spending the night in Polson MT----we deemed the weather too stormy to continue to Glacier Nat'l Park today.
today was a really LONG drive. really wished the iPod was up and running! it is charging as I speak, in the hotel comp---hopefully there will be no hiccups this time...
we got delayed for a good while when we left the highway to investigate the park at the "Headwaters if the Missouri River!" ran into roadwork and had to sit about for a long while, waiting for a "pilot car" to appear to escort us thru. there was this other car next to us, and the driver got out and asked us, "so i guess we have to wait here for the pilot car" and Daddy [already fed up with the extremely long wait, joked "here's what we'll do. I'll walk ahead of the cars, and act as guide.". There was a general laugh and the other fellow replied, "I've got a red vest you can wear!".
last night in the parking lot and Barnes and Noble [you remember that incident?] there was an absolute downpour. there was a substantial lake forming and we joked about having to hire Lewis and Clark to get us to the other side.
I am keeping a detailed travel journal [in my notorious tiny handwriting] and it is chock-full of episodes. to read it, one would think that our traveling life consists mainly of hilarious or uncomfortable [or both] incidents, with only an occasional mention of Yellowstone or the mountains.
the trek through Eastern Oregon was desolate. in the stretch between Bend and Burns i swas, "LOOK! A tree!" then "Look! A cow!" and then my dad came in with "last cow for 97 miles" but there were some truly thrilling moments, like the Tick Incident. My dad and I were out of the car, trying to get down to the alluring river 6 feet down the bank, when he exclaimed there was a tick on him--must have crawled out of the sagebrush. that was exciting! we beat a hasty retreat to the car, dusting ourselves down frantically.
while in Yellowstone we made inumerable bear-jokes, but did not actually see any. then there were the bison. the first time we saw one we were thrilled: "Oh LOOK!! A BUFFALO!!" by the time we saw the herd, it was "oh there's a herd." by the end of the day it was more along the lines of: "There's a bison on the highway!" other person replies--"no I do NOT want to see another bison!". but that is exaggerating a bit, the time when we were driving along and saw a bison walking down the opposite lane towards us, leading the line of cars, we were very enthused. [yes that really happened, we have the pictures to prove it.]
we decamped earlier than planned from Yellowstone, we'd pretty much had our fill of mud-pots, geysers, bison, and mosquitoes. as my mom said, upon going 1 mile along a trail proclaiming itself "1/4 mile to paint-pots!!", only to find that the deceptive trail wound off another stretch up the hill, anyway, she said, "seen one mud-pot, see 'em all."
and the campground was not pleasant, what with generator motors running, and the crowds, and the lights, and the ever-present mosquitoes, drat 'em.
the night we spent in Billings was more than usually incident-prone. [I had found, while we were staying in a cabin in WY, that not so many funny things happened when we were not camping; I hoped that would change, once were back in the ole tent. It did.]
anyway, the campsite had a streetlight right next to it, shining into the tent. my dad has a special fondness for dark nights. he tried to convince the groundskeeper to just turn off that one light--no go. he discarded ideas of taking matters into his own hands only reluctantly.
the night began innocently enough, after the interesting pursuit of a skeeter round the tent. it must have been about midnight when i was roused by my parents' voices, discussing the noise that i was vaguely aware of...a repetitive, annoying sort of screech or squeal. from what i gathered later, my dad went off in search of it along the riverside. he was pretty sure at first that it was an animal--then, that it was a human snore--though what sort of snore! Finally traced it to a FROG.
i'm going to post this, and run down to our room and get my travel journal, i can't remember all the things that happened--stay tuned, folks!