I have seen bear foot prints, claw marks on trees and scat but still no bear. I suppose this is a blessing in disguise – crossing a bear would be a hazardous event. Most locals I have spoken to, have seen several bears but usually from a distance and so have safely walked back to their trucks. We have however been going on tree hunts instead. The aim of these is to find and count any native, protected tree species in a designated area. These areas have been proposed to be used for oil extraction. If we find certain tree species, mitigation attempts will be implemented protecting the tree biomass in the region. Not only have we found no bears but we also found no White Bark Pine trees either (native protected species). We walked past many other trees but have yet to find the species we are after.
Whilst walking through the beautiful woods, we came across some old rusted garbage. This apparently, cannot be removed from the forest as it is historical and archaeologists might study it. This to me seemed bizarre. The old rubbish consisting, old cans, wires and possibly mining tools looked like a mess in what is a pristine environment.
I could be wrong, these specimens could tell us an elaborate historic story revealing the answer to saving these areas from oil mining. Yet, when I glanced at these sharp, inanimate, oxidised objects, I could not help but imagine a group of friends camping in the area after a long week mining, relaxing with a beer and discarding their empty cans next to the campfire.
The drive home greeted us with furthermore fabulous views. The white snow capped mountain peaks looked so dramatic against the clear blue sky. Montana’s mountains seem to roll on forever, when daydreaming out the window the hills undulate for what looks like an eternity. Trees densely cover some areas while a handful sparsely sprinkle others.
That evening we went for the last meal out with the family. We went to Sparky’s garage a cool diner covered in fun memorabilia. The food was amazing and the company even better. I sure am going to miss it here.