Living in the mid-western rust belt (normal rain fall, humidity and cloudy days with no sun) makes one rust, not tan. Although, this summer has been pretty dry and sunny for a change, so I needed relief from it.
We decided it was time for a change of scenery. We headed west to see the relatives, and to take in the usual tourist attractions along the way. A fella cannot see Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Badlands, Wall Drug, or Yellowstone Park too many times.
I forget how desolate it is when leaving the rolling hills of Indiana and drift into the flat land of Iowa and points west, which stretch all the way to the Montana border. But, the one redeeming factor is that for all those hundreds of straight line miles, you drive in a huge blue bubble. At least that's what it looks like . . . 360 degrees around and straight up forever, it's blue sky. Geez, it's so cool. Nothing like it, until you hit Big Sky Country, and then the cool turns to fantastic!
Three weeks of unbelievable weather . . . every day was sunny, temps in the high seventies to mid-eighties, no rain . . . just the big sky to enjoy. The only downside was the heavy smoke conditions caused by forest fires all around us, but, even with that, it was beautiful.
It's true, "You can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the boy!" Damn, I miss the mountains of Montana.
Oh, well, as a real Montana native (Blackfoot heritage), I got to live it, while others just get to visit.
I thought my readers may like to see what life in the Big Sky is all about, so I'll share a photo or three to temp you, and to make me homesick once again.
Antelope checking me out
My first wife, of 49 years, Roxie near the top of Bear Tooth Pass.
Atop the Bear Tooth Pass at nearly 11,000 feet.
It's smokey, but it's still beautiful.
This ol' fella was coming over to check out our car on the Bear Tooth highway. He was just one of a heard of about 400 that stopped traffic, while they moved across.
This is a smoke filtered sunset that welcomed us on our first night 'home' near Yellowstone.
A cow elk taking it easy on the lawn outside the resort hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs.
Life is good in the Big Sky.
Sacajawea Inn at Three Forks, Montana.
Some of the best fly fishing in the world is here, where the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin rivers join. This is our home on the road. Quaint, quiet and comfortable, and the restaurant is top shelf.
These little friends greet us for coffee in the morning in our mom's back yard. How's this for city living? Tell me Montana isn't cool!
We had to run the deer off to get a shot of the nieces and nephews and their children.
This is a shot of what was my folks ranch at the western foothills of the Bitterroot-Selway range. It's a little smokey that day, but you can see why I keep Montana in my heart.
If you haven't been out west, this is a good reason to go.