Sunday, August 13, 2006

Medora to Great Falls

We made a decision Saturday morning, after we got in the car, to change our route. We were originally headed to Big Timber Montana, which would take us south on the Interstate past Billings, about 353 miles. Then the next day we would arrive in Great Falls, north of Big Timber and on the way to Glacier National Park. When I looked at the map, I realized that Great Falls was a straight shot from Medora on Route 200—a two-lane road right across the middle of eastern Montana. I asked the kids if they would rather spend some extra time in the car today and then have the day off tomorrow, and they were thrilled with the idea. So we changed our reservations, Chloe impersonating me on the cell phone while I drove.

Our first stop was Prairie Fire Pottery, one mile form the Montana border. We were hunting for gifts and hoped to find something interesting. The potter and her husband were interested in the T@B and told us that we should be fine on 200, just to make sure we got gas in Jordan, because there was a long distance to the next town from there. I bought a blue platter and she bubble-wrapped it for me.

For over 400 miles we saw nothing but ranch land. At first the landscape was like th North Dakota Badlands, but then it became hills of pasture with mostly Black Angus cattle. The towns consisted of a gas station, a grocery store and a bar.

One interesting and different thing we noticed were handmade, original anti-meth signs. I took pictures of some of the ones I saw in towns when we stopped to get gas, but the more interesting ones were on the side of Route 200, like a noose hanging from a big pole and a smashed up car, both painted and lettered with the message. It would be an interesting project for someone to document these signs.

In Winnett, MT the first stop after Jordan and a place really in the middle of nowhere, two attractive women walked out of a bar and looked at us and our orange trailer and said “New York to Winnett, that’s just weird.” And then they continued walking to their car.


Diane said...


It sounds like you're having a great time. Cultural disconnect - what's "meth" - just wondering.

Enjoy yourselves.

Kim Barke said...

Meth is short for methamphetamine. It's a form of speed and since it can be easily made at home, it's become a big problem here, especially in rural towns.

Diane said...

Hmmm..sometimes ignorance IS bliss :-)