Well, if you haven’t figured it out already, I finally made it to Helena, Montana. I’ve already spilled the beans on one brief exploration. #BigSkyMove was a success, but I still consider it a continual process as this Southerner learns his lessons in Big Sky Country.

cross country road trip move u-haul

Launching point from home in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas

The trip included over 2,300 miles from start to finish – Maryville, Tennessee to Helena, Montana. I did take the opportunity to stop at home in Arkansas for a few days and see family.

cross country road trip move
My road trip (minus Tennessee)

After leaving home in Northeast Arkansas, I headed north into Missouri and over to Manhattan, Kansas to see a few good friends and do cow chores after 8 hours of driving (more on that in a future post). Manhattan is a neat little college town and reminds me so much of Stillwater. The friends are loyal, the food is good, and it doesn’t take but a few minutes to be out of town and in the pasture.

cross country road trip
Colors just north of MHK, headed to Nebraska

The next leg of the trip took me up a two-lane into Lincoln, Nebraska. I’ve never been through the Husker State, so I figured it was as good a time as any. From Lincoln, I headed west on I-80. The leaves from MHK through South Central Nebraska were all in peak color and the view was awesome. I’m really not sure why folks complain about there being nothing out there. It makes for a pretty scenic and peaceful 400-mile stretch of smooth interstate (thanks to this summer’s road construction). Driving into the Panhandle of Nebraska and crossing that Wyoming state line was such a great feeling. I FINALLY felt like I was finally back West in open country. Crossing that Mountain Time Zone line only encouraged the fact that I would no longer be living on Tulsa time. There might have been a good ole grin stuck on my face as I crossed the state line and watched the sunset over the hills driving through Cheyenne.

cross country road trip sunset in cheyenne wyoming
Sunset in Cheyenne

The next stop on the map was Laramie, Wyoming, home to the University of Wyoming and my favorite British gal in the world – Katy Jane. I haven’t seen Ms. Angwin since I spent the summer of 2009 working on the ranch in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. I ended up staying in Laramie for a second night. Katy Jane had a great time catching up like it was old times, even got in a little time on horseback while I was there. Laramie is quite the quiet little college town and the first chance I finally got to enjoy a crisp, cool, dry Fall night.

Katy Jane and Ginger

The second half of my drive turned out to be slick, slippery, and a little extra scenic. Check back tomorrow for more on that.

Local Brew in Laramie

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