Thursday, May 1, 2008

Montana Traffic Jam

When we were in Washington, D.C., in March, I took pictures of the traffic.
My kids have never witnessed real traffic. They think paved roads are a novelty. I wanted to show them a typical city street.

In Montana this time of year, we have traffic problems of another sort.
This time of year, it is not uncommon to meet along the road a herd of cows moving to the next pasture or a tractor moving to the next field. Since I have a carload of kids to deal with, I usually have the job of flagger for these excursions. This job entails driving in front of the slow moving traffic (be it cattle or machinery), flashing the hazard lights, and hanging out the window and flailing my arms if any oncoming traffic looks as if it isn't taking my warnings seriously.

To begin the trip, I find a perch at the top of a hill where I can see both oncoming traffic and the machinery that I'm supposed to be leading. In this case, it is my husband in the tractor pulling the air seeder behind him.

I liked the rearview mirror shot so well that I decided to try another one.

And another one.

But when the tractor begins to catch up to me, I have to stop taking pictures and get ahead of him again. I wouldn't want to be shirking my duty.

Fortunately, we met no oncoming traffic on this trip.

That left me plenty of time to gaze out the window and take pictures.

This is an area several miles north of our home called the Missouri River Breaks. It is a harsh country that is inhabited by bighorn sheep, mountain lions, deer, and a few other species, including a handful of very hardy humans.

There's a lot of nothing out there.

Across the river valley, you can see strips of farmground in the distance.

Farmers are very careful to stay awake when they are farming these fields. It's a long, long drop to the bottom.

Even if you're not driving in an area quite this rugged, please be careful and watch out for farm equipment this time of year. Moving from field to field can be a difficult task out here in the middle of nowhere; I can't imagine attempting it in the middle of traffic.


Dawn said...

Thanks for the pictures of your part of the country. It's beautiful! Blessings! Dawn

Andrea said...

It's so beautiful there! I love the mirror pictures!! I also love the road sign!! My husband has grown up in the country his whole life and when we go to Salt Lake to visit my parents in the BIG CITY I have to drive. He just can't do bid city traffic. We get a lot of tractors on the roads here. My boys love it.

Jen @ J&J Acres said...

Wow... I love the open Montana sky. We grew up in the country and roads with lines in the center were a big deal. hee hee. I hope to one day be back out in the country... the deeper the better.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love finding new farm blogs to visit and I've always wanted to visit a ranch in Montana so now I can virtually visit!! I'll be adding you to my reader!

Treasia said...

Those pictures are beautiful and especially the mirror ones.

Mum-me said...

That's one seriously heavy duty looking piece of machinery. I found my imagination playing all sorts of games with the idea of an 'air seeder'.

This reminds me of the time we were driving along country roads and encountered a herd of cattle on the road. Our border collie x australian cattle dog in the back seat (who had never seen a cow before in her life) suddenly came to life and tried to squeeze through the 2cm opening in the window - I guess her inbred knowledge wanted to get out there and round up those animals! She barked a lot too. The farmer was not impressed with our dog making his cattle upset.

Anonymous said...

I'll take your traffic jam over the ones around here everyday. You are truly blessed to live where you do.


Anonymous said...

P-Dub ain't got nothing on your view. Wow.

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