Travel days usually mean hitting the interstates.
This means shorter travel times and freedom from worries about low bridges, but it also means that we miss the more scenic highways, small towns, and some adventurous back roads.
The drive from Cody, WY, to Billings, MT, was 90% back roads and took us through some magnificent scenery. There was very little traffic on WY 120, MT 72, and MT 310, so we had time to drive at a fairly leisurely rate on these two-lane highways before hooking up with I-90 for the last 10 miles.
North of Cody, we rounded one curve and were greeted by the Beartooth Mountains. We traveled along the base of these mountains for several miles, making several comments about the beauty of this range.
With scenery like this, the distance to our destination seemed to diminish.
Even with storm clouds and rain, the identity as "Big Sky Country" seemed to fit this corner of Wyoming and into Montana.
Leaving the Beartooth range behind, we headed into grassy plains with vistas. The contrast between these two very different topographies was dramatic. And the whole scene seemed to appear for the benefit of only a few travelers.
One of the first towns we came to was Belfry, MT. Several comments or sayings traveled through my mind as we traveled the main street through town. When we came to the high school, it seemed as though the town fathers and school board members may have anticipated some of these same comments and took the bold step to disarm the jokesters visiting their town.
Here was the high school proclaiming itself as the Home of the Bats. It brought to mind the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue." If I were an athlete competing against the Bats, I wouldn't want to get the Bats angry. So, no attempts at jokes.
Well done, citizens of Belfry.
Next came the town of Bridger, MT. In a short two blocks, we passed the Buckeye Bar and Casino Family Steakhouse
and the Bridger Cafe and Casino.
Although curious, we did not investigate what the combination of Family Steakhouse and Casino would look like.
I'm sure my imagination's picture was not accurate.