Montana, of course! Tues-Sat, 7/19-7/23
Briefly, we left Theodore Roosevelt Nat'l Park Tuesday morning in a thunderstorm, and drove to Forsyth, Montana, where we set up and braved yet another bigger, stronger thunderstorm! Smartie, our bicycles, and Tergel are covered in dust, dirt, and road grime like never before. The day was a cooker by the time we stopped at a small campground in Forsyth, which is in eastern Montana. We had a lunch date in Billings with friends on Wednesday before continuing on to to Livingston by late afternoon, and it all worked out splendidly.
Eastern Montana is ranch land, open ranges and the occasional abandoned cabin.
Killer view of the Yellowstone River in Eastern Montana.
If you recognize this sign, then you know we're in Livingston, Montana! Though we couldn't camp at our favorite place (Rock Canyon RV Park) because they closed their doors after 43 years, we wangled two nights at Osen's. We loved staying at Rock Canyon -- right on the river, close to town, and on the bike trail. Really sorry they're no longer in business. But, we love coming to Livingston -- it feels like a second hometown.
At Osen's, we closed our shades and got the A/C going -- it was H.O.T. We were happy that we arrived on Wednesday afternoon, because by 4:30 we were at the Wednesday market, buying eggs, Flathead cherries, lettuces ... and an apple pie. Another favorite of ours ... the market, that is.
It just stared at me, unafraid, and didn't move, even tho I moved closer and closer.
Thursday found us on our bikes, as we usually do in Livingston, pedaling to Carter's Bridge (above), and back into town. We dropped in at our friend, Kim's, shop (below) -- Copper Moose Oil and Vinegar, and even bought a couple of goodies. Man, I tasted some fantastic oils and vinegars! Following this, we bought a sandwich at The Pickle Barrel, and had a nice visit with the owner. Easy biking in Livingston.
And we pedaled past Livingston's Carnegie Library (circa 1903), but didn't venture in today.
Along the trail ....
I figured out this is a win/win for horses. Not only does the swish of a tail brush flies off your own backside, but it takes care of your friend's face. We've seen lots of horses standing nose-to-tail like this.
Thursday evening after dinner, we took our fishing poles and a small container of night crawlers to the Yellowstone at Rock Canyon to try our luck. The river was down, but what really thwarted us were swimmers and dogs and two swimming muskrats near where we throw in our lines. Obviously we didn't catch any fish, but the evening was so fine, beautiful really, and our friends greeted us with warmth. After a bit we gave up the fishing and simply sat on the bench to appreciate our great good fortune to be where we were.
As we drove to Osen's, we gasped when we saw the western fire-in-the-sky! The sunset was so vividly red, it looked like a forest fire, but it was nature's way of bidding us goodnight.
Friday morning, we broke camp early and hit the road. From Livingston to Bozeman and south toward Idaho. We made it all the way to Cactus Pete's in Jackpot, Nevada -- 430 miles. Long day. You know we were grateful to have W/E, so we could use the A/C.
Saturday morning we were on the road before 9am again, From Jackpot to I-80 and then we just kept going, changing drivers every couple of hours. Sometimes we chatter away, sometimes we're quiet, but the tires keep rolling. A brief stop for a lunch of yogurt and granola and we were on our way again. Our aim was Battle Mountain, but we gained an hour when we entered Pacific time, so it was too early to stop; next was Winnemucca, but there were many hours of daylight left. We tried to stay in Lovelock, but couldn't find a campground, and returned to I-80, towards Reno. At that point, we knew we were only two hours from Nevada City, so ... we drove home. 492 miles today.
Two days from Livingston to home: 922 miles. We were dog tired when we walked in the door, happy to be home, somewhat daunted as to what had to be done, but we had no time frame and could pace ourselves. (Jimmy and I both have medical appt's this upcoming week.) 10 weeks on the road and all of it good, tho we had bips and bumps. We'd never traveled the northern tier of the US in summer, and didn't much care for the weather, but wet days didn't deter us. My brother's heart problem was a real bump, but the best news is he was released to go home on Tuesday (7/19).
My sister asked me what "events" we had next planned. After getting everything squared away, we'll take some short hops hither, tither or yon. Hope to be in the mountains some to escape the heat, but we're happy to be home.