(Nature) Driving West…

There’s something about driving West. 

When I make my way over that first hill out of Park City, heading towards Columbus – it’s like I’ve reached freedom.  The Beartooth mountain range says a familiar hello and even the peaks of the Crazies make a short appearance.  I feel so tied to this area of Montana…maybe it’s because my Great Grandma who came from Norway in the early 1900’s settled in Columbus.  Yes…that must be it.

I could spend hours – no, even days –  in the small towns speckled in this area.  To outsiders (out-of-staters as we tend to call them), they’re just pit stops for bathroom breaks and the occasional Hershey bar.  To me…they’re towns where I have memories.  Like in Absoarkee, when my cousin Mike gave me my Absoarka River Adventures tank top.  Or when, armed with my first camera, Mike and I took a drive down every dirt road we could find – just so I could maybe get a nice picture for my photo album. 

Now, I return to these places and try to make new memories.  I try to take a single moment out of time and capture it on my poor little Nikon D80 that has seen way too many a summer for how much use it gets.  And I hope…that years from now, I can look back on this Fall day – and remember how the Autumn colors popped.  Maybe I’ll remember how the slight breath of wind didn’t seem bothersome…it rustled all the leaves that were barely hanging on and brought them floating to the ground so artistically, if that can make any sense.

So maybe I can spend hours, maybe I can spend days…maybe I can even spend weeks roaming these little towns across South Central Montana.  Actually, now that I think about it – I think a lifetime sounds much better.  🙂

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