Bear Tooth Pass, Montana
I told the folks at Montana tourism how I love the photo of the bison on their site but wondered if that was realistic or something only National Geographic photographers get to see. They laughed and told me when I picked up my car rental I should drive the long way around to Chico through Bear Tooth Pass. It was only six – eight hours but very scenic and the best chance to see bison. They even marked a map for me so I wouldn’t get lost.
I love road trips and eight hours doesn’t intimidate me. I jumped in the car, cranked the music and unabashedly sang to Kelly Clarkson, poison and Fleetwood Mac without fear of judgement. Life is a highway….right?
But I realized the rod looked familiar, was this the same road from the downhill biking tour?
Am I going the right way?
See the problem is I never pay attention. I have a terrible habit of smiling and nodding when people tell me things and I walk away cursing that I don’t have a clue what they said. I’ve never really had anything happen to me so I never feel the need to pay attention especially since I always have the google maps app on my iPhone.
I felt slightly uneasy but kept driving. I did not feel full-on panic until I saw the sign that I was leaving Montana!?! I pulled over and reached for my phone but there was no service! I mentally backtracked and realized there had been no other turn offs. I didn’t want to drive back downhill for 45 minutes but I saw no other alternative.
Then I had a brilliant idea.
I would look at the map. The one that was open right beside me. With the route marked in a yellow highlighter.
Turns out I was going the right way, the lovely folks at Montana tourism had marked this because the route means going in and out of Montana through to Wyoming. It can be confusing but it is one of the most epic drives I have ever done with a landscape that compelled me to pull the car over every ten minutes to take photos.
That eight hour drive took me over ten hours. It reaffirmed my desire to see things close to home. Montana has always been so close and yet I never considered visiting because it did not seem as exotic as the gravity-defying Dead Sea or the ancient city of Machu Picchu.
I was so excited when I finally saw I was back in Montana (sorry Wyoming I am sure you are great too). And toward the end I was rewarded because I drove right past this guy…