OUR WORK DONE, THE 6′ X 12′ U-Haul trailer safely delivered, unloaded, and returned, the American Road Trip continues northward, a streak of joyous abandon. No timetable, almost. Pick a road, any road. The plan? End up in Montana to visit a dying friend. A thousand miles of choices. I decided on less traveled US-89 for scenic beauty and history. Sometimes called the National Park Highway, U.S. 89 links seven national parks across the Mountain West.
I roll into Gardiner MT in a few days to Pete’s small ’30s bungalow tucked against Yellowstone. Found my friend almost blind and eating discount TV dinners but still defiant. No radio or TV, house not cleaned since his stroke 4 years ago. Naturally, I stayed in the extra room. What’s a little dirt among bachelors?
We consume mass quantities, like old times. A ’40s Victrola and a stack of wax from the ’20s thru ’50s made our reunion a party. No wimmin, and he was couch-bound, so I danced with the dog between cranking the Victrola or strumming the guitar. The 1930’s home was rocking to 1930’s music from a period Victrola. The memory will forever bring a tear to my eye.
Leave two days later over the Bear Tooth Highway at 7am; snow and clouds encountered but the view was tremendous. Tremendous! Bear Tooth Highway closes for the year on October 15th at the latest. Bet they close early this year.