Even the best of homebodies occasionally gets
hit with a dose of wanderlust. Here in central
Montana we're rather isolated. Meaning that if
one wants to clear their head or simply escape
reality, a substantial drive is required to leave
town behind. Given my preference is to stay at
home, I rarely even think about trying to see if
the grass is greener elsewhere. Yet when one
is blessed to live in one of the most amazing
states in America - it's really rather foolish not
to see the sights. Fortunately Frank is ready
and willing to prod me out of my sweet spot
and broaden my horizons every once in awhile.
For anybody who hasn't trod our terra firma
it's hard to explain exactly what it means to
take a road trip in central Montana. Multiple
factors impact one from getting here to there
or anywhere else in these here parts. Thus
it's important to note what you may or might
not encounter. First - there are virtually NO
people in this state which covers one hundred
and forty seven thousand miles plus. To put
that in context - our state's total population is
just over one million. Meaning that there are
approximately 6 to 7 people per square mile.
Placing us at 48th out of 50 states in density.
Far away from it all
Hence one may not encounter another human
for miles upon miles. Obviously you'll pass a
few other drivers along the way. And "wave"
by lifting a few fingers in recognition as you
clutch the steering wheel. Given you're in the
middle of no where - it's also best to get gas,
groceries, etc. whenever and wherever they
are available. That's because you might not
get another chance for hours depending on
where you're headed. Or if you happen to be
up north along the high line - maybe never!
Therefore my advice is that when in transit
it's best to stock up and be prepared for nada.
Out of order
The same theory applies to lodging and dining.
While one might assume that it will be easy to
get a room or grab a meal in nowheresville -
you're wrong. Especially in the summer many
locals and lots of tourists are out enjoying the
scenery. Meaning that you might have to spend
a night in your car if you don't plan ahead. Or
worse... sleep in accommodations that redefine
the term "roughing it." Satisfying one's appetite
can be equally challenging given many of our
towns and hamlets have few if any eateries.
And remember, the nearest McDonalds could
be at least one hundred miles away. Or further.
Obviously in such isolated circumstances traffic
is rarely a problem. However it's important to
note that Montana enjoys two seasons annually.
Winter and construction. Thus there is a strong
chance that you may encounter some obstacles
along your way. With the exception of our one
major highway - most Montana routes consist
of two lanes. Hence when being repaired - it's
highly probable that you'll sit and wait a spell
prior to passing through any construction zone.
But if you like, you can pass the time chatting
with whomever is waving the flag. After all it
can be lonely out there. So why not be friendly?
All of the above aside, once you're finally out
and about you won't be sorry. After living here
for years, Montana still takes my breath away.
Whether it's the brutal yet beautifully barren
terrain to our east, or the rolling prairies that
lie in it's central core, or majestic mountains
on our western front, all of Montana sits under
the most amazing "Big Skies". Which naturally
top it all off. Given there is a strong possibility
that you'll have no other diversions like people
or civilization - you'll have ample time to enjoy
all that God has given us. So why not giddyup
and get going?! Summer will be over soon!