Monday, July 27, 2009

Getting here -

I do have photos of Casper, but I think I'll wait until I'm back home to post them, as they require some serious recall (three museums). Meanwhile, though, I'll show you what the trip from Casper to here looked like. It was rather spectacular.

We left Casper Saturday morning and drove to Glendive, Montana, where I was able to post a bit - but I didn't have the energy to sort through photos. Now, the trick is to remember where I was when I took a particular shot.

I do remember that as we traveled northward, the landscape changed, became greener. Once we were in Montana, I remembered how lovely a place that is.I did my share of the driving, but when I was driving, I kept wishing I could take photos, because there was so much to see and remember. Who was talking about the photo album in her head? Reya, maybe? Mine is very full now.

The real "Wizard of Oz" moment came when we crossed into Saskatchewan. I had memories of Saskatchewan from our trip through there six years ago, but all my memories had to do with dead straight roads and millions of grasshoppers. The year we came back here for a visit was the year of the fires. Pretty well all of B.C. was on fire that summer. We smelled smoke all the time while we drove. Once we got out of fire country, we encountered plagues of various insects. In Saskatchewan, it was the grasshopper. Icky memories. This time, Saskatchewan was a delightful surprise. Not only was there the huge sky - something I had grown to love about Montana, as well - but there was the yellow. And the green. And the blue. I couldn't stop taking photos. I remember at one point seeing a field of canola (rapeseed) glowing bright yellow on one side of the road, and a blue field of flax on the other side. It was hard to stay in the car, and not skip off through the fields like Dorothy.

I was just smiling to myself, wondering why that Oz image keeps coming to me. Now I remember. It was this photo that prompted it.

We kept on whizzing along, as we wanted to get to Wellman Lake by nightfall. As it turned out, we arrived with the setting sun. I've lost track of what time it really was, as there was a time change involved, but I think it was 10 p.m. local time, twelve hours after we left the campsite in Manitoba. The last part of the trip was interesting.

The road was mud and gravel. It was dusk. I rode shotgun, keeping an eye out for deer as we drove, lest our long day's travel end in disaster. We arrived muddy (well, the Turtle was)and tired and very glad to be here.

Speaking of deer, these are the critters we saw along the way: a coyote, a llama hanging out with a herd of cattle, two hawks in one field, a pelican, a moose, lots of antelope (that was in Wyoming, actually), deer, and horses.


John Hayes said...

There's are fields of canola in Idaho, too-- right after you descend from White Bird Hill on US 95 & officially enter northern Idaho. You're right--the Oz "thought" is unavoidable.

& seeing antelope is always a wonderful experience.

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow the land is so vast and epic looking. I love Montana, too. Big sky country, definitely!

These are beautiful pictures. Can't wait to see more images and hear more stories from your journey.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh. That's canola?

The Unbreakable Child said...

Looks beautiful and I love that OZ photo!

Sandra Leigh said...

Yes, Reya, that's canola. I didn't get a good shot of the blue flax fields that day, but I think there's one in my camera now. I'll try to post it. John, I've now seen a herd of elk, too - but they're farmed. Kimmi, I'm so torn between that photo and the empty field. I think I have to print them both and turn one of them into the next official Turtle 8X10 (there's only room for one. The current choice is one I took from a hilltop in Devon).

T. Clear said...

I absolutely love your "Oz Moment" photos....such open sky! Joy!

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