Go West Continued…Western South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana
Left Brookings, South Dakota and my great girlfriend on Saturday and headed West towards Montana where I will be filming a wildlife/hunting show for the next three months.
During the 12 hour drive to Billings, Montana I moved through the plains of the Northwest and watched the gradual change in the landscape. While travelling many of the same paths as the Lewis and Clarke expedition I felt as if I was living a history book. Many of the rivers and mountains I stopped to photograph were historical markers where either Lewis, Clarke, or Sacagawea had paved the way West.
While travelling across the plains I began to grasp the harshness of the terrain. The dry climate has caused a land void of life and full of run down remnants of past boom days. Old crumbling ranches, abandoned cars, and rusty farm equipment litter the fields along the highway. This harshness has caused the people to congregate in small towns across these states. These towns look like something out of a western film which all have one dusty road that leads through the center of the town usually named Main Street. It’s a common scene to see old and tanned farmers sitting outside of shops and native children riding their bikes around town.
After staying the night in a cheap Billings hotel that people eyed me with suspiciously because of my eastern plates…I think, I drove for another 9 hours to Trout Creek, Montana. As I headed into the northwest the landscape abruptly changed from flat sandy plains to the towering Rocky Mountains. Travelling through the continental divide was my first encounter the sheer size of the mountains where I drove from the low-elevated plains straight up into 7,000 ft peaks. The more I drove the further I traveled from large civilization and the more beautiful the landscape became. I arrived in Trout Creek as the sun set over the mountains.
The following day me and the hunter I am filming for drove into the Mountains at an elevation of 6,000ft and bugled for elk. Although we did not have any elk respond we did run into a mountain lion. Initially when we turned the corner it dove into the woods, but soon curiosity got the best of it and it crept back up the road and stared at us from about 40 yards. It then decided to keep on moving and headed down the road. We followed it trying to entice it with a predator call, but it was uninterested. Also, we decided to stop because we did not want to deal with a hungry mountain lion while we were unarmed.
So far my trip has been eventful. Tomorrow morning we head to Eastern Montana to hunt elk for a few day then antelope in the Missouri breaks. After that, we move to Colorado for fly fishing and more elk hunting. So in three weeks expect an update.