If it’s Springtime in Montana, try to travel along Highway 271 between Avon, Montana and Ovando, Montana. Riding through the headwaters of the Blackfoot River is like stepping back in time. You will be hard pressed to find any 21st century introductions. To make the trip even more fun, take the thirteen-mile-long gravel road from the unincorporated town of Helmville, Montana to Ovando. What you will see is a vast open plateau of lush green and turn of the century ranches that are getting harder to find as populations grow. Go slow and take time to listen to the “Barking Elk” (below) or watch the Bluebirds fly around their nest.
Bouncing down Montana gravel roads is hard on car passenger tires. So, It wasn’t a big surprise when the front driver-side tire went flat around 9 PM, Sunday night.
The pleasant surprise came once I realized my unscheduled “pit stop” to change the tire meant, I was parked between a cow elk (pictured) and her calf. Click on the minute-and-a-half video to hear the calf and the distant cow exchange “barks.” If you listen real close, you just might hear the Mother Elk “bark” from across the valley: “Hurry, or you will be late for Soccer practice!”