Alaska
Chronicles
:North U.S. Ý
Date City Miles/Accum.
May 11 Glendive, MT to Great Falls, MT 466/2023

En route to Billings, MT
Todd's sketch of a magpie. This morning we woke up in a wet tent. Ted tells me that it rained very hard last night. I couldn't tell you since I was dead to the world. The country is stunning: miles upon miles of cultivated fields broken by grass covered mounds and mesas, cut w/ washes and canyonettes. Ted bought a bird book in MN so now I'm constantly on the lookout for birds. This morning I saw a white-throated swift. Yesterday, we saw a ring-necked pheasant. Off the right side of the road, I saw a bufflehead (now known to be a misidentified magpie). Ted may have seen a barn swallow. We saw several Clydesdales. The country is an interesting mix of long expanses of field bounded by buttes. The sky, filled with clouds, is like a ceiling.

Ted at the Yellowstone Art MuseumEn route from Billings to Great Falls
In Billings we went to the Yellowstone Art Museum. Very nice pieces of regional artists. Some very modern art alongside traditional western art. On the way out of Billings, we stopped on rim rock-a sheer cliff that overlooks the city and gave us our first view of the Rockies. They were purple! (mountain majesty across the fruited plain…) I shot the final frames of the first BW roll.

Billings, MT from the Rim Rocks

We took a small 2-lane highway out of Billings. The crosswinds are terrific. When trucks go by in the other direction, the hood of the Jeep wants to fly up. Ted thinks I drive too fast.

We went through Judith's Gap (earlier we went through Terry, MT). In Judith's Gap, we got gas. A guy inside the station--fat, red-faced--asked where we were from. When we said Ohio, he asked where we were going.
Alaska.
Are you planning a big hunt?
No.
Fishing?
No.
You oughta shoot some wolves. He then said, "I hear they're planning on releasing hyenas in Ohio."
"Really, why?"
"Well, the easterners want to save the wolves, and the westerners want to save the hyenas--let them clean up the riff-raff."