towel

In which I experience hotel intertubes that actually work.

Hello from Bozeman, Montana, where I am seriously considering having a drink in the hotel bar before collapsing into bed early. At least tomorrow's drive is pretty short. I've only got about 300 miles to go to my antepenultimate destination on this trip.

North Dakota was pretty boring. Also, empty. Moving north one layer of states cuts the population down hugely, doesn't it? South Dakota had a fair amount going on every few miles, and was teeming with bikers heading to Sturgis. There's a whole lot of nothing through vast stretches of ND and Montana. Central Minnesota was, in contrast, well-dotted with farming communities. Lovely ones, with red barns and church steeples rising up to tell you where the towns are.

After this drive through Montana, I have decided to change the working name of that story I'm always wittering on about from "the Montana story" to "the Wyoming story". Wyoming is more like what I have in mind. The sky is bigger in Wyoming. (Don't ask me to explain that; it just is.) It's also possible I could make some of the ranching territory in eastern Montana work. Meh. I'm probably going with Wyoming.
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Go with Wyoming. It's a much better location- unless you're Hemingway or something and want all that big empty nada just to hammer home the depression...
Hey!!!! You just dissed my second home state, y'know.

Montana is gorgeous and has ENORMOUS skies - it is, in fact, called Big Sky Country for a reason. You were just in a sucktastic part of the state. The western part of the state is stunning, I promise!
I always thought the best thing about Montana was the lack of a speed limit to get back out the other side. ;P
Montana! Has a speed limit. And is prettier than that. My only complaint about it was that is isn't what I had in mind for my story.
What I'm needing from my setting is natural beauty and windswept ranges, not depression! Nevada is right out as a setting.
Oh, see now I love Nevada with all it's horst and graben landscape. It's total horse country- or iron horse country if you don't want to deal with the hassle of a live one.
What? Are you kidding me? There's nothing in Nevada but tumbleweeds! I mean, I guess it's horse country if you discount the fact that there's nothing there for them to eat.

We are obviously from different planets.
Horses? Nevada? High desert death territory? Now, Wyoming and Montana are horse country, in a big way. Nevada was great for the iron horse in winter, when I wasn't constantly worrying about death from heat.

That whole Great Basin is a weird place. So dry, so desolate.
There's tons in Nevada. Faulting and springs and some really nifty history. To each their own, I guess. But you two can have Montana and I'll take Nevada. Geographically, I believe that splits up into three equal sized portions.
I know what you mean about the sky being bigger in places, though my experience was that it was bigger in Montana than Wyoming. Your mileage, obviously, varies. ;)

I had the occasion to drive the whole length of North Dakota and back a couple years ago. Early August, as I recall. Loads of nothing but sunflowers.
I just realized that I was unfair to eastern Montana skies because they rained on me off & on all the way across. Hard to tell how big they are when they're all covered with low clouds. It's also possible they're bigger in the western half of the state, too.

One thing's for sure: both states have WAY bigger skies than California. In California, the horizon crowds in close from all the haze.
Eastern Montana is what I've seen. Drove from Billings to Wolf Point a few years ago. Had to pull over at one point and just take it all in.

And oh man, was there tons of nothing out there!

I am now a huge fan of all of this part of the country. Haven't seen any of Idaho yet, I guess, but maybe that'll be neat too.
I've seen very little of Idaho, just a smidge up at the top. Can't remember the scenery at all. :(