Saturday, August 9, 2014

Two Items I Should Not Have Brought to Montana

Since you all know me so well, you are thinking either "she shouldn't have brought her drugs" or "she shouldn't have brought her guns."  Hahahaha.  No, what I shouldn't have brought are my jacket and my sweater.  They haven't been out of my suitcase and won't be as we will get home tomorrow.  The weather has been great, but hot.  Back to the mention of guns - I saw a pawn shop advertising "free guns."  Ugh!
We drove to Billings from Missoula yesterday and the wealth of prairie, hills, mountains, and rivers was enjoyable.  Bob and I have been trying to decide what our one memorable view has been this summer and it's way too difficult to decide. 
We always camp at the Billings' KOA as it's one of the best campgrounds anywhere.
It's beautifully treed.
We always get a site by the little dike; behind it is the Yellowstone River and then the rimrocks.
One of our neighbors had the BMW sports car.  He upset all his BMW friends when he had a hitch added to the car so that he could haul this little trailer.  Bob and I were delighted that he was such a rebel.  He wasn't willing to give up amenities though as you will notice his little camper has air conditioning.

Another neighbor had this cute fella sitting on her picnic table.  When I checked with her if I could take his picture, I noticed she had a cockatiel on her shoulder!  Strange  but fun.
There are always deer near the campground ... always.
We always have to eat one lunch at the Burger Dive.  We just know the food will be good in a place where there's a black velvet Elvis!  The Burger Dive is only open for lunch and by 11:15 there are people waiting in line for seats.
We go for the garlic/olive oil fries but the "Black Sabbathed" burger was mighty fine too.  The cook won $10,000 for this burger in a competition in Miami.  If I was a judge, I would pick it as a winner too.
The Billings fair was on and it is one heck of a cowboy fair.  The NBC affiliate was interviewing these young cowboys.
The hat supply was endless
as was other cowboy paraphernalia.
Girls and women of all ages wear cowboy boots with skirts or short shorts.  I should have stopped at Cowtown before we left home.  I would buy teal colored ones.
Each year a Habitat for Humanity home is built at the fairgrounds while the fair is on.  What a good way to get extra publicity for such a good endeavor.  Weyburn is building their first one so I'm very proud of our community.
This morning we went to the Billings' farmers' market where we enjoyed five blocks on amazing food .  There were at least five Hutterite semis with some of the freshest, cleanest produce you would see anywhere.  We had a good conversation with some of them about the best way to cook eggplant.
We also had a great conversation with one of the ladies who sold me some iris bulbs.  She told us the Big Sky Iris Club is made up of amateur iris growers like herself plus one professional iris grower. I asked her how many types of irises she grows and she replied, "300."  300 and she's an amateur!  Not only that, but she knows the name of every type!
We weren't going to resist this delicious fruit.
If I lived in Billings, I would buy gladioli every week at 20 stems for $10.  Jocelyn, remember how Mom & Dad would always have a bouquet for your birthday?
Whenever I take photos of people, I always ask permission and tell them I put some of them on a blog read by about 20 people.  This fellow wasn't laughing that it's read by just 20 people, he was laughing that I wanted his picture.
The garlic vendor has 27 different kinds of garlic.  Garlic is basically all the same; it's the soil conditions which give the different flavors.
I enjoy buskers at all times, but when the buskers are the entire Billings Ceilidh Band, then I really enjoy them!  Can you see at the back that one even hauled her harp down to the market.
Here's what we bought.  I plan to make dills tomorrow.  I should have lots of cucumbers but not for awhile so I decided to buy.
We're home now and we have memories not only of the beautiful places we've seen but also of the amazing people we have met.  We met a woman from Pennsylvania whose great grandfather fought in the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg.  We met a young couple from West Virginia at a waterfall in Glacier Park and within half an hour felt that we had known them forever.  We met Rotarians in Whitefish and Missoula who welcomed us and expanded our knowledge of their part of the world.  We live on a great planet and traveling makes us appreciate it even more than we normally do.
  We are blessed.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Alex Trebek sometimes has a Jeopardy category called "potpourri" and crosswords often have the answer "olio" when the clue is "hodgepodge."  That's what you are getting in this post - some potpourri/olio/hodgepodge.

Let's start with the chairs a Bigfork café has.  I covet them! 
The same café has these beautiful planters.
We had to say good-bye to Bigfork for another year after seeing their hilarious production of The Full Monty.  Kudos to the fine repertory actors, directors, choreographers, technicians, and, of course, stage managers,  who made this a fine season.
People my age will remember when they bought cherries at the store and a couple would be connected.  People my age probably put them over their ears just as I did so they could have cherry earrings.  Then some inane, mysterious health guideline came in saying stores could not sell connected cherries.  No more cherry earrings!  The good thing about buying direct from orchards is that you can once again have cherry earrings.
I love that this Missoula mall probably doesn't get any extra shoppers because of their flowers, but they choose to put them in anyway.
Downtown Missoula has orange toilets!
We drove into Missoula after the Bigfork musical on Tuesday night.  At about 11:30 traffic coming out of Missoula was bumper to bumper while our side of the highway was pretty much empty.  That's because Paul McCartney had a concert in this 70,000 person city.  25,000 attended!
The city renamed their hill with the M on it for Missoula to be Mount McCartney for the day.

Missoula has a county fair that's huge.

I always have to check out the 4-H kids, the FFA kids, and the critters.
I wouldn't normally show you a pig's butt end, but I liked how this fellow looked tattooed.
This hen was so proud of its ribbons that it laid an egg.

One of the specialty food at this fair is the lemondairy.  It's a float made with lemonade slush and soft ice cream.  Bob and I may have to start a booth to sell it at the Weyburn Fair.
This girl showed me how her chicken likes to be cuddled.
And this girl convinced me that my dog doesn't need to diet as her 14 pound rabbit outweighs him by two pounds.  She assured me that her rabbit isn't overweight; it's just from a large breed.
Tonight we saw the movie The 100 Foot Journey.  I recommend that you see it too.  I don't often love the movie more than the book, but in this case I did.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Walk in the Woods

After a very friendly Rotary meeting in Whitefish, Bob and I headed back to Glacier National Park to do a little hike.  It was very beautiful with a backdrop of high mountains and a chance to get up close with water and forest.  Some of the trees are over 200 feet tall.