Oh my gosh, the photos in this post can’t show how excited I was when we took them. I felt like the people on the Starship Enterprise, going where
no man I had never gone before. My dad’s wanderlust blood in my veins was pounding! I was so jazzed that I could hardly sit still… and I was driving!
Why was I so thrilled? Cuz try look!!
No can see? Try dis. E komo mai i Montana!
Oh my gosh! We’re in Montana! Big Sky country! I kept saying, “Oh my gosh! We’re in Montana!” I mean, Montana!!! I’d never been here before, not even close. And now I was getting closer and closer to my auntie! I was in awe.
Nolemana and I have this joke. Historical kine. I am jumping up and down with excitement saying things like, “Oh my gosh! We’re in Montana!” and he says, “Uh huh”. And I wonder whydaheck he’s not jumping up and down too. Probably because he figures there has to be at least one sane person on board!
Here we are, heading over Lookout Pass. It was so wonderful to see all this new-to-us countryside.
And just beyond the sign for Lookout Pass, we saw these welcome signs. Nani the Montana one!
The open road beckoned us further. I should warn you all that if you don’t like mountain and river photos, or get bored with them, this is not the post for you. Get this one get plenny! I grew up in the shadow of the Ko‘olau Mountains on O‘ahu, and I love the mountain scenery here, even though it’s very different from that of my childhood.
Saltese, Montana, coming up ahead.
One of the things I love about this highway is that we never knew what we’d find beyond the next curve in the road. I felt like Columbus discovering a whole new world. It’s really hard for me to explain why I was so excited about seeing so many new places.
For you local Hawaiian peeps, you’ll get a kick out of knowing that we’re going through the Lolo National Forest. Heh heh.
This is East of Tammany, Montana. Yes! Montana! We’re really in Montana!
This is east of Tammany. Montana.
Between Tammany and Saltese with just a little bit of Fall color.
This is about thirty seconds after the previous one. I loved the empty highway; if there was some sort of fabulous photo I wanted, I could either slow down a lot or actually just pull over.
Now we’re four miles makai of Saltese, Montana, and ninety-eight miles makai of Missoula. Montana!!!
About a minute later. I just couldn’t get over how beautiful this highway is. My friend Linda had told me how gorgeous it was, but I had no way of knowing just how right she was!
We’re still makai of Saltese. The forest just went on forever.
Wow laulau… gridlock! Heh heh.
We went through Saltese and sailed past this sign and were getting close to Haugan. Montana!
This is the country we were driving through. Nothing but mountains, and oh, so beautiful! Lolo National Forest.
Still makai of Haugan.
We were now entering into the river part of our trip. This was our first glimpse of the St Regis River. The St. Regis River is a tributary of the Clark Fork of the Columbia River in Montana in the USA. It begins at Lookout Pass on the Idaho/Montana border.
Nolemana tried to get a photo of it here, but we were too high up. But the spinner is still doing great! It made it to Montana! Not used to the fast speeds, it was spinning like crazy!
See the river down there? Barely!
We were still travelling in the Lolo National Forest. Ho da big!
We passed the Montana-Idaho weigh station. We’re up from the river now, and still driving along at warp speed on this beautiful highway.
We saw some fall color, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped for. The thing is that we had to time our road trip very carefully; we needed to get to Auntie’s before the snows came, because if they did, we’d have to wait till Spring to make the trip. Auntie is ninety-four, and well, you just never know. The fall color could wait but maybe Auntie couldn’t.
I have this thing about curved roads. Maybe you folks guessed that already? There’s something about seeing several curves in the road that makes me happy!
Now we could see the St Regis River again. Nolemana loves to fish, and he would’ve loved to stop here and toss in his line. But: No license, no time. Maybe next time?
The river is really down there. Promise. Are you getting bored yet?
There it is! See? We loved seeing the river meandering down there.
How the aspen grow in that kind of soil, I don’t know. But they were sure growing.
We did run into some road construction on our side of the freeway, and soon we found ourselves legally driving on the wrong side of it! We were driving in the normal left hand lane of westbound traffic! It was a really weird feeling. Good thing I’m ambidextrous!
That’s where we’re normally supposed to be! This is several miles makai of the town of St Regis. See the river down there?
Two Mile exit. There were several signs like this on our trip. Two Mile. Nine Mile. Interesting!
We drove for miles on the wrong side of the freeway. Only really, it was the right side since that’s where we were told to drive. Right? This is just makai of St Regis.
Try look! Now we’re back on the right side of the freeway. Right?
Try wait! Now we’re back on the wrong side again!
We sure hoped nobody heading makai decides to pass or we’d be in deep pilikia!
We were still on the wrong side of the road and coming into St Regis.
And here we are! No time to stop, but there’s what little of the town we saw. Notice my kamaʻāina t-shirt? Elevation here: 2593′.
So here’s where we traveled in this post. Which is why there are so many forest and river photos. Lolo National Forest. In Montana!
We started out this part of the journey at 11:23 a.m. and got to the end at 11:55 a.m. Wow. Seems like it’d take more long than that! But the photo time stamps don’t lie, do they?
Part Eight next time. Will the spinner make it? Where will the next curves in the road take us?