Sunday, 10 June 2012
Memories of Montana
Montana has spectacular scenery…. lots and lots of it. They also have lots of cows and lots and lots of mountains. One mountain after another as far as the eye can see… and as high as the transmission can carry. If I had been an explorer, I would have stopped at the first set of hills and called it a day. These people must have been smoking some pretty high-grade sage grass to want to trek up and down these mountains to establish a lot of “historic” places. Almost everywhere you look in Montana, something is historic. We haven’t quite figured out what, exactly, but if it made it to Montana, it was obviously good enough for the history books. Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) has a lot of places named after him. Lewis, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well….. we haven’t even found a creek with his name yet. Even Sakajawea has a casino named after her! We were a little concerned at the top of one particularly high pass, when the sign warned us to beware of bighorn sheep. You know you’re too high when that becomes an issue. We were lucky to even be able to read that sign, because a snowstorm had whited out most of the others. Nui was not impressed. We stopped in the little town of Philipsburg and took a side trip up to Gem Mountain and met the owner Chris, who very kindly sold us a heavy bag of dirt. Because that’s what you do in Montana. Today, we took our bag of dirt to the local Gem Mountain store where Kenzie showed us how to find sapphires. Lucky for us, she spotted them, because that bag of dirt frankly looked just like a bag of dirt to us. In the end we came away with 17 carats of sapphires – which sounds like a lot but isn’t. The weather continues to be very cold and rainy (except when it snows) but there is promise of better weather ahead. Somewhere. Maybe. Tomorrow we are off to Yellowstone, after more quick repairs to the Beast, whose plumbing has given up the ghost.