Day 10: Montana to Idaho

I covered a lot of ground today — so much so that I’m now ahead of schedule. I even made decent inroads into the Idaho list. There was incredibly varied terrain from Montana to Idaho: mountains, pine trees, jagged rock formations, rivers — everything from lush forest to dry desert-looking sections. Idaho looked dry but was just as humid as back home in NYC. It was around 90 degrees everywhere we went.

The dogs got to run and swim in a bunch of spots. Nik scratched and bruised his underside and legs pretty bad hopping around in the rocky streams chasing his ball. I’ll have to be more careful about where we play in the water. The dogs have developed a new fascination for gopher holes which seem to be everywhere. Luckily, they haven’t found any actual gophers yet.

Livingston, MT is a cute little town with a lot to look at. There were lots of old painted wall signs as well as great neon signs.

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Interesting architecture of all eras in Livingston as well. Here’s a possible gas station in the foreground with more painted wall signs above:

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Also in town, one of these nifty plastic Coca-Cola signs with the “floating” shapes (I don’t know how else to describe it). There must have been some sort of restaurant here previously or else the current tenant installed the sign here and changed the name on it.

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This one also from Livingston. I’ve seen these car washes around lately — they must have been a regional chain:

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I stocked up on road snacks for diversions on the long stretches of driving. I was surprised to find the Elvis version of Reese’s peanut butter cups this far north. The Spud was positively gross. Maybe it only sells to tourists like me. The marshmallow consistency was bland and icky. It went straight to the dogs after two bites. They thought it was great.

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Here’s one of the things Nik does to entertain himself on the long, boring stretches of highway. He hunts for stuff in the van and then presents it to me on my shoulder. It’s amazing what he can balance there. It’s his way of asking me to THROW IT! and start a manic retrieving game. I use the headrests in the back seat as my goal post (yes, at 75 mph). If I score, it means he sometimes has to dig around for awhile as the thrown object might have gone under something or gotten stuck. This is what remains of a Diet Coke cap.

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This handyman sign appeared at a hardware store in Ashton, ID. I guess the psychedelic background is a wood pattern?

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Idaho has great neon signs everywhere — some beautifully preserved and others nicely weathered. This one is from Rigby, where I assume there is no subway.

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I’d heard of Blue Bell gas stations, but this was the first one (and so far the only one) I’ve seen myself:

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And lastly from today’s grab bag — a shot from Pocatello’s Union Pacific train station. Though train stations are not something I usually shoot, this one had a lot of nice details including these nice shields:

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