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Last-Minute Drives to Other States

Days bleed together when you’re on the road. Dates, hours, and alarm clocks become mere suggestions.

Your time is filled with long drives and aimless strolls that conjure up a thought or two about a thing or two. And sometimes they amble into the land of spreadsheets and appointments; a world devoid of color and giant Montana skies.

I spend much of my time away from home, wherever or whatever that means. And as a result I’ve learned to dance between the land of departure and arrival with the right shoes.

Yesterday, I laced up and made my way to a place I never thought I’d set foot in — Yellowstone National Park.

Surprises are good, I thought.

At about 3:00 pm, Tonya and I found ourselves circling a town called Livingston. Believe me when I tell you this didn’t take long. Old saloons and trendy gift shops lined avenues filled with snow but no people.

“I bet it’s nice here in the summer,” was all I could think to say.

Earlier in the week, my friend and I had agreed one of the joys of getting older was no longer feeling the need to prove anything; a sentiment once as foreign to me as Montana itself.

Now, we were faced with another first world problem; deciding whether or not to make the late afternoon drive to another state just to say we had.

It turns out, old habits die hard.

“Well,” I said. “I feel invested in seeing you reach Wyoming.” I told her.

It turned out, Tonya had just 4 states to go before she could claim to have seen the union in its entirety.

“Okay,” she finally said.

And just like that we were on our way.

The drive, like every so far, was filled with dramatic backdrops that seemed to beckon silence or at least conversation beyond small talk. Thankfully, we’d never seen the use of such things and spoke mostly about love, specifically the kind you lose.

Before long, we found ourselves at Yellowstone. “Wyoming!” I heard Tonya say.

“Yup,” I said.

We’d made it.

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