Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wide open spaces

Montana. I swear, this state is impossible for me to photograph. It's so incredibly vast, as if it were dropped onto North America from another world -- a world populated by giants and other creatures of myth. They don't call it "Big Sky Country" for nothing. Montana made my heart sing.

I camped at Ruby Creek Campground for a whopping $8 -- one of the only times I actually paid to sleep somewhere during my cross-country trip. The campground is located about 2 miles down a rough dirt road in the Ruby Creek Recreational Area. All of the photos in this post were taken from my campsite, with the exception of the first one, which was taken on the way to Ruby Creek.

The weather was nice; at least, nice to me. It was chilly and drizzling and the sky was filled with clouds. The campground has a creek running through it, and a river flowing beside it. It is also bordered by two mountain ranges -- the Gravelly Range to the west, and the Madison range to the east. I didn't even know that I was surrounded by mountains until the skies cleared the next morning.

Imagine waking up to THAT. :)

I looked around the van to see if there were any evening chores I needed to do before dinner time. The van was pretty clean and organized, so I set about the campsite, looking for interesting rocks. I set up a rock cairn on every boulder that marked the border of my site, and then I did a bit of bird watching.

A magpie! They're gorgeous in person. There was a pair of them foraging for food along the gravel lanes of the campground. I watched them for a while, and then cooked some dinner for myself.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, a herd of cattle periodically filed into view across the river. I watched the single file pattern of their mini-migrations, and studied how they interacted with each other. I knew that cows had close friends and that herds had a hierarchy, but I never had the pleasure of witnessing a herd like this firsthand and for such a length of time. 

Cows are cool creatures. 

I had a lovely time at this campground. The only other person there was the campground host, who I didn't actually see in the flesh. Just the way I like it. ;)

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