Sunday, 5 February 2017

Long Days, Late Nights

It's been quite the 48 hours. It's hard to believe that yesterday afternoon we were just leaving Calgary. That's about 815 miles or 1,315 kilometers; about 13 hours of driving time. Yesterday when we left Calgary the weather was just turning nasty with blowing snow and chill temperatures. That same weather followed us all the way to Coombs, the border crossing into the US.

That's where the only real excitement of the trip has come so far, other than those two stunned deer I almost clobbered on the way into Casper. At the Sweetgrass border crossing the CBP agent in the booth seemed really unhappy. He directed us in for secondary questioning. So David parked the truck and went inside. Fortunately the agent there was much more pleasant. Instead of demanding that I come inside, she came out to the truck for my secondary questioning. This seemed to satisfy her and we were off into the night.

We got into Great Falls later that we wanted, thanks to our slow start. Nothing, however, was going to deter us from heading to the Sip And Dip Lounge. We got there, and in a moment of temporary wisdom I asked David if he would mind checking things out for me to see if I could get in. He returned with sad news. I could get in, mostly, but the lounge was very small, and worse, jammed to the gills on a Saturday night. He doubted I would be able to navigate my way through the crowd. So we set a goal of checking it out on the way home instead.

By the time we got to bed yesterday it was after 11:00 PM. I slept well, having taken a Zopiclone right away. David says he slept well too. He must of. It was after 10:00 AM this morning when he finally woke up! It was to another slow start for us. Maybe this isn't such a bad thing.

Today was a terrific run through rural Montana. We stayed off the Interstate, taking the "back road" from Great Falls to Billings. The start was rough, with temperatures well below freezing. There was snow fog and low cloud so the only thing we could see around is was whiteness with the vague shapes of hills in the distance.

Then we passed out of the low cloud and fog. Suddenly, behind us, was this fabulous low range of mountains, rugged and serene, standing off in the distance where we had just been. We could see a vast inner plateau of low, flowing coulees, their soft edges and gentle slopes sliced here and there by deep ravines and wide vales cut by slow running rivers. It was all frozen, all white, a seeming wasteland yet covered with cattle, deer, and antelope. Yes, they still play here.

We saw some great roadside attractions, the kinds of things David most appreciates. At one place it was the Medus-Hay, a sculpture of Medusa made out of an old tree and sculpted hay. At another it was the Harley Davidson shop with a skeleton, scythe included, riding on a Harley. We tried to go to an old bar which was supposed to have a creek running through the middle of it, but it looked a bit dodgy so we gave it a pass.

By the time we got to Wyoming, night had fallen. Our decision at this point was to drive into the darkness, heading for Casper, or call it a day and stop at Sheridan or even Buffalo. We went for Casper, arriving here at 9:00 PM. Yes, another late night. Possibly another late start tomorrow. Who cares? We're on holiday!


  1. Have a great trip and enjoy the road!!! Sounds fantastic. Enjoy guys

  2. Are you posting pics ? If so could you give us the link again ? Oh, and if you two make it to New Orleans, I'll buy you a beer and give you a proper tour. Bon Voyage !

    1. David and I have both been taking pictures. I will start the photo blog tonight. We are definitely planning on NOLA. See you there!