Forsyth Montana

The scenic route: sometimes we take it by choice, sometimes we break down on the interstate and we’re towed there. Saturday afternoon, my beloved Landsnail (Dodge Dakota) broke down along I-90 in a cloud of radiator-coolant and a vague “check gauges” message. Opening the hood, I found brilliant green coolant had been blown everywhere, brilliantly grass-green and disheartening. I tried to see if I’d blown a hose, or if there was a hole in the radiator itself, but I couldn’t find the precise location of my verdant leak. While I waited for it to cool down, countless trucks blew by me — no one stopped. So much for the “king of the road” days when semi-truck drivers would stop for motorists in trouble. No problem, I figured a state trooper would eventually notice me — but in the meantime, a nice young man in a battered pickup pulled in to be my road angel. He gave me a spare bottle of coolant, and I poured in a bottle of my water — but no luck. The truck overheated again in a just a half mile, so I shut it down again, and called AAA from my road angel’s cell phone. Just an hour later, I was towed to the nearest town — Forsyth, Montana — and introduced to the scenic lot of the Ford dealership. As ersatz emergency campgrounds go, it wasn’t too bad! I had a beautiful open view to the North-East, with yellow bluffs covered with pines on the south. It was only about a mile walk to the town’s still-intact downtown, which had historic plaques for walkers to read about the town’s history, and several beautiful murals by a local artist. Beyond that: the green-gray milky waters of the Yellowstone River, with a scenic strip of parkland along the river. My nights were punctuated with the LOUD whistle blasts of hourly coal trains as they approached the nearby crossing: four blasts. Half-note!, rest, half-note!, rest, Quarternote!!, rest, Whoooole nooooote!!! The highlight of my time in Forsyth was meeting Steve, a fellow camper and traveler who is cut from the same cloth as my friend Stuart (even down to the new yorkian accent). Thanks for you friendship, stories, coffee — happy fishing, Steve!

My guide in Forsyth: Steve
Mural, Forsyth MT

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