Driving through Montana. Peter behind the wheels

Driving through Montana. Peter behind the wheels

“Is it true that Montana has more cows than people”?  Our Chinese friend, Qiong, was testing our knowledge of the state that we were travelling through. We were 5 international students in the car, from all over the world, on a roadtrip across the US. We hadn’t known each other before this trip. Peter, from Austria, had posted a forum for people to join in him on his road trip. The rest of us were people who had jumped in at the chance.

We had just left Yellowstone, and Patricia (Guatemala) was specially looking forward to our next destination (Glacier Park) in hopes of seeing a moose. Peter had developed a slight obsession with cows from the beginning, and so many times we just involuntarily spout out random cow facts or cow questions, like the one Qiong had just posed. Wassef, from Lebanon, had just informed us that the name Montana had its root in the spanish “montaña” which means “mountain”. He loved languages, and taught us many phrases from Arabic and French, both of which he was fluent in.

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Leaving Yellowstone. From L to R: Heema, Peter, Patricia, Wassef, Qiong

Being such a diverse group, we had our times of healthy disagreements. Sometimes we would all be saying the same thing but because of the way we said it,the other person thought we had opposing ideas. When one of us told a joke, often it had to be repeated, till everyone of us got it. Often the joke was on the joke itself having lost all its punch due to so much rephrasing.

One time, we fell into talking about books. Writers from the America to the Asian sub-continent were discussed. From Jose Saramago (Patricia’s favorite writer)  to Garfield strips (Peter and my favorite), we exhausted each other’s ears with plots from different books we loved. Then a name of a book popped up, and we all fell into a silent reverie for a few seconds. Everyone of us had read it, and like everyone who reads it we gave it a moment of contemplation. “The Little Prince”, that little heart wrenching happy-sad book that we all love. I talked about my favorite part, where the little prince watched the sunset 44 times. His reason for doing it, “one loves the sunset, when one is so sad”.

We were in for a pleasant surprise at the end of our drive for the day. We were driving through vast stretches of rolling green hills, with cows dotted across them. The rocky mountains could be seen in the distance. As dusk fell, the golden sunlight rendered the whole landscape a magical breathtaking glow. We stopped the car,  got out, fooled around with our camera a bit and started again when it set in the horizon.

Peter decided to pose for the occasion.

Peter decided to pose for the occasion.

We were in for a pleasant surprise at the end of our drive for the day. We were driving through vast stretches of rolling green hills, with cows dotted across them. The rocky mountains could be seen in the distance. As dusk fell, the golden sunlight rendered the whole landscape a magical breathtaking glow. We stopped the car,  got out, fooled around with our camera a bit and started again when it set in the horizon.

As we drove upwards the hilly road, only a few minutes passed when we saw the sun over at the horizon again. We were about to see our second sunset!

Since we were driving uphill, we were able to see the sun set again.  This feat was made possible due to our speed and our uphill-direction. We were euphoric. The sun set again. But then after a few minutes, we saw the sun on the horizon again. Our third sunset!

Then there was one more sunset until it got really dark. Four sunsets in one day!

This had been a surreal experience. The Prince was sad that day, when he saw so many sunsets. But I was jubilant – that was the difference. The road trip gave me many memories to cherish, but this one, where I came close to what the little prince experienced everyday in his little planet B612 will always be a special one. Whenever I see a sunset now, I think back about this day, about the prince and wonder if he ever got to see his Rose again.

To answer the question Qiong posed, yes it is true that Montana has more cows than people. There are 3 cows for every one human. You learned something. Keep following my blog and you will learn many more things. 🙂

Til my next post, happy traveling, people! And don’t forget to check StudentUniverse for great deals.

 

 

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

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