If there is one thing my body doesn't do on these road trips it is adjust to the new time. I'm currently on Mountain time instead of my usual Central time which means everything is an hour earlier. I never change the car clock or my computer's clock which may play a little bit of the factor but come 4a my mind and Aria are up and urging me to get moving. It takes a lot of effort and begging to convince both of them it is too early and that I need to rest. A half hour later the brown eyes and cold nose have returned, this time with a whimper to let me know she isn't fooling around.
With reluctance I get up and we go out for our morning walk and in the horizon not only is it still dark there is a hint of red to it. Which always makes me think of the old saying, "red sky in the morning, sailors take warning." I'm happy I won't be staying in the area to see if it is true or not but according to my weather app the area is under flood warnings and possible storms throughout the day.
It is a leisurely morning since the drive won't be very long over to Wetsern Montana but as the body begins to wake up so does the list of things that need to be done today. There is a huge benefit and sense of accomplishment working self-employement work but there is always the fitting it in when I'm on the road. There is also the book that still needs to get picked up which means more submissions also need to be done. A quick calculation of what I need to do and how long it will take has me quickening my pace, especially, when I see that the drive is actually a little bit longer than I originally thought.
I start up the packing and Aria quickly finds a corner that allows her to stay out of the way but still able to see all that I'm doing and let me know if I have forgotten anything important, like her food. I quickly pack the car, return to grab her and the final items, one more walk and we are on our way to Montana. Oh wait, I still have to gas up the car. Over to the next door gas station I go to fill up and pick up a lottery ticket. You can't win if you don't play and I love to play the lottery.
Back in the car, we hit the road and head West. It isn't long outside of Rapid City that I turn off of the Interstate and take the local Highway 212 that skims through Wyoming before heading into Montana and bringing us out about an hour East of Billings. I absolutely love this part of the drive. The road is pretty quiet with a lot of trucks, the further into Montana I go the more rolling hills and twists and turns occur along the way. The road is lined with large fields full of cattle, horses, sheep and gazelles, most of them have their young ones close by making the area littered with animal.
Ranchers and farmers are also common along this route as well as a sprinkle of a large town here and a small one there. Most of these towns have at least one gas station if not several depending on the size so no need to worry about gas just the price, smaller the town, the higher the price. This day was even greeted by ranchers and their workers riding their horses alongside the road checking the fencing. I felt, for the moment, like we had stepped back in time.
There was a small area of construction, which was under construction, when I came through here back in April. Not sure if they have done much improvement since then but rain and snow have caused large, muddy holes along the way and areas go down to one lane. At the beginning of the construction is a light letting us know when we can go and it is here that I was taken aback by the site to my left. For the last year or so this ara offered a beautiful, old, rundown home that I loved photographing and sadly today it was destroyed. I didn't have time to get out and see if it was the weather or they were taking it down deliberately. Such a bummer.
Through construction and on our way West. About 10 miles East of the Little Bighorn National Monument there are a group of Native Americans, on horses, carrying flags, some hand made, gathered in the driveway of a home. The other side is lined with vehicles and trailer all of which have the same flag attached to them. A protest? When I first saw this I wasn't quite sure where I was along the route and was surprised to see it that I wasn't putting two and two together.
Another mile or so later an officer with his lights on was sitting at the end where a few more trailers and horses were gathered. I continued on and kept running the sight through my head and then I remembered where I was and what was up ahead. The Little Bighorn National Monument so was today about a protest or was it rememberance.
A few more turns showed a group of observerers high on a hill overlooking what used to be the battle field and trailers and trucks filled the field. Another turn and between the hills a group of Native Americans, 15-20, were riding in a pack on bare back horses through the high hills. It was an awesome sight to see that still gives me chills. A glance over at the park showed a line of cars on the driveway. A reinactment? I pulled over at the gas station, finally had a phone signal, and quickly googled it. Today, June 25, marked the first day of the Battle of Little Bighorn one of the last stands the Native Americans took over 140 years ago. Amazing and so cool that they remember and are able to reinact it on the very land it occurred on.
More reading also showed that this wasn't put on by The National Park Service, who own the Monument, it is put on by a private company that owns the surrounding land where most of the battle took place. There is an even a number on the NPS website you can call for more information about the event. I would definitely like to see that, blessed be Native Americans.
Back to the road trip and onto I90 West towards Billings, MT. The temperatures are creeping towards 90 but thankfully it is only heat and no humidity. The day is beautiful but one click off of the a/c has the car heated up like a sauna. One stop in Billings to fill up before we continue the last few miles to our final destination.
But not before heading through Livingston, Montana. Aw, Livingston the same stretch of road that is still under construction. I'm telling you right here, right now, I'm going to continue driving these same routes until the construction is done because I need to know that they know what the heck they are doing and to see if the long wait for completion was worth it.
A pass through Livingston than Bozeman and finally we reach our destination. This time I've chosen to stay at Choice Hotels property a few miles outside of Bozeman that will be a little closer to Glacier and less of a drive up there. But I have to say, I miss my usual hotel. There isn't anything wrong with it except if feels very claustrophobic. The room, hallway and lobby feel like they had minimal space to work with and had to cram everything in. They are trying to have a log-cabin feel with the stone pillars by the entrance and stone fireplace as well as animal heads in the lobby. I'm just not feeling it but the staff is friendly, hotel is quiet, and room is secure and clean. Walking accommodations? Well, they could be worse. There are weeds and rocks and Aria seems to have a bit of an attitude about it.
It is the exact same condition we have when we stay in Murdo, SD but for some reason she is having issues with it tonight. I think she's protesting the new hotel. She has been here enough to know where we're at and where we're at is not at the nice hotel we usually stay at. What can I say, the price and location was better but I will probably give it all up to stay in my favorite hotel. But no worries, we'll be there in a couple of days when we head back to Wisconsin and stay one more time in Bozeman.
The day ends with all the work being done and looking forward to relaxing and watching TV for the rest of the night. Tomorrow is Glacier National Park. I can't wait to get back there and see how much it has changed as well as the drive up there.
Driving across country can bring about some interesting situations. Broken down on a day by day basis enjoy my adventures and set backs along the way to some beautiful destinations.