Tuesday, July 30, 2013


impressions of a trip through our northern plains
…first in a series…

Late in the afternoon, after having started somewhere on the other side of Bear Tooth Pass, Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot Springs teemed with so many visitors that I took a pass and found a room in nearby Gardener, MT.

The next morning, as I left town, the springs had no such crowd.  So I engaged in a leisurely stroll up the wooden walkways enjoying the aroma, the steam and the views.

RIDING AWAY, curiously, I recalled the grandma-type who lived down the street while I was growing up. Rose Carah (née: Wild) was her name. 

Well into her 80s, with a mother’s touch and wisdom, she'd round up the neighbor boys, offering us store bought cookies and Kool-Aide because we'd listen to her Bible stories.  But the Bible wasn't her only source of material. More than once she told us of visiting these very springs as a little girl. "Rode in on backboards and wagons. Tethered the stock to posts and slept out under the stars for a good week or two."

My thoughts while piloting the big BMW the next twenty or so scenic miles surrounded something about how close in proximity we are to history - history that when we read or hear about it seems ancient. That, or, how brief our time in any one place is.  Or...

"Church" file photo*
…I was in the middle of this cogitation when a momma grizzly stepped into the highway in front of the car in front of me currying along two furry offspring still in need of a mother's touch and wisdom…

...and my train of previous thought just sorta went away.


* Point of clarification: I didn't catch a photo of the momma bear and cubs in Yellowstone.  This one is from a month ago in Alaska.

© 2013
Church of the Open Road Press

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