Sometimes politics is depressing.
Understatement of the year, right? It’s been a rough road. I’m relatively new to politics, becoming involved for the first time in 2008. It’s been four years since I started paying attention to McCain/Obama and obsessing over blogs, over news. When I threw myself into full time activism in 2009, I had absolutely no idea what this world was like. I’d never been to a rally, I didn’t even know what CPAC was. I had no expectation. Especially on the new media front, so many of us were just figuring it out as we went.
There’s no roadmap. There’s no one to tell you what comes next. It’s exciting and scary.
Last month I got to go to Montana for the first time. I did my best to get to Glacier National Park, and alas, work won out and I failed to get up to the park. When I planned my trip back, however, I conned my co-worker into staying and extra day with me to go do the park.
We left the morning after the event pretty early and got on the road from Helena – about a four hour drive to the park. It’s a beautiful drive, as I’ve found it is through most of the state. As we approached the park, we were getting antsy and I was ready to get out the glorified go-cart we had rented. We’re rolling along the highway and I shouted at Mary Ellen “Something big just ran across the highway!” Sure enough, a rogue bear had run across the highway and was busting through a wire fence onto some ranch. It was maybe the first time I’d seen a live bear, but definitely the most random place I’d seen on.
We experienced the Blackfeet reservation as we approached the east entrance of the park, which was a little disheartening to see. We also felt every eyeball on us as we drove through – we were, once again, the outsiders, and probably the only white people around.
After gassing up, we ended up heading into the east side of the park. It was absolutely stunning from the minute we got through the entrance. This is where we began:
Mary Ellen and I.
I’d never been to Montana before this summer. Since June, I’ve gone twice.
The first trip, I flew into Billings, then visited Livingston, Lewistown, Great Falls, and Helena.
Billings was a really cool town. The largest city in Montana, there are around 100,000 people. I used to think Raleigh was small! It’s maybe the easiest place I’ve ever been to get around – I didn’t even have to use the GPS. You can pretty much SEE every place you’re trying to go.
I got out of the airport and had a little time to kill, so I drove along the rim and pulled over to take a couple photos.