The things I’ve seen while driving across Montana have been… interesting. I’m not talking about the endless fields or the cows or the mountains or anything like that. Nope, I’m talking about Montana’s government roadsigns. There’s the “Not Even Once” campaign against Meth. I’m totally on board with that one. Then there’s the disturbing Plan2Live billboards. Click on this link to see what I’m talking about http://www.plan2live.mt.gov/ – they are not for the faint of heart. And then today I saw no less than 20 electronic signs on I-90 with the current DUI death toll in MT. It’s 104 in case you’re interested. I also had to turn off my lane assist indicator because the winds were so strong, I kept getting blown across the lane and I was tired of listening to the stupid thing beeping at me.
Alright – back to more interesting things. Last I left off, I was enjoying a relaxing weekend in Helena. I left Monday morning and went to the Gates of the Mountain for a boat tour on the Missouri River. This was part of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. It was a good tour and we even saw a couple of bald eagles! Sadly, I didn’t get any decent pictures. Here are the decent pictures I did get (the road sign was en route and since it reminded me of Juno, I had to include it). The “Canyon Monster” is my fave:
From there, I headed off to Bozeman for some fun in the hot, hot sun. Bozeman is a great town with tons of stuff to do and if it wasn’t for their 9-month winters, it could have been a contender on the “Where is Jill going to live after it’s all over” list. I walked around downtown, hiked up to Palisade Falls (and dragged Juno along), Museum of the Rockies where they have a full-on T-Rex on display (so awesome), hit the Bozeman Hot Springs and the Bozeman Farmers Market.
On the foodie front, I bought a strange-looking Soyu cucumber at the local Co-op for my green juice. It tastes similar to an English cucumber. Side note: Why are all co-ops so friggin expensive?!?! I also enjoyed an amazing, albeit slightly crispy, bison grilled cheese sandwich at the farmers market. I even gave Juno a bite.
Today was another busy day. Departing from Bozeman, I stopped at the Grizzly Encounter about 15 minutes outside of town. This is a wonderful rescue and education sanctuary and Brutus and Bella were out when I arrived. Juno was even allowed to join me. They were so much fun to watch – especially when they interacted with each other. Here are my favorite pix:
After playtime with the bears, I went down to Red Lodge on the advice of pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to over the last few days. Red Lodge did not disappoint – really cute mountain town about an hour south of Billings. I’ve decided to decorate my MoHo fridge with stickers from the more “out of the way” places I’ve been. So far, I’ve got Stanley, Idaho and Red Lodge, Montana going.
Finally, I arrived in Billings. When I would tell people I’ve met that I was going to Billings, everyone asked me the same question… “Why?” Now that I’m here, I understand what they were talking about. There’s nothing wrong with Billings – it’s just there isn’t much going on. I did find a nice park to settle down for the evening but wouldn’t you know it – they have a “No Dogs in the Park” policy. WTF?! Juno and I are choosing to ignore the signs. And it seems everyone else ignores them too.
Alright – time to wrap it up. I’d like to end on some interesting things I’ve seen in restrooms the last couple of days. The first pic was taken in the bathroom at the ArchieBray Institute, a well-known place for ceramics. The second pic was the stall in the Museum of the Rockies. I’m really at a loss… Maybe it’s supposed to be a family stall?
One more day/night in Montana – and then onto South Dakota!