Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World

Back from vacation. My husband spent a semester in Bozeman, Montana, which is where he loves to be. And I must say, I love to be there too. This is our second vacation together there, and with it I shall entertain you in installments. (Provided there is a ‘you’ to entertain, I am probably just talking to myself, but whatever.)

We left for Montana with a hockey back full of my pack, some sleeping pads and a tent (which the lady at the counter looked at skeptically, but it was under 50 lbs, and under 5 feet long, I swear), Greg’s pack, a fishing rod, and a backpack (with my knitting of course). The hockey body bag was to outwit that stupid rule where you now pay $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second. Sucker, we fit it all on one bag. Pfffft.

We landed in Minneapolis, and rented a Prius. (Which was the most brilliant idea ever. We got 50 MPG and slept in the back. Seriously super car.) We drove across Minnesota, through South Dakota, through “deadly lightning, 60 mile an hour winds, and golf ball sized hail” according to the warning system on the radio, and landed in Buffalo Gap National Grassland. One thing that was really cool was the rainbow after the storm. It went end from end and there was a double rainbow. Probably the coolest one I’ve seen, and a great prize for making it through without ruining the rental car with hail.

rainbow at the badlands

The grasslands are attached to the Badlands and apparently, you can just drive on up and camp there, free of charge. This is your land, you’re free to use it in a legal way. This, coming from Massachusetts, is beyond comprehension. But apparently true. So we pulled up, drank a few Fat Tires, and rolled out the sleeping bags in the back of the most best car, and slept.

good morning at Buffalo Gap National Grasslands

This is what you look like when you wake up after sleeping in a car, however comfortable, after being awake from 4 am to 11 pm. Moving on. Woke up super early (like, seriously 5 am), and drove through the Badlands. Several things are amazing here. First, at 6 am, it’s cold, in July. And there’s no one up (which I guess isn’t that surprising). I can just imagine rolling up in a covered wagon and thinking “Oh shit, seriously? Really?” But if you have a nice road, and a car, it’s really really beautiful. It makes you think about how long it took for that to happen, which only points out that your time here on earth is so stupidly small. Which is both really comforting, to be part of something so long and unending, and really anxiety inducing. Like, there is SO MUCH TO SEE AN DO and we have what, like 90 years? That’s not so much.

me at the badlands

And so the two travelers, on vacation, without internets and cell service, hurtle through western South Dakota and Eastern Montana on their way to the next campsite. What will they see?! What will they do! Which beer will they drink next! Tune in on Wednesday for… Falls Creek!! (Kinda makes camping sound exciting, doesn’t it? That’s what I’m going for, don’t sink my boat…)

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