Lodging has been a bit sparse out here the last few days. The oil boom took all the rooms in Williston, ND and may have spilled over into Glasgow, MT as well. I ended up camping in Williston and got the last room in Glasgow-no internet, how can one survive!
Out here, I am running the Hi-Line, noted as such because Hwy 2 is the most northerly route crossing the US–with a diversion into Canada. For the most part, the highway parallels the old Great Northern rail route which is now followed by Amtrak’s Empire Builder. I will follow this same route all the way to Washington before cutting down to Portland in a few days.
This wandering across the country seems to be full of surprises and you never know what you might find around the next corner. Yesterday, I got stopped on a back road to let a house go by. A couple other cars made the attempt to pass it, but I wasn’t wiling to try–besides the nice gentleman told me to stay put. After the house passed, I started down the road and noticed Kirk up in his pasture with his “cows”. He waived and I stopped. Turns out that Kirk breeds Angus Bulls and was checking on his herd. Some were freshly castrated just a few hours earlier–weren’t in the right percentile of gain! Anyway, he said I would have had something really interesting to photograph if I had been there then, but did offer some fresh Rocky Mountain Oysters, if I was so inclined. I passed. Seems that a good percentage of the Bull calves get “cut” when they don’t meet the standards–a reputation thing when you go to auction. Kirk said he was a small breeder, but all his stock was registered and ran them in 3 separate pastures in Montana and North Dakota. More because of the land needed to graze them than anything else. He led me out, I followed in my truck, on his ATV over the fields to the herd and he explained a bit more about the bull breeding business.
Today, I ran into a few people in some ghost towns along the way. They came out to see what I was doing there and we ended up talking about the history of the towns that once were. Both were raised right there and one actually owned most of the buildings that were left. I have also found that beef jerky is the quickest way to a loose dogs heart!
Tomorrow, on to Glacier Park.