Between the Missouri River valley and Roger’s Pass, the landscape is wide open. Framing the horizon are an assortment of buttes: Crested, Bird’s Tail, Crown and Sullivan’s. To the southwest you can make out the faint wagon trail of Mullan’s Road, one of the first “roads” built between Montana and Washington.
How far can you see?
You can see the curve of our Earth. A friend once told me out here you realize we truly live on a planet.
We passed one other car in a forty-mile stretch and in that stretch of time, we passed one tree.
…..had I seen what I thought I saw?
Time passed. We reached the mountains and the lake that needed a canoe. We found shade and cool water. Relatives from three corners of the globe gathered along the shore. Someone brought the hamburgers, someone else forgot the buns.
I fell in love with my brother’s grandson. (I might have to sneak a photo in here so you can fall in love, too.)
But all the while time passed, that tree stayed on my mind.
I remembered the mile marker.
Returning home, everyone was filled with yawns. I volunteered to drive and because I drove, I gave myself permission to pull off a road with no shoulders.
Mother, Father, Daughter and Dog – they all tilted in their seats when I parked the vehicle on a slope of crunchy prairie grass.
No one wanted to hike back up the road with me. You know how it is, some things we experience alone.