Sunday, January 16, 2005

Superfluous Sunday

January 16, 2005
Day Two

Woke up nice and early, looked outside and admired the sunshine, too bad it was elusive to the fact that the temperature was -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Next time someone talks about being I may be less sympathetic than any previous life... There are many things on the agenda for today, passing out of this vastly flat state, heading into Montana over the mountains and through the woods to Grandmother's friends house. We passed through the flat lands of Montana and are able to really appreciate the BIG SKY aspect of this state...

As the day wore on it became apparent that we were in the land of real cowboys, long continuously straight roads, hamburger farms, and a hint of
Rockies... At times the land was so incredibly flat, and ranch infested, I wouldn't doubt there being more cattle than people. Eventually mountains started appearing in the distance, FINALLY some SCENERY, other than seeing the BAD LANDS earlier this morning... Might I say they were quite bad... ass that is, really a cool sight to see, very cold, camera stopped working, but I suppose that will happen from time to time.

Weather reports, and travel conditions were updated later in the afternoon, leaving us with a few choices for routes... We could continue west, drive into Whitefish MT, have a place to stay, and continue on the next day, or we could bag the mountain pass and head north towards the border and into
Canada... The choice was made to go for the mountain pass and head for the free meal, and hospitality in Whitefish, where we were informed a pot roast would await our arrival. There are few things one should understand about Montana and the concept of driving through it. First the speed limit is 70 MPH on roads that would generally be 55... Then their whole concept of labeling bends in the road, does not occur until you are reaching the horizon line, or shortly there after. The "recommended speed" on these turns is generally 20+ mph faster than you would want to drive on a good day. However this 'good' day had turned to night, with heavy wind, and snow blowing over the road. The surroundings were white, roads were white, and my knuckles clutching the steering wheel were white. At times I was going 30+ miles less than the recommended speed, wondering how this would affect the future of my mental health.

Eventually we got off one of the twistiest roads I have ever driven, in possibly some of the crappiest conditions ever to arrive at a windy city, if I recollect correctly was called Browning MT. Stepped into the gas station to ask about driving Mariah's pass through
Glacier National Park... "Well, how big is yer vehicle?" "Just don't drive too fast, and you'll be fine," was the response I got... Not something I really wanted to hear after an immensely stressful drive. It became apparent we were going to have to make a decision. To pass or not to pass, what would happen if we tried to brave on into a night mountain pass, or more importantly what about actually having to eat that pot roast? The choice became easy, it was better to not risk our lives or digestive tracts and push more miles and cross the border to Canada...

We arrived somewhere before
midnight, and were the only vehicle heading into the country at that time. Standard questions and seemingly flawless experience... Until they asked us to park the vehicle and step into the building. While driving through we were given a yellow piece of paper noting all the "stuff" we had in the vehicle. Parked the car, and head into the building... Lady at immigration was not happy to be disturbed from her romance novel. "Where's the yellow piece of paper?" "Oh, must've left it in the car," my reply. "I can't help you until I have that," - lady. So I go back to the car, (starting to freak out, because the last thing I want to do is be scattered brained at the border), grab the paper, head back in. Give her my ID and birth certificate. "Where is your boy's money?" -questioned the rogue. "Right here in my wallet," my only response. "I need to see all of it!" demanded Rogue. Austin and I empty out our pockets... "Seventy Six dollars is what you have for 5 days in Canada?" distraughtly retorted Rogue. "Well we have credit cards, check cards too," our reply. "I have no way of verifying the amount of money on that..." she claimed. "F!" I thought to myself, we are going to get held up because there is no way to verify the amount of credit/ money in the account... LAME! Austin cracked out a receipt that satisfied the interrogator's needs and we were off. Not exactly the humbling experience I was expecting. But I guess if you are a sketchy person from the states, the last thing those Canooks want is you trying to make bank from their fellow country men. That being said, I had to keep all my smart comments to myself... What I really wanted to say, when she asked, "You're expecting to make it through Canada on 76 dollars American, 10 Canadian, and 10 pesos?" - Lady... "Well, not if your country has pawn shops..."

Ok, so a little more detail than you bargained for, and in the end not that funny. I'll work on that, to an extent. The next few should be shorter and more to the point, but we've traveled a lot today, and its wearing on me. Total miles traveled today: 733

May the weather be warmer where you are, and people slightly more friendly. Until next time, make the best of what's around.
It's your world... Capture it.

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