Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play.....

The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.

Mountains in Montana

Random fact of the day:  My car's shadow, from the right angle, looks like Shrek's head.  That is all.

Okay, so maybe not ALL......It's been a busy last few days.  After enjoying a weekend of square dancing, Miss Lucy and I hit the road again, this time, headed east for the first time in 3 months.  First, we had to get across Washington, and during this time, I learned a very important lesson on the road.  You should not only look ahead, and to the sides while you are driving, you should also look behind.  We were driving in the mountains, and there wasn't a whole lot to see but bare mountains, with some pretty trees, and then I looked in my rearview mirror.  The other side of the mountains had snow on them, and it made a perfect picture.  Which I promptly pulled over and took.  On the side of the road.  On the interstate.  Yes, that was me.

After stopping to sleep overnight, I got ready to head out again, and passed a car that had a sticker on it, saying, "I *heart* UP".  Well, I did, too, but not about to put a sticker on my car saying that.  :-)  Sometimes, driving in the western Washington/parts of Montana/definitely Idaho, etc can be boring.  And you see a sign for a rest area, and go to pull off.  But, their rest areas are not interesting.  They consist of bathrooms that are little more than port a potties, and nothing else but some picnic tables.  I'm used to Eastern and Southern rest stops that go all out, have things to look at, flyers and such about things in the area, etc.

I do enjoy listening to NPR sometimes while driving, though, and the other day, they had a show about the origin of words/sayings, and a guy called in stating that his dad always said, "They don't know sic 'em", when referring to an ignorant person.  The origin?  People used to say, "They don't know come here from sic 'em" - a reference to a very stupid dog.  This eventually got shortened to what his dad said.  True story.

Got to Montana at night, and looked around, and it was all of a sudden 34 degrees and there was lots of snow on the ground.  Great change from previous areas.  I love Montana.  Besides the mountains and the snow, there were lots of animals.  LOTS.  Starting with deer...then antelope...and bison...bald eagles, and then.....prairie dogs.  Lots of prairie dogs.  I have always loved going to zoos and seeing the animals, but the more I see them in the wild, the less fun zoos are.  I did have to laugh with the bison, because I kept seeing these signs, "Bison on the road", "Bison next 2 miles", etc.  It reminded me of when I was traveling through Canada and kept seeing signs for moose, but never actually seeing a moose.  However, the bison did finally show themselves, and all was well.  On a side note, even though I have traveled in places where you would find moose (Canada, Alaska, Colorado, Maine, etc), the only time I have seen any was twice in Alaska.  Of course, one of those times was extremely memorable.  We got the very last spot in a secluded area of a state park, where they do not normally put campers.  It was our last night in Alaska.  When we woke up in the morning, there was a mama moose and her tiny (probably only a day or so old) baby wandering through our camping area.  Of course, we gave her plenty of room, but it was amazing.

The prairie dogs actually came after I left the Yellowstone area.  I was driving down the road, and saw a sign for Prairie Dog Town State Park.  Well, I don't know what I was expecting, but it was not what I found.  No sooner did I enter the gate, then I was surrounded in prairie dog mounds, and easily a hundred prairie dogs darting around all over the place, peeking out from their mounds, chasing each other.  It was a lot of fun to watch.  The other thing in Montana  that made me laugh were signs that I kept seeing for "Testicle Festival".  Not something you see every day.

From there, Lucy and I headed across to Mount Rushmore.  Amazing.  Totally worth the drive.  The details on the sculptures were beyond anything I would have expected.  The only complaint I had was that they had "concession parking", which the guy explained to me was because they hired a company to do the parking, and so you have to pay for parking in order to pay for this.  It's paid off in 2016, and then you might be able to get in with your National Park pass again.  But, for now, it's $11, but that is good for a year.

One last Delta story.  When I met up with my friend in San Francisco, she mentioned that she had had trouble getting there, because her original flight was canceled, and the next flights would not get her in before she was due to give a presentation.  She had to fight with them to get them to put her on another airline so that she could get there in time.  "Which airline was this?"  Delta......

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