Sunday, September 8, 2002

Time to leave my precious Yellowstone. Goodbye, geysers. Goodbye, bears. Goodbye, substandard sandwiches. I hate to leave, but we had a good visit. Now it's north to Glacier National Park! We passed through Mammoth Hot Springs again on our way out. There are a number of buildings here, and elk seemed to enjoy sprawling on the lawns, including one BIG male.

Idle elk

Tom left the radio on search, hoping to eventually get a signal. As we reached Pray, Montana, gospel music began to play. Random observation: Deer and antelope do indeed play in Montana, but not together.

We drove and drove, stopping for little but gas, until we finally reached Great Falls, Montana. I was desperate to get to a "real" town so I could get some decent food. Naturally, I craved Mexican, but the only place we could find was called "Taco Treat," which didn't fill us with high hope. It actually ended up being pretty good, though, except for the salsa.

After dinner, I checked our map and ignorantly suggested we visit Black Eagle Falls, one of what Lewis and Clark called the "Great Falls of the Missouri River." I can save you the trouble and report that the falls have been dammed out of existence.

Missouri River, Montana

Great Falls?

Lots of miles to cover today. North of Dutton, Montana, Tom was overcome with the power of "The White Swallow," as we have dubbed our rental Hyundai, and was cruising up I-15 at 90 miles an hour!

Just before dark we rolled into the parking lot of the Glacier Gateway Inn in Cut Bank, Montana. I was surprised to find such a nice hotel room in such a dinky little town. The hotel was practically on top of the railroad tracks, but so was everything else in Cut Bank, so what are you gonna do?

The view from Cut Bank

An example of how exciting it must be to live in Cut Bank: The hotel receptionist told me that right after September 11, 2001, a train passed by carrying tanks and other military equipment. She and some other hotel employees hopped in their pickup trucks and actually drove to the next town to see the train pass by again!

Home away from home

We'd brought a computer and hoped to get online tonight, but there was no local access number. In fact, during this whole trip to the wild west, we only managed to dial up twice.

405 massive miles.


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