From Minneapolis to Glendive, MT

June 29, 2010 19:39 – 19:39

Written at 9 am 6/29/2010, posted at 6:30 pm the same day. I’m actually in Butte, Montana, now.

I’m in Glendive, Montana—having driven about 620 mile yesterday from Minneapolis after dropping Karen at the airport. My plan is to take my time heading across Montana, and to spend tonight in Butte, about 450 miles to the west.

General Assembly was one of the most bittersweet experiences of my life. A year ago, I was looking forward to Minneapolis GA and being there with Katie, and sharing her excitement and enthusiasm. Never having been a conference and meetings person, I was anxious to discover why GA is so often a life-changing experience for so many of UUs. What is it about GA that makes people end up wanting to go into the ministry? I think I have a sense of what it is about GA that inspires us to service and ministry now, even if it’s ministry with a lowercase “m”.

It was wonderful seeing so many people who love Katie and who share our loss of such a great and loving UU leader. It was also nice to share one of my UU anthems with other UUs. I hope to be able to take my music to UU churches in the coming months. If anyone wants to share “Heart of It All,” drop me a message on Facebook (with your email address), and I’ll send you a pdf of the lead sheet (lyrics, melody, and chords).

In any case, I’ve now entered the vacation/photography phase of what’s turning out to be my annual sojourn across North America. Jesse the clean-fuel Jetta TDI is averaging in the low 40s. Until ND, I was getting about 43 MPG, but the 75 MPH speed limit through ND and Montana (need to go that fast to keep from getting run off the road) drags it down to 39. Once I hit the Pacific states, it’ll go back up.

On my way across North Dakota, I ran across the start of the Enchanted Highway. Sometime, I’ll have to drive more of it. But, a very large scrap metal sculpture call Geese in Flight marks the beginning of it.

A little further west down the road, I came to one of the entrance points for the Teddy Roosevelt National Park—the Painted Canyon. So, I stopped and snapped a few pictures, including one of Lawrence W. Elk (Karen’s name for him, I guess because this is sort-of LW’s part of the country). This picture was shot from almost a mile away. Thank you zoom lens.

The painted high desert is breathtaking. The crevices are teeming with rattlesnakes!

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