Broken horizon

Broken Horizon

The story of the road-trip continues, despite a poorly excused break…

Montana provided a sobering reminder of road deaths in the form of little white crosses that popped up from time to time along the highway.  I think the saddest of them was a little cluster of 5 at the side of a railway crossing.  A scene that I dare not imagine.  Other than these morbid reminders the road, and journey, was generally uninteresting.  The steady stream of bugs painting the windshield a variety of goo and green ended quickly depleted the washer water.  I have to say, I was a little taken aback by the rather gnarly looking dude in the gas station who disapproved of my request for water (or the location of an outside tap) to fill up the windscreen wash bottle.  Who would buy bottled water to wash the windows with?!  So odd…  He was by far the most unpleasant contact I’d made during my trip.  I think I ended up just using a tap in a washroom…

The prairies finally gave way to Glacier national park, in western Montana, a visual extravaganza compared to the mind numbing prairies.  I realized I’d not booked anywhere to stay at my intended destination (St. Mary, just at the entrance of the much touted “Rising Sun Highway” through the park), causing me some mild panic when I realized everything, including the campsites, was full.  I suppose I hadn’t thought of it being quite so popular.  So I stopped at my trusty source of free WIFI (not food)… McDonalds.  As I was aimlessly standing beside the car staring at my phone for inspiration I noticed two guys patiently waiting to park in the spot I was standing in.  I must have been there for a good couple of minutes before noticing.  Funny, that people want to park as close as possible regardless of how awkward the spot might be.  A couple of pretty rough looking First Nation guys jumped out and headed inside.  On their way back they quipped about the length of my time messaging… so I ended up in a conversation about the road ahead, where they were from, and how they liked the area.  Again, another pleasant respite from the tedium of long days behind the wheel.

Heading towards the mountains I saw ominous clouds drifting across the ridges, dumping solid sheets of rain.  Considering I was going to camp this wasn’t a welcome sight, despite it being quite impressive.  I finally made it up the winding highway 89 that leads out of Browning up to St. Mary.  Having stopped for a couple of photos of the breathtaking view down Saint Mary Lake, the sun setting at one end and the beams of light streaming across the mountains, I dropped into St. Mary making a bee-line towards the most obvious of the campgrounds.  A few cars were pulling in at the same time and noting the disappointed faces leaving I realized I wouldn’t have any luck as I asked about spaces.  I think there were 2 or 3 cars heading out to the only other campground in the town.  Thankfully there was room at the inn and I got myself set up before a rather spectacular storm rolled in.

My neighbors were traveling in a very very cool little tear-drop caravan (and got me thinking as to getting one of my own… there’s just so many to choose from!).  I also got chatting to a guy that was in media in LA and had just quit his job to do a long road trip throughout the US and Canada.  It was chatting with him that made me realize how little time one month is to see this massive continent.

After settling down to a reasonably restless night I headed onwards through the park and absolutely spectacular scenery…

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