I decided I was going to wake up really early in the morning and get out to see the animals as the sun rose. When I woke up it was 26 degrees out. Boy, was I thankful for heat in the car. Once I was thawed, I drove as quietly as I could out of the campground and toward the pull offs where I had seen animals before. It was really cool driving in the dark with all the steam rising from the thermal features. I had never thought about what it would look like at night. The steam doesn't stop just because the sun goes down. It was just strange to think about. Later, as the sun was rising, I watched an elk meander through the fields, heard wolves cry back and forth to each other from over two different hills, and saw a coyote. (Of course there were a ton of buffalo too, but they are a dime a dozen out there.)
I took the Bear tooth pass again on the way home. A fitting end to my Montana travels since I took it when I first got there too. This time, however, there were no snow drifts as tall as my car. In fact, there was no snow at all. It looked totally different. It was pretty neat to see it in two completely opposite states like that.
The rest of my last week was spent packing, working, and planning my trip home. I had a good bye lunch on Thursday with people from work who have all been so wonderful. I said my farewells to the apartment I lived in. Then, after work on Friday, I went to Lame Deer to say good bye to Lu, Molly and the kids. That was the hardest one. It is so bitter sweet to leave. I am excited to be headed home, but sad to leave all at the same time... Happy to be on the open road again, but wanting to stay with the people I love. Too many emotions running through me. I do have to say, though, that at times like these I think I must be the most blessed person in the whole world. What problems to have... Too many people to love, too many places to desire to be, too many new experiences to have and new things to learn. All I can do is thank God!