After I entered the journal entries for yesterday, I had one more pretty cool adventure.
As I was getting ready for bed about 10pm, I noticed that I was witnessing the very first clear sky of my trip. I just couldn’t resist an opportunity to see the sky better than I have ever seen it,  on a totally clear, dark night with no ambient light in Montana. I dressed warm and headed out in my truck to get away from the lights of Great Falls. I finally found a “turn out” about 45 miles North of Great Falls and when I pulled in and shut off my lights, it was like being in a cave. There was absolutely no  lights visible except the partial moon and a billion stars. Even the Milky Way welcomed me to the Big Sky country. It was truly an amazing sight. If you have never seen a totally dark sky, put that on your list. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness even better, I could see even more stars, probably about a billion and a half by now. It reminded me of the way the sky used to look when I was a young Boy Scout camping in the wilderness. Part of our routine was to lie flat on our backs and just gaze at the stars.
OK, now about today. The mountains are beginning to be a more prominent feature in the days drive. I wonder how Lewis and Clark felt as they reached this point in their journey. They have to be accepting that these mountains are not like they ones they know about in Virginia and Tennessee. These were real mountains.
Finally, thinking about all the people back in the midwest that are getting deluged with rain. Looks like record rainfalls, flooded streets and basements. Hope it stops soon.

Daily data


  • Beginning odometer at Super 8 in Great Falls was 29,290
  • Ending mileage at Super 8 in Helena is 29,405.
  • Meals for today were $24.00
  • Lodging for tonight is $63.48

+ April 18, 2013
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