Operation: Seattle Skedaddle (another quick 3,348 mile road trip)

Part 2

The next day I crossed Washington state, drove across the narrow Idaho panhandle and entered Montana. Here’s the tiny town of St. Regis. It was by far the smallest place I stayed at, with a size under a square mile and a population of 319.

The scene outside my hotel. I like the tree, it looks like a wandering, headless zombie.

More shots outside my car window. It turned out reasonably well considering how dusty and dirty my vehicle was getting at this point.

Driving with one’s hands off the steering wheel, steering with one’s knees, is reasonably safe when the road is straight, flat and nearly empty. It is not safe when the road is serpentine, crowded with fifty-three foot semis and has a sign reading “Caution: 6.5% downward grade ahead”. Don’t ask how I know this.

The eastern Washington / Idaho / Montana region is incredibly scenic, but very rural and sparely populated. I wonder what the locals do for entertain–

uh, never mind.

I like photographing road signs. They speak of freedom, travel and adventure.

As mentioned this part of America is incredibly scenic. It’s nearly impossible to take a boring photograph of the landscape:

That night I stayed in Livingston, Montana. Here’s a sign near the hotel’s front desk:

As it turns out, the sign wasn’t kidding. I went outside to retrieve my backpack from my vehicle. Just then a windy cloudburst kicked up, seemingly out of nowhere. Note the bent tree branches:

The storm was over in a few minutes. Afterwards a crow, which was hunkered down in the tree shown above, alighted atop stacked wood in a lumber yard next to the hotel.

I like this picture. It has a serene, Zen-like quality. I can picture it hanging in a Japanese tea house.

I headed out early the next morning, still driving eastward on I-90. This part of the state has several Indian reservations. I drove past the Chief Dull Knife Community College in Lame Deer, Montana. I would love to hear the story of how Chief Dull Knife earned his name.

Next up: real life Angry Birds.

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