Tag Archives: Bozeman

Great Time For a Day Off

The EAA Airventure is going on in Oshkosh this week.  If you are planning to attend the event, Osh Vegas is definitely the place to be.  If you are planning on doing ANYTHING else in Oshkosh this week, you planned poorly.  Hence, I am glad to have a couple days off from commuting.

My friend Ben, who I knew back in Bozeman, and who hosted Wordy and I in Boston a few years back (and whose photo can be seen here), is on his way across the country to Bozeman once again– this time he’ll be teaching at MSU come fall.  Anyway, he’s staying with me for a day-plus while en route so we can take in a baseball game and a brewery tour.  It’ll be cool to get cousins Aaron and Matt, and Nick Petters in town for the game, too.  Hopefully, the Brewers know what the hell they’re doing, trotting Carlos Villaneuva out there for his first start in about a year and a half.

No matter what, we’re looking forward to a relaxing day in Milwaukee.

Hardly a Hotel to Be Had

We really need to keep better track of when that bike rally is going on in Sturgis if we’re gonna keep making these western road trips.

There wasn’t a hotel room to be had for about 300 miles around Sturgis, SD on Saturday night. We wound up with a campsite in Hardin, MT, where we slept in the car. At least there was a no-limit, no-coin-op shower and the bloody Internet!

I put up a post I wrote while we were off the grid from a few days ago (precedes this one). Glacier was pretty awesome, and we had a good time. I will try to write more about it when I have a little more time.

Last night we got a late start coming out of Bozeman, as we had stopped there for dinner and Michelle wanted to do a bit of shopping. We wound up taking a 1-hour tango lesson, so our quest for a hotel got a late start, and you know the rest.

Today we’re going to stop off in Deadwood, SD, probably Wall, and then hope to make Minnesota at least by the end of the day.

It’s gonna suck to go back to work.

Stage Three

We’re into the third segment of our vacation now as I write this from I-15 about 30 miles south of Great Falls.

The part of Montana is just as gorgeous as the rest. Michelle and I agreed that it feels more remote than the cities along I-90, even though it doesn’t look that different, mile to mile. We attributed this feeling to the fact that neither of us have ever been to this part of the state before.

The last few days at Storyhill Fest were a lot of fun. When we got there, I had this warm feeling of coming home. A lot of the same folks made the trip, but I thought that the overnighters might have actually been a little fewer. I have no actual data to back that up.

We camped in the same spot, and our new tent slept pretty well. Michelle was warm enough with her new sleeping bag– in fact, both of us got a little sweaty the first night. Overnight Monday into Tuesday, it rained off and on throughout the night, and there were a couple times I was woken and lied awake worrying about the fly blowing off in the gusty wind. This was irrational, of course, because the fly was tied to the tent which was staked to the ground and contained two sleeping people to weigh it down. The wind was blustery enough that a little rain did sneak under there and get inside at one point, though.

The performances themselves were great. We bought CDs from The Get Up Johns (a bluegrass brother duo), Meg Hutchinson (folk-pop singer-songwriter), and Edie Carey (see Meg Hutchinson). Aaron Espe and Justin Roth performed again too, but we already have all those CDs. Interesting development in the personal life of one of the artists– last year, Aaron Espe met a girl at the SH Fest, and two weeks ago, they got married. Kinda neat. Chris and John were great in their typical fashion. We heard a couple new songs, but I don’t remember them really specifically. Each of them played a new song that they admitted were works in progress.

As a sidebar, I asked Justin Roth if he had his house concert dates for Wisconsin in October filled up. He said he still had a Tuesday open, but since Milwaukee is so relatively close to his home in Minneapolis, I should just write and let him know if Jen wants to host a show at her house. Might try to do that.

On Tuesday, we skipped out on the daytime Fest activities in favor of a rafting trip on the Gallatin River. There was a place we found online that did a 2-hour trip for a little less than 50 bucks a head. We had a really good time. Our guide was this fun older guy named Jim. He was born in the U.P. and said he spent most of his adult life in Lansing. He knew a lot of Yooper jokes. We shared a boat with a group of four people from Houston who were in the area for a conference of some kind.

