I think I am going to make Lynn Anderson's old country song my song -- I've been everywhere, man, I've been everywhere. I've crossed the deserts bare, man, I've breathed the mountain air. . .I've been everywhere. . .
Well, not quite, but I am sitting in Cheyenne, Wyoming, after a 500+ mile drive across Wyoming.
I left Glendive yesterday and drove to Miles City to attend a seminar on local government issues. There was a panel of State government officials and people from the League of Towns and Cities and others who explained the legislative session and its results to us. There were city employees and elected officials from Colstrip, Forsyth, Baker, Glendive, Ekalaka, Miles City and Terry. Always interesting. The head of the DNRC talked about the fires east and west; infrastructure was discussed; the head of MDOT discussed how the rise in gas taxes will help with state highways. Local government is much more complex than one has any concept. It is more than keeping weeds cut and controlling pigeons!!
Then I went on to Billings. Always a lovely drive through the Lower Yellowstone Valley. The Powder River was drier than I have seen it for many years. The Director of DNRC said they are calling this drought a 'flash drought' as it was totally unexpected. It may last until November according to some predictions.
Today, Friday I headed into Wyoming. Maybe a little more moisture in that area than we. They are preparing throughout the state for the solar eclipse on August 21st. Motels along the path of the eclipse are booked solid.
This is the week of the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, so there were lots of bikes on the highway. I think maybe they dropped off a little once I was passed Casper, but the highway was really busy with RVs of all kinds. The 80 mph speed limit means everyone drives way too fast because, of course, if it is 80, than you drive 85. I was tired at trip's end.
The drive from Billings to Hardin puts you on the Crow Indian reservation. As you get to Hardin, the Little Big Horn Battlefield and south the Big Horn mountains add a different dimension to this part of Indian Country. The mountains parallel the highway at least to Casper and beyond. It is not Montana prairie country, but rather begins to blend into high desert country with a rugged beauty all its own. On this trip you pass Glendo Reservoir and De Smet Lake. Other people were heading west into the mountains toward Powell and Cody.
When you get to Buffalo you are in Longmire Country. The books and tv show are really popular and Buffalo now celebrates "Longmire Days" in the summer.
Next to Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone I do like Walt Longmire.
I am in Cheyenne for the week-end with a variety of activities with my oldest nephew and family. Abby will be a Senior in high school this year and Evan in the 6th grade. Good kids. Their parents have done a good job.