Livingston, MT -- Stampede! Then on to Glacier

Saint Mary Travel Blog

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Dawn finds a dog to play with at a rest stop

I woke up around 7 am to some kind of braying noise, which I thought to be a moose, elk or even a donkey...nope!  It turned out to be a cow!  While we were packing up, we heard more noises on the other side of the hill.  Then, a bunch of cattle came running over the hill, right towards us...it was a stampede!! Fortunately, there was a small wire fence between us and them, and the whole herd veered to the left of us and ran right on by.  What a sight!  It's not often that a city boy from Connecticut gets to wake up to a stampede of cattle not 20 feet from where he was sleeping!   There was a kid on an ATV with a dog running after, they were herding them to another part of the ranch, which was right next door to our campground.

The open road...over 9 hours of it today!
  ( Now, because my regular camera had stopped working, and I chose to videotape the stampede, I have no pics to show of it...but it was pretty cool to watch!)  We watched the seemingly endless stream of cattle for about 15 minutes, then saw some more deer coming up on the other side of us.  Certainly no shortage of animals here!

Today was pretty much a travel day, our next destination is Glacier National Park, near the Canadian border. We stopped long enough for me to get a new digital camera, to replace the one that stopped working in Yellowstone 2 days ago. I've been using the picture setting on my camcorder, but the pics just aren't as clear.  Dawn got pulled over just outside of Helena, for doing 16 mph over the limit (86 in a 70, I think it was)  Last time I was in Montana, they didn't even have daytime speed limits in some parts!  The officer was really nice, he said that Montana actually had the lowest speeding fines in the US.

uh oh, smoke!
..and asked Dawn to guess how much the ticket was.  Dawn had never gotten a ticket before, and her guess of $400 was way off the mark! No, thankfully it was only a $20 fine, and he said it wouldn't even go on her record. Good! If you're going to get pulled over somewhere, it might as well be the state with the lowest fines!

When we got close to St Mary, where we would be staying just outside of Glacier Park, we could see smoke from a forest fire!  For the past week or so they had been battling a blaze in the St Mary area and we got detoured around it, about an hour out of our way. There was a lot of smoke and haze over the mountains. We were routed through a run-down Native American reservation, with a lot of old and dilapidated buildings.  We saw a firefighters staging area, where they had tents set up and were alternating between sleeping in shifts and fighting the blaze. We found out that the Going To The Sun Road, the main attraction ( and only road! ) through the park had been closed all week and had just reopened.  We stayed at the  St Mary KOA, and smelled and watched the smoke as we set up camp.

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Dawn finds a dog to play with at a…
Dawn finds a dog to play with at …
The open road...over 9 hours of it…
The open road...over 9 hours of i…
uh oh, smoke!
uh oh, smoke!
Campsite in Livingston
Campsite in Livingston
Forest Fire outside of Saint Mary,…
Forest Fire outside of Saint Mary…
firefighters staging area...they w…
firefighters staging area...they …
the firemen had tents set up, and …
the firemen had tents set up, and…
The fire was pretty close to our c…
The fire was pretty close to our …
it was a nice campground...except …
it was a nice campground...except…
haze from the fire obscured the mo…
haze from the fire obscured the m…
Tyler cuts wood for OUR fire...whi…
Tyler cuts wood for OUR fire...wh…
Saint Mary
photo by: bluemarbletreader