© 2016, Photo by Laura Riggs
When S and I decided to move from Oregon to Florida, we packed our stuff up and hired a moving truck to haul the load so that we could sightsee some of the country. After our 8-day trip, I can decidedly say, we live in a big, damn country. There were parts that we decided we could skip next time we get a hankering for a road trip, but a must-see for anyone in Montana. I don’t know how they do it, but the sky truly seems bigger there. Maybe it’s because the prairie is expansive and quiet; just the place to go to free yourself from the anxiety that naturally occurs when we are burdened with the responsibility of day-to-day life.
Even as the prairie collides with the fast rise of the Rocky Mountains, there is enough space for the sky to open up and let the sunlight pour down on the evergreen trees and the crisp, clean river that cuts through below. I can see why people show up for a weekend getaway and never leave. One can find great peace in solitude. Some of the locals told us that it gets down to 20-below in the winter, so that may be the time for me to leave.
It could be because there are fewer people, buildings, and roads to scar the natural landscape. You get a glimpse back to a time of what life may have been like for our ancestors (as well as life for those our ancestors stole the land from), before the Industrial Revolution. We saw so many animals, who have long since been driven out by the steam of ‘progress’ but can find great fields of tall grass and wildflowers to roam. We spent two of our nights here, and mouths were agape for most of it, as we stared in awe of the beauty, power, and genius of nature. When most people want a relaxing vacation, they opt for the beach. For me, it is the mountains. To just sit and breathe, and be quiet, so that I can listen to what the universe has to offer.