for a top room on an end of the building
next to the stairs. I actually enjoyed going up & down those steps -
at this point - any exercise is Oh So welcome!