Bikes, trailers, dogs, coolers: five days in Montana (some Wyoming)

Just like me, the moon’s gone plump from too many long nights and early mornings, hard to get into its jeans, and only noticed by fools and dreamers, the mad.

The sky ran down from blue to pink to jack o’lantern orange and then the bats came out and did their circus moves, and though they were blind they were perfect, they had other senses to use.

And then the chill came down which was not a real chill but a perceptible change in the temperature which still feels like a chill, the change —

Just the birds in the morning and the sound of a far-off car coming through the valley, coarse wheels on gravel.

Clouds on the mountains of Montana, the valley filled with wildfire smoke, haze. One last pocket of snow on the highest peak. The odometer says we drove a thousand miles in just three days, stopping in Coeur d’Alene and then on to Big Sky. The kids and their things spilled out like a loose burrito in the back of the car. We planned to leave the house at 5:15 AM to beat the Yellowstone crowds and made it out by 5:20—12 of us, five kids. Mountain ranges turned to ghosts by smoke.

The sun does its blood red thing, a soft warm glow in the morning. The moon, pink-gold over the canyons. Everyone in the parking lot with bikes, trailers, dogs, coolers. Clean mountain air at last, the atmosphere’s cleared from the fires but when we get on the road tomorrow, they’ll be burning all around us driving home. Twelve-hour drive, two or three breaks, tops.

Categories: prose, travel

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17 replies

  1. Lots of kids and lots of colors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. senses awakened! sounds like a crazy, fun, colorful adventure )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this a lot! Peaceful. Nice tone. Great!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 12? Yikes! That’s quite a wagon train. I hope that at some point you rolled the windows down and blasted Frank Zappa’s Montana.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy, easy smiles. What a blast, driving through the West!


  6. Nice imagery. Kind of like visual background music for a road trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dave, thanks. Yes, weird driving home through all that smoke yesterday and then sad to learn it’s worse here in our area (and really bad your way, from the sounds of things). Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a lotta kilometres. Lot of hours, too. Lot of ‘I spy’ or individual devices.


    • More so in miles my friend! Ha! Hi Bruce, greetings from mid-August. Back from six days in the bush, on the coast out here hiking. And more KM indeed. Hope you’re well. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Must be surreal to see the wildfires burning, the land alight. And scary too, as if the world’s going to be consumed by flames. Love the contrast of fire and snow, the clear mountain air and the smoke, the quiet and the hordes of kids. Lovely stuff Bill


  9. There might be something to this nature thing. I might have to look into it further…


    • Hi Mark, yes to the nature thing. Slow response to your comment I apologize…I unplugged for a week…in nature! Longest I’ve gone in the bush, so to speak. There’s something in it for me, for sure. Bill


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