Monday, September 21, 2015

Day 18: Hiking, to Montana

emerging from my tent.
I awoke in the morning feeling really refreshed. I treated myself to "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" on my PC before/while falling asleep last night even though I hadn't had electric hookup for a while and wasn't sure the next time I would be able to get a charge in. I'm really settling into the comfort of my tent. Snuggly would be an apt description. 

I heated up my coffee that I couldn't finish yesterday thanks to a mystery illness (and accidentally ate Sun Chips for breakfast). This was only after I took a baby wipe bath in my tent - pure glamour, I tell you - and washed my face in the restrooms with ice cold water that you had the hold the handle of to keep on. On this morning, I learned that I can well wash my face one-handed. Oh the places you'll go, the things you'll learn. With my coffee in tow,  I put on make-up in my current form of a vanity (below) and dry shampooed my hair. Despite things like baby wipe baths and making good friends with public toilets, I still have not given up doing make make-up (and when the moment presents, my hair. Although to be honest, most days I don't even brush my hair anymore.)

After filling my bottles with the potable water, I was on my way. Although soon I would find out that TR Park's water is strange, it feels like you can chew it. My masticatable water and I were 
out on the trail on a 83 degree day in the middle of flat and rolling fields. On this day, I was finally thankful for the overzealous wind. I hiked for about 1.5-2  miles, complete with fields of yipping prairie dogs and one beautiful, full coated (hungry, I think - he was in one of the yipping fields) coyotes, until I came across the 4th pass of the Lower Paddock that I couldn't confidently get over without risking all of my electronics and probably my dignity. Besides, I was hot and the meager breakfast of Sun Chips (and a melted on-the-hike granola bar) weren't cutting it. Soon, after 3 hours, I was back at my car -- now covered in my own salt.

how very Cheryl Strayed.

I headed over to another nature trail. This one was only about a mile; a high point with lots of cliffs. I spent about an hour there hiking, taking it in, and snapping some pics - some I probably had too much fun with. But, damnit, it was a good damn day.

(can you tell i discovered the continuous self-timer?)

It wasn't until about 4pm that I left TR Park. After about 27 hours within the park (and I could have stayed longer, happily), I would absolutely pay $20 to get in again. I headed to Montana and was going to stay in Glendive, MT at the foothills of some more badlands (as suggested by the couple at the World's Largest Buffalo). Unfortunately, it was only about 5:30pm (so there was lots of daylight to drive in left), I still hadn't seen a damn place to buy groceries (even in the town of Glendive, which seemed to have a decent population) and, moreover, it was $28 to camp there.

hey, i tried, nice largest buffalo couple.
So back out I was. I headed to the next town over: Miles City. Lots of signs for places and food, it looked like the most townie town for at least 1000 miles (that reminds me, I need an oil change...) and figured they may have food. Wal-Mart it was! The cashier and woman behind me (who commented "you got everything you need" as she held up my $5 I bought as a treat) told me where I can camp, as the only place in town I saw was the KOA and really expensive. So I headed over to Big Sky RV park and campground, where I got some advice on what to see in Montana. And here I sleep.

More hiking pics... (and some more wild horses as I exited a park):

Prarie dogs are very noise; walked through about five fields of them on my trek

Changing of the seasons
Coyote on the hunt in a field of prairie dogs

Prairie dogs on alert.
Buffalo tracks


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