September 18, 2008

We've Crossed the Threshold

Lots of miles covered in the past week and a half since we drove beneath the shadow of Devil's Tower. I should have been more responsible and gotten the pictures posted sooner, but really its been a choice lately between sleeping or doing other things, and sleep has been priority over most other things. Not complaining....and still enjoy hauling cattle....just sharing the facts of how things are going.

We see lots of stuff on the road, and hauling cows is neat because we go to a lot of ranches and out of the way places. This picture was taken in Wyoming, kind of southwest of Rawlins, between Baggs and Crecent Junction. We were out in the middle of no where. Actually I think I posted that day because I remember mentioning that the only sign of human existance was the fence and the road. Once we got up to where we were loading there were a set of run down corals next to these buildings.

If you look around the CB antenna which I couldn't get around (becuase i didn't want to get out of the truck and make a spectacle of taking pictures while everyone else was working hard)... These buildings are whats left of an origanal stage stop station from the old stage coach days of Wyoming. They have put a high fence around them to keep out animals, but from the looks of the fence I'd speculate that the main "animals" they are keeping out are the human variety that like to vandalize, etc. It was neat to sit there and visually explore the setting and wonder if it wasn't a relief to reach this spot, in the middle of a sage desert, where you could finally get out of the bumping bouncing coach, stretch your legs, and have a cool drink before moving along towards your destination. Structures don't dilapidate out west like they do down south where I'm from. I guess its the dryer climate that helps. All I know is there are houses and barns and what not standing around all over the place, and though they are not in livable condition, they havn't given in to the weight of their years and melted into the earth like the older buildings of the southern and eastern United States. I love all the echoes of the past out here. Its so easy to slip into history and live a little brief imagined life there.

We loaded today in Kirby, MT which is south of Billings just near the Norther Cheyenne Reservation. Its pretty down there, hilly and more trees than other parts of eastern Montana. I snapped this picture on the way back east as we pulled through Lame Deer. Proof that we have crossed the threshold of Autumn here in Montana. Though the temperatures have gone back up, into the 70's and 80's, its still visably autumn now. We are wishing the cooler temps would return. They spoiled us for a few weeks, and now it feels hot.

Lame Deer.....what a name. I have found that there are a number of towns in Montana and surrounding states that have these "literal" names. I like them. Here is a brief list off the top of my head.

Lame Deer, Lodge Grass, Red Lodge, Plentywood, Chugwater (must be thirsty when you get there), Grassy Butte, Lodge Pole, Wolf Point....most of them are in Montana and many sound as though they have native american roots.

Well, fair thee well for now. I have stolen a few minutes between stopping for a sandwich and the fuel stop to write you. We're in Rapid City, SD heading east towards Iowa with a load of steers. Its 5:00pm and my turn to drive as soon as he fuels. There are large thunderheads on the horizen. We havn't been in any weather in several weeks. I'm sure the rain will be welcome, as it has dryed up out here quite a bit after our lush summer. However, I'll be hoping it holds off till I've passed by. I have a terrible time seeing at night in the rain. Not much fun. And just so you know, its not ALL driving and sleeping. I've been sneaking in a few moments of reading here and there too. So there is still some relaxation going on too.

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