The river itself was a bit less challenging than what Michelle and I had hoped for. I think we were both hoping for something that would be a little harder than the trip we took on the Wolf River at home last August. I got the impression from the guides that this is simply a time of year when the river is pretty low and the rapids are not that rough. Maybe we should try coming back earlier in the summer, or specifically try to find a trip that’s tougher.

So with the rest of today we have to make it Glacier and get our tent up. That’s the extent of our plan. Tomorrow, we’re going on a horseback ride mid-morning, and on Friday I want to try to do some hiking and photographing. We’ll be leaving the park again on Saturday, and we’re shooting to take the “low road” (I-90) all the way across to Wisconsin. We’ll have stops back in Bozeman and in South Dakota along the way.

Til then…


Michelle and I had a slower start to our vacation than we originally planned. We rolled through Wisconsin a little bit slower, stopping in WI Dells to shop for a few things we didn’t have during packing– we both needed another pair or two of shorts, and we needed to buy some groceries, too. Throw in a stop at the Mall of America for dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and we were not nearly as far as we first thought we’d be by Friday night.

We rolled into the Comfort Inn in Jamestown, ND at about 1:00AM Saturday. We slept in until around 9 or so, grabbed some continental breakfast and were on the road again at quarter to 11.

As we proceeded through North Dakota, we realized it might be difficult to book a hotel in Bozeman on a weekend in the summer with really no notice whatsoever. Michelle made a call to AAA, and after we sat parked near an on-ramp for about 25 minutes (so as not to lose the phone signal), we had a room in Billings for Saturday and one in Bozeman for Sunday, because that was the best we could do.

The rooms were going to be more money than we wanted to spend, and as we contemplated what we should do with the rest of our Saturday, since we weren’t going to have to travel as far, Michelle dug through the Fodor’s guide and found some interesting things to see in Theodore Roosevelt Nat’l Park. The town of Medora, ND is the nearest settlement to the park, and Fodor’s mentioned a place called Custer’s Cottage as a nice little local establishment to hole up in. We thought we might as well make a call and see if we could get a room there, and as luck would have it, they had a cancellation for this weekend.

Rather than spending about $120 on a room in a Holiday Inn in Billings, we got a basement apartment with a kitchen, dining room, living room and of course a bed, for a paltry FIFTY DOLLARS. When we weren’t driving around the park or exploring some of the little shops and things in Medora, I spent the rest of the evening muttering to myself, “Fifty dollars,” and then breaking out in laughter. If you ever have occasion to visit Medora, Teddy Roosevelt Park, and the surrounding area, I highly recommend a visit here at the Cottage.

For now, though, we have to see a man about a horse, and then head out to Bozeman.

Early to Bed, and All That Sorta Crap

I was reading a post from Lifehacker this morning, and while some of the linked tips therein have a greater application to people who are a lot busier during their days than I generally am, the idea of getting up early and having a productive morning made me think back to living in Bozeman.

Particularly in the spring of that year, even though I had no job and no place to be other than class twice a week in the evening, I tried very hard to get myself to bed at 10 every night, and I got up around 5 every morning. I remember feeling really good about waking up, and there’s no doubt that I felt more creative and productive when I got a jump on things.

I’m thinking that I might have time for more interesting blogging first thing in the AM (shrugs). It’s worth a shot anyway, so I’ll try to keep you up to date and let you know how it goes…

Couple Misc. Notes:
– Super Bowl was pretty lame. It was interesting through the first half, but the Bears D really wore down as the game went on (prolly had something to do with the fact the offense couldn’t stay on the field– I’m looking at you, Rex). Joe and April came over, though, and we had Randy Balls, pizza, and grilled cheese sam’iches.
– I helped Michelle file her taxes, but I screwed something up and she’s actually due another 160 bucks or so. We’ll have to put through an amendment.
– Michelle really likes the idea of being able to easily share you camera-phone pics on the web, so she set herself up a Flickr acct yesterday, too. Only a couple pics so far, but watch for more: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuck2thefloor