A gift to all snake lovers...a real LIVE 5 foot snake sunning himself on the bridge leading into downtown Gildford, Montana.
I certainly did not expect to see such a critter and was only a foot or so from stepping on him. He did not move as I backed off a couple more feet. He looked at me...flicked his tongue a few times. Initially he was stretched out fully, but then pulled up that partial coil.
No rattles. No Diamond Head. Beautiful Diamond Back - like markings, but do not believe he is a rattlesnake. His middle looked almost as though he/she is pregnant...or full from a recent din din.
I walked on. 10 minutes later as I drove SPIA past the spot, he was no longer there.
A small village, Kremlin, I walked to today.
Distances in Montana are vast.
That field on the right is wheat stubble from last year harvest.
Taken from the bridge over the lake from whence the snake probably came.
Gildford, looking back - North east - from US 2.
In late afternoon, puffy cumulus clouds gave way to towering cumulus nimbus racing at 45 mph across the sky...many trailing storm cells reaching the ground.
Wheat stubble under threatening storm clouds. The wind picked up to over 50 mph as I returned to SPIA about 4:30 pm.
I now know big snakes in Montana is not a myth. Live snakes do exist.
This beautiful fellow was sunning himself on a bridge right in the town of Gildford, not 200 feet from two homes...with lots of swing sets, bikes, etc. in the yard.
I do NOT believe this critter is a Rattle Snake. He has no rattles. He has a tiny head (his tongue was flicking wildly) which is not diamond shaped. He is about 5.0 feet long. His middle is about 3.5 inches diameter.
I would bet it is another of the Bull Snake family.
Above is taken earlier from the same bridge, looking back at the town of Gildford.
At daybreak, walked West on US 2 for 8 miles. We went for a bite of pancakes, then drove to the town of Fresno, Montana, where once again, SPIA was parked as I walked West on US 2 for 12 more miles.
We then drove to the town of Gildford, parked, as I walked a further 12 miles. Was going to spend the night in one of the smaller towns, but ended up driving an additional 20 miles to the larger town of Chester, Montana, where we are settled down in the City Park for the night.
In the morning, will walk BACK East on US 2, recovering the 20 miles driven today.
The next larger town, Shelby, Montana, is 42 miles distant. After returning from my morning 5-hour walk, will walk West on US 2 toward Shelby...to see how it goes. We may just stay a second night in Chester and go for Shelby on Friday.
Shelby is only about 70 miles from East Glacier Park, where we should arrive by Sunday.
This Cafe/Bar is for sale.
Click click to enlarge.
I was stopped by a Montana State Trooper today. His greeting was...get off the roadway...walk in the grass !
From there, we got down to the details of Montana law which states that pedestrians cannot walk on "roadways", but must walk on the berm (parking strip). His definition of the "roadway" was any part that is paved. I disagreed, saying all other States require vehicles to stay between the yellow center line and the side white line...whereas pedestrians must stay outside the white line.
He backed down from ordering me into the grass, agreeing that I would be OK if I stayed as far away from the white line as possible. I agreed. We shook hands. He drove off. I continued my walk, a few inches further away from the white line.
Believe an irate local called in that I was walking near the white line...which I was...and have been in every corner of America.
Only 325 more miles 'til Idaho.