Thursday, August 10, 2006

Home on the Range





Day 9 August 10 Thursday - 400 miles

As usual, I spent the first two or three hours working with my investment clients in the morning. Then, once I had an idea how the market was moving and that no more calls were needed, I packed up and got on the road.

Headed west out of Fargo into the great unknown. Sky was overcast and soon I was going in and out of light thundershowers. Not worth getting rain gear on, though.

A zillion Harleys were coming back from Sturgis. Felt sorry in a way for them cause they were bucking a headwind whereas I, for the first time, had a tailwind. Just set the cruise control on 75 and fly.

The flat plains of eastern N. Dakota soon began to fold a little, forming gentle undulations that were broken up by pimply-like, worn-down buttes. These high points were not remarkable for their height, being only maybe 100-200 feet high at the most, but they were kind of cool cause they looked like miniature volcanoes, only they were completely covered with grass.

The farm crops changed from corn and soybeans to some type of barley or rye as the land grew more and more dry. They were the quintessential “amber waves of grain.” I saw two deer running through the knee-high stalks and prayed they would not cross the highway in front of me. They ran parallel with I-94, bounding through the field. That was a picture I’d love to have taken.

Moving on through Bismarck, the land roughed up some until the Badlands appeared. Teddy Roosevelt had a park there named for him. I did not take the scenic route through the park because I have to pick and choose where I spend my down time; I have decided to hang out in Glacier National Park and other parks in Washington, Oregon, and northern California. But, I did do the picture thing.

There was plenty of time to think while on the road. I thought about all the apologies I needed to make…it took maybe three minutes…and thought of all the apologies yet to be made to me…it took thirty minutes!! Working on my latest book (will do more copy editing changes tonight) and ideas for existing stories and new stories. It’s great to get away from the radio and phone.

Ended up in Glendive, Montana. Trying to figure out which way to go tomorrow. More I-94 to Billings and then up to the NE corner, or up now then over. Will have to sleep on it.

Glendive is not where you want to spend the rest of your life. It’s on the Yellowstone River but there is nothing I can point out that would make me want to stay here. Yes, being in Eastern Montana it has a glorious sunset, but it’s gonna take more than that for me.

One side of the town is bordered by more badlands. This rugged terrain is really a series of large, mud hills. When it rains, they lose inches of surface soil, and what is exposed is more of the same muddy gray mess as what was washed away. Yeah, time to move on for sure.

2 comments:

Nate said...

Mike,

Can't you take a few hours to do some fly fishing on one of the beautiful rivers you are passing by?

-Nate

Mike Sledge said...

Would love to...same for when I was in CO. But it just doesn't seem to work out. Maybe later, once I've had a chance to get some more sights under my belt.