11
Nov
13

Road Trippin’ VI: Meet Me in Montana–Eventually

According to our itinerary, we were to spend Saturday driving through the mountains of western Montana, and stop for the night somewhere in the vicinity of Helena. This would have been a simple goal to accomplish were it not for my irrational fear that we would go careening off the edge of the road and fall to our death if we drove faster than 40 miles per hour.

Presented with the choice between driving for 6 hours at 40 miles per hour with a calm companion and driving for 4 hours at 60 miles per hour with an anxious one, the Jarhead did what any sane and loving man in his situation would have done and decided to ignore me. Now before you condemn him for his cold heartedness, it’s important to consider the alternatives. For example, he could have stopped to let me use the restroom and taken off again without me. Alternatively, he could have wrapped me in a blanket, stuffed a sock in my mouth, and forced me to experience western Montana from the bed of the pickup. For that matter, he could have wrapped me in a blanket, stuffed a sock in my mouth, and forced me to experience western Montana near a tree in the ditch. I could go on, but for a change I’ll just leave you to imagine the possibilities.

With so many other options at his disposal, I’m beyond grateful that he chose the one he did. Even if it required me to shotgun the last two tiny bottles of vodka in the center console and spend 4 hours with my hands over my eyes or gripping my seat in terror, in the grand scheme of things, I think I came out ahead. And I did manage to see some spectacular views and lovely animals while peeking between my fingers and praying to multiple deities to forgive my sins—especially swearing—and spare my life.

Here is some of what we saw:

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As you know, I like to share my views…so here’s another one.

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These butterflies, like my advice, are free.

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Do these rocks make this chipmunk look fat?

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It’s not the photo. Like Bigfoot, this coyote IS blurry.

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The trip took us down highway 2, which runs along the Kootenay River a good ways before turning south near the town of Libby. From there we continued through Kalispell and Missoula, and on to Helena, where we stopped for the night. 

It was during this leg of the trip that we made an important discovery: Forget Vegas. If you like to gamble, Montana is the place. There were literally casinos everywhere. Hungry? Try K.C.’s Food, Drink & Keno. Gotta gas up? Check out Jim’s Pump ‘n Poker. Outta milk? Visit Sam’s Grocery Mart and Slot Shop. I didn’t see this one myself, but if we’d had more time to kill, no doubt we would have found Auntie Annie’s Day Care and Texas Hold ‘Em.

Worn out from the long drive and our late bedtime the night before, we decided to forego all of these attractions. Instead, we had a quick dinner and went to bed early so we could hit the road refreshed the next day for our drive to Rapid City.

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