Recently Bill traveled back to his Montana property with friends from northern England who visit Saint Paul each year during the month of July. It was a quick trip out west, three days in all. Glenn with her south Yorkshire accent mentioned light heartedly during the drive that she and her husband at sixty five were old and not used to such fast paced, long distance travel. Bill replied “Old. You’re not old”. A number of his high plains friends were into their eighties and nineties.
They traveled up I-94 in a rented car (Bill does not have a vehicle in Saint Paul, but does rent one for a special occassion) up to Fargo, North Dakota where they stopped briefly for a picnic lunch and a few photographs of that cities Visitor Information Center built in the beautiful form of a classic Plains grain elevator.
From there they drove west with the interstate until reaching highway 52 which travels to the northwest across much of the state until reaching Canada. Just before the border they turned due west and traveled along Highway 5. As the beautiful late day sunset began they reached Divide County, in the far northwest corner of North Dakota. That picturesque area of the state is separated from the region by a ridge of grass covered hills. Bill lived for a time here ten years ago. The mellow evening was spent visiting a few friends.
The next morning they set off to visit the farm family now caring for Bill’s Montana animals. From there they continued west into Montana until reaching northern Valley County. Here, more friends were visited as was Bill’s property which he had not seen since February when streaks of snow lay across those hills and the treeless landscape as far as he could see.
Bill has been in Saint Paul mostly full-time since last winter, his part time life on the high plains largely ended for now. Will he return on a regular basis again? Perhaps someday.