Sunday, September 6, 2009

3200 miles, four days, no disasters!

On Saturday, Sept. 5, we woke up in Casper, Wyoming to sunny skies and the promise of warm weather. Wyoming has vast prairies, rugged mountains, a lot of interesting history and helpful people. The city started out as a garrison and after lots of conflicts with the Indians, one of which resulted in the death of a soldier named "Casper." Later a fort was built in his honor and so it evolved to today's busy city. (Click on the link for lots more info!)
Here is a short video of the road heading north from Casper - less than a minute of bouncy road travel - considerably less than what we endured!

One big disaster that occurred in Wyoming did not, fortunately, happen to us. But General George Custer made his last stand at the Little Bighorn River between current-day cities Sheridan and Billings. We stopped about lunch time and had a delightful and educational time travel in a small museum nearby the historical site. We were allowed to take a photograph of one of the many paintings depicting this sad event - sad because it was avoidable, sad because it was a tipping point in the demise of Native American culture at the hands of the U.S. Government and sad because it has taken a long time for many to awaken to the deceptions perpetrated by 'business interests' to be revealed. It was because the railroads wanted the land that the Indians lost it. (You can also read all the details of this battle by clicking on the link.)
Then we headed on to Billings, over the Yellowstone River, which was one of the great rivers that Lewis and Clark explored and documented. This shot, taken as we rushed by, is of a small park along the river in Billings. We were beginning to see signs of fall, with the cottonwoods turning yellow and the remnants of harvesting of the various crops.

Overall the traffic was very light for a holiday weekend. Probably a good thing for us as the trailer added so much weight we could not get over Bozeman Pass (5730 feet) faster than 35 mph.

We drove on through Livingston, MT to Butte and Missoula. Jey-hu's mother and step-father used to live in this area about 30 years ago and he regaled me with stories of his drives up to visit them with his children in tow. The weather began to become somewhat less sunny and Jey-hu got this great shot of the mountains and the rain falling over them.

As we began our entry into Idaho, we realized we had covered another four states, many miles and rather than stop for the night, we could probably make it home and wake up in our own bed instead of having yet another day to drive. So that's what we did. But we had a brief little adventure in St. Regis, MT... read the next entry.

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