Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Big Sky State

I am here and somewhat settled in, but first of all, I think the great plains deserve a shout out.  They are flat and never-ending, but pretty this time of year; they were just becoming green as we drove through.  Being accustomed to living in the forests of the midwest, the vastness of seeing from horizon to horizon is a huge contrast.  The world seems bigger.

In South Dakota Dad and I stopped at Mount Rushmore.  The heads are smaller than I imagined, but impressive nonetheless.  Random fact: George Washington's nose is taller than the others' by about two feet.  Other notable stops included the world's largest corn palace in Mitchel, SD, and Wal Drug.

Montana is incredible.  Let me explain.  Our second night, we stayed in Billings, which is the largest city in Montana, with a population of over 100,000.  Our hotel was one block from downtown, and yet the air still smelled like cow.  Gotta love it.  Cows are everywhere.  Billings sits in a valley, and the sheer cliffs on either side, which are miles away, make the city seem small in comparison.  Everything out here seems bigger and I seem to be smaller. When they say that it is the "big sky state,' it really is true.

Mountain Sky, the resort where I am working is located in the Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone.  It is nestled on the side of the valley, four miles up a dirt road, and alongside a rushing stream, so the sound of water is never far off.  Two ridges run down from the mountains on either side of the ranch, so it is basically surrounded on three sides by the still-snowcapped mountains.  I have not had time yet to explore the ranch, but that will come soon enough.  It took me until day three to actually start unpacking my stuff because I have either been working every waking hour or too tired to move.  Everything in good time.

I will take some pictures of the ranch the next sunny day we get.

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