Dawn comes early around the 45th parallel, so now that it's after dark, I'll be brief about my first day on the road to Montana. I decided the theme of this trip should be "Touching Montana" because I won't be going into the heart of it. Once I get to Missoula, I'll drive directly south, hit a destination or two, then scoot back west into Idaho for more people-meeting. I'm driving to Montana from Portland, Ore., to interivew several leather artists, those who specialize in leather materials and products for Western influenced businesses -- horses, tack, fashion, etc. I'll post a few pics of my subjects, too, later on, but I'll be scarce on their details because my paying gig has first rights. Fine by me. The way I see it, and probably so does my editor, this is a paid romp through the West. Thanks, Dan.
This is the same land that Lewis and Clark explored. The number of brown historical markers along the road could be considered comical. I stopped at least three times within the first 60 miles.
If this landscape didn't impress Meriwether and William, they'd have to be crazy. Oh, wait, somebody already wrote that book. Let's move on. This part of America is not like any I've every experienced, and I've been to many places. And though I've driven this stretch at least two other times, it's still impressive. It made me want to sing "This Land is Your Land," which eventually deteriorated to a Smoky and the Bandit tune, "Eastbound and Down." We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there...
|Look closely, and you'll see the opening for the train tunnel.|
|Take a dip in the Columbia.|
|Starvation Creek, another brown signpost.|