Loading the truck at -8F. The wind was blowing and it was snowing. There was a lot of retreating into the house to warm-up. When a dear friend arrived to help there were dual sets of teeth chattering.
After dark when the truck was finally loaded and the car was on the dolly. The snow continued. After tying up loose ends in the house, a short nap, and corralling the terrified cats I was on the road with Misha singing the song of her people. Can’t say as I blamed her.
The roads were relatively clear until north of Sheridan when the weather worsened and the road started disappearing. I passed two vehicles in the ditch and emergency vehicle lights flashing. It was intense.
After Billings, Montana the snow eased and the roads improved. After climbing over a couple of passes I reached Butte, Montana. Soon after I saw the sign that was a welcome sight. Missoula was only 110 miles away and 510 miles were behind me.
About 60 miles south of Missoula I was joined by the Clark’s Fork River, named for William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition dispatched by President Jefferson in the very early 1800s. It’s the same river that runs through downtown Missoula. The land was increasingly hilly.
The river remained while I drove north (running along the line of trees to the right), but increasingly there were mountains. Snow dusted the evergreens and the road wound through the narrowing valley like a squirming snake. Missoula was less than an hour away.
When approached from the east this is when Missoula makes its appearance. Zoom in at the picture’s center or click on the photo and you can see the buildings that are downtown. My ever-present companion, the Clark’s Fork River, was below the road to the left. I’d made it!
In my empty kitchen, but not empty for long. Emptying the truck remained and then returning it to the company. In contrast to loading, the unloading was performed wearing a light jacket and enjoying sunshine. I’m exhausted, officially transplanted, and happy beyond imagining. Right now I’m sitting in a Starbucks, but before today is through I’ll have wifi at home. Already the cats are playing again and finding enjoyment in their new home. Thanks for joining me for the drive!