May 2, 2011

May Day in Montana

After a few days in the shop, our truck is fixed and we're back on the road. The problem ended up being smaller than we thought. Instead of a turbo replacement, we ended up having a wire that had been cut causing communication issues with the trucks computer. That along with some work on the fan, and even then it ended up costing us less than we were afraid it would, though its still not a pretty amount, but when is it ever?

We loaded sulfur yesterday afternoon in Billings and then hit the road heading west towards Bozeman. It was a beautiful day to be driving in Montana! May was putting on quite a show!
The weather was strange yesterday, one of those weird Spring days. While it was sunny and warm-ish in Billings, Malcolm's parent's (4 hours away) were dealing with the end of some heavy snow that had tried to turn blizzard, causing the loss of some calves and a cow.  We did not envy there weather, but even with our sunshine, in every direction we looked there were dark ominous clouds. A friend reported hail in Billings before we had arrived downtown to load, and even with temperatures in the 50's, we ran through miniature snow showers as we traveled west.

This load of sulfur was headed to Idaho, so at Bozeman we turned south on US191 and headed down through the western edge of Yellowstone.

Warmer temperatures, melting snow, and grass starting to grow are the ingredients for some excellent wildlife watching after a long winter of having the roads almost all to ourselves on this route. Up till recently, most of the critters have been laying low, staying in lower elevations where food was not buried under feet of cold white stuff. But yesterday evening it was apparent that everyone, not just the humans, are welcoming Springtime!
I didn't always have the camera handy, so there is no evidence, but by the time I came out the other side of the park, I felt like I'd seen just about all there is to see in the herbivore category. I drove past:
1 moose
5 big horn sheep
10 buffalo
about 25 deer
and a field with at least several hundred elk!

Happily everyone was steering clear of the road, until I was actually out of the park boundaries and nearing the town of West Yellowstone.

As it turns out, we're not the only one's who are back on the road. A couple years ago we encountered these guys on the road in this stretch rather frequently, and last night we had to wait again while these youngsters decided which way they wanted to travel, which basically meant they are just standing around in the road while traffic tries to ease around them. Someone needs to put up a "No Loitering" sign.
take note of the truck in front and the company name. How's that for coincidental?
 This morning we unloaded our sulfur near Twin Falls, ID and are now reloaded with another type of fertilizer from the same place. This is just a piddly little load, only 180 miles loaded, over to Utah, while the broker works on putting together something bigger.

It was a brief lay over at home, but I'll take any little bit I can get. We could have used more rest, but duty calls, and so its back to work we go! Maybe those few days will hold us over till our next "real" break, which we plan to take at the end of the month.


Shirley said...

Love the panorama of that first photo.
Too funny about the Bison truck!

Dreaming said...

I agree with Shirley - the mountains in the distance are breathtaking!
I noticed the Bison truck right away - how funny!

small farm girl said...

The Bison truck was funny! Your pictures were beautiful too!

Valerie said...

Beautiful scenery! Almost made me feel as if I was there again. Aren't the bison hilarious?!

Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch said...

Oh my goodness! Stunning photos!

Meagan said...

WOW, the first picture is breathtaking!! They are all great, but the first one is fantastic! :-) LOVE YOU!

gowestferalwoman said...

i agree with what Meagan said - the first one is a doozy of a shot!

Michaele said...

Oh Sarah, you always make me so homesick. I love the agricultural lifestyle here in Nebraska, but I will always be a Rocky Mountain girl and know that someday I will end up back where I can see mountains every day. That first photo was awesome!

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Nice pictures. Bison must be a pretty big logistic company. I've seen them up my way quite often. Kinda cool to catch them in the photo where you did. Someday I will would like to find myself doing a bit of the highway long haul thing. It looks pretty interesting.