Thomas Ross Hallock

Big Ride Update 13-Jun-1998

The ‘skeeters are huge! Off-immune vampire bugs! They are everywhere! Help!
Send Raid!!! Loosing blood!!!!

Tomorrow will be the last day in Montana. Although the last two stops in

the Montana badlands have proven to be less than satisfactory, I will mess
the state and the beautiful scenery that welcomed us in. Most of all, I
will miss the colorful, rolling hills that made me hit myself in
frustration that I had used up all my film the day before. The days are
still long (literally), and the weather has kept me dry, but hot. All has
been well. All will be well. Yes, these truly are bad lands.
The local wildlife is interesting. Yesterday, I saw a few prairie-dog towns
near the campsite at a local middle school. Literally, these were towns of
prairie dogs. As I was walking through their territory to go to a nearby
lake, I heard this noise that sounded like the chirping of birds. Nothing
was flying, so my attention drifted to the ground where I saw hundreds of
prairie dogs all along the ‘prairie’, chirping at me. It was almost as if
they were trying to tell me something, but what exactly it was I was not
sure of. I really regret not remembering to bring my camera with me,
because I will not have any evidence of seeing such exotic creatures. Maybe
I’ll do what Louis and Clark did: fish one out of the ground and pack it
with my luggage.
Today was a short fifty mile route, and tomorrow will be the longest route
of one hundred and twenty five miles. Tonight, we have raised the local
population by about one sixth. Some very interesting small towns. Actually,
Harden is very close to the battlefield of Custer’s last stand. I really
would have loved to see what’s up with the museum and battlefield, but I
was working till after the shuttle bus was running. The battlefield is
about twenty miles out of town.
Speaking of missed opportunities, a father daughter couple rented a car and
drove to Yellowstone yesterday on the layover period. I would have been
invited, but at the time, I was out camera shopping in Billings. Imagine
seeing the entire area of Yellowstone park within a matter of a few hours.
Definitely a job for video cameras and yuppies. I’ll have to come back and
see it when I have the chance. Luckily, I was able to watch a home video of
all the major attractions, including an eruption of Old Faithful. Pretty
cool!

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