Day 48 – Tumbling Tumbleweed

This morning it was partly sunny and a brisk 36 degrees – definitely winter, I think. We had the car packed and were on the road by 8:45. Pretty good after having a play day yesterday.

The Black Hills of South Dakota gave way to the open ranch lands of Wyoming which slowly wrinkled into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. We could see snow covered peaks in the distance. The winds were gusty and at times a little frightening. Tumbleweeds were blowing with abandon. Just east of Billings, MT, the gusts were mighty and one very large tumbleweed blew up across the interstate, swirled and turned to almost hit our windshield. Instead, it tumbled some to the right and, woody stem forward, hit with force against the passenger side mirror. It was frightening, but thankfully it missed the windshield and the passenger window. The clouds gave up their moisture periodically, but the scattered rain was never heavy.

At Billings we pulled off for a comfort stop and decided on a late afternoon Sunday dinner. A Texas Roadhouse sounded the best of the lot there was to choose from and we enjoyed the brake from driving as well as the meal.

Along the way we finished listening to “No Ordinary Time” and switched to “Harry Truman” by David McCullough. Might as well continue on with the story as history wrote it, we thought. We enjoyed Doris Kerns Goodwin so much we thought we might be disappointed with another author. But, McCullough can hold his own. The two are in a comparable league. And, he skillfully writes about Harry Truman; his family; his personality; his times; and his accomplishments in a way that is both informative and engaging. I knew next to nothing about the man before we visited his home in Independence, Missouri two short weeks ago.

Amid the sun and rain, range and mountains, we listened and stopped the narrative to discuss whenever the story warranted, or the spirit moved us.

The miles tumbled away behind us and despite the tumbleweed incident, we made good time, arriving in Livingston, MT by 6:30 p.m. When we finally remembered to inspect the car, we found the force of the tumble weed’s impact had broken the side mirror cover. Thankfully, there was no more extensive damage.

So, just another day of driving; listening; talking; and enjoying each other and the beauty of America’s landscape. What could possibly be more grace-filled than that?