It's an interesting experience, driving through montana at 4am. You can basically go as fast as the vehicle you're driving can go, because no one cares and no one is going to stop you. For example, how many planes do you think they have monitoring the path through Billings at 4 in the morning, where "speed is monitored by aircraft"?
I think I know the answer, so don't get too concerened about doing the research.
Having the sun rise behind you, slowly lightening the sky so you can see the mountains you're driving through, is another interesting experience. You don't realize how much is really around you that you're missing until the sun actually comes up. Slowly, the sun creeps over the hills around you and shadows begin to appear. Finally, you're in daylight and you realize... wow. Montana is flat.
Seriously. In the eastern part of montana, the mountains and hills that seem so big in the dark become nothing but plains. The real hills are all avoided by the interstate. As you pass farther west, you get into the real hills - foot to the floor at 60 mph and not accelerating while you climb the mountains.
There is a dancing hula girl with no skirt on the dash. She's been there the whole time, but I just thought o menion her. she has a spring in the middle of her so she shakes as she plays her yukelelee. She provides entertainment when bored and sitting in the front seat.
I miss the internet. Not much longer til we get to seattle, hopefully - we've been driving for 12 hours now, which should put us halfway from north dakota to seattle.
I think I'm going to try to grab a nap now. I want to ride shotgun in the mountains and watch Mark drive. So, nappy time now nighty nighty.
-7:59am, July 24th, 2003