People have this notion that Montana is a big state, full of nothing. People are wrong. Or at least they're partly wrong. Montana surely is a big state, but it's full of the most breathingly gorgeous scenery in the world. Mountain range after mountain range, after prairie, after rivers, after even more mountains. The rock formations around Butte are as fascinating as they are lovely. Trees (thousands and thousands and millions). The deer and the antelope (which one Grand insisted on calling *canteloupe*) played, often dangerously close to the interstate (though that's nothing for Dakotans, where the deer play tag with vehicles on a daily basis. Hint: the cars lose but the deer lose worse).
The first time we drove through Montana on a trip to the west coast, the road was 2-lane, without guardrails at Lookout Pass. It was a little hairy. These days, the view is still spectacular, but the road is a little wider and safer. 4th of July Pass, on the border of Montana and Idaho is also totally beautiful. The rolling wheat lands from Spokane, and the desert around Umatilla, OR are gorgeous in their own way (the way South Dakota is). And the Columbia River Gorge defies description. The winds along that corridor defied description as well- incredibly strong cross winds that drivers hated but the wind surfers adored. I tried to get pics of the surfers (there were hundreds), but they were too far away. They darted on the surface of the water like bugs. Or leaves.
The fine mist turned to rain at Multnomah Falls, which did not affect the beauty. And we rolled into our friend's house in Portland around supper time last night, tired but thrilled to be here. I have decided that I am too old to make that drive with just one overnight stop, so I think we'll take our time on the way home. But that's not for a couple of weeks. Today we'll veg and shop and laugh and drink some Oregon wine. Good times, y'all.
p.s. here's the road sock