Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Family Stories

Another unseasonably rainy day here in Montana, a good opportunity to do some laundry & get a haircut while the car is being checked out – got to love those Check Engine lights. Apparently a Check “Check Engine Light” Light would have been redundant, as for some reason the engine is misfiring a little. No big deal, at least I hope so, & I suppose if the car had to be in the shop for a day it’s good that it happened here in Billings where we can get chores done.

I was surprised to see a oil refinery in the middle of fields beside I-90 last night, apparently Montana is one of the bigger oil producing states in the country. Also, we saw three big fuselages (I assume of 737s en route to/from Seattle) on railcars last night as we pulled in to town. That’s something I’ve never seen before.

So with the gloomy weather & uncertainty while waiting for the car verdict, I was pleased to see a very sweet post from Megan this morning. She even managed to get a nice picture of Finn & me the morning we left.
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I think I’d be hassled if I didn’t also mention the amusing photo of me & her early one morning twenty-five odd years ago. But if you want to see that you’ll have to go to Megan’s page & read the entry – she takes better photos than me & writes a whole lot less wordily.

Update - after occupying ourselves in Billings all day, we got the car back.  It was just a timing issue - so with new plugs & leads the engine is firing as it should.  Also took the opportunity to patch a small hole in the exhaust & replace a CV boot - car is now much quieter.  Nice to get all this out of the way on another very rainy day.  JR's was a great workshop, a self-proclaimed Subaru guru (that rhymes nicely) & JR did everything possible to get us back on the road that day & gave us tips as to where to stay next along the I-90.

The persistent rain continued as we traveled south-east towards Wyoming.  Pleasingly, the battle site of Little Bighorn (somewhere I never thought I'd ever go) was a short hop from the interstate.  We managed to get there just before the Visitor Center closed & had a look around before braving the wind & rain to look over the area of Custer's Last Stand.  I think that battlesites are best viewed when the weather is so bleak - it doesn't come close to the horrors that must have happened there, but it does turn it in to something less than a walk in the park. 
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I was surprised to learn that the battle was in June 1876, for some reason I expected it to be earlier than that.  The Lakota & Cheyenne managed to comprehensively win this famous battle, but lost the war.  As we continued towards our overnight stop of Sheridan, the miles & miles of beautiful rolling countryside continued - we began to understand why the local tribes fought so hard to keep their nomadic way of life, it really is a spectacular area - even if it was raining a lot.

Already, this short distance in to Wyoming everything is much more western - the main street looks fantastic, we shall have to explore it in the morning before heading to South Dakota.


  1. I just got all excited and wondered if you were going to ride the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which I've been hearing people talk about, but apparently that's North Dakota.

    PS. It was SO WARM here yesterday. It's almost like it's Spring or something.

  2. Nope, won't make it there. With a bit of luck, maybe I can ride in Nebraska in two days' time.

    I think you'll need to take Finn on some singletrack to get him to sleep in the Chariot...