Travel Log - Montana
Montana, June 9-12

My next angel came in the form of Jerry, the Exxon guy who located a tiny metal connector somewhere that wasn't connecting.  Anyway, the ignition appears to be fixed.  My friend Jan arrived at the station and wow! we were off.

Now Jan is just one of the most outragously wonderful warrior women I know.  We immediately had to eat something, ride something and then get tattoo'd.  It's a female bonding experience. 

She owns a huge tricycle thing--a motorcycle with 3 wheels, red metallic and a great seat, like a balcony behind her just for me.  We rode all over Billings looking at the art horses.  They have art cows in Portland and in Billings they have horses that are painted, stickered, muraled, and covered in porcelian.  Jan and I both want several.  Remember, these horses are life-size.  One is called Dale Earnhorse, Jr and is done up like a red race car, a seat inside the horse's back and sponsor stickers on its sides and silver wheels on its ankles.  We don't know much about art but we love these equine masterpieces. 

Jan surrounds herself with love:  3 dogs and 2 cats.  Something is always either in my lap or panting in my face and I feel totally entertained.  Last night I think that was a cat in bed with me. 

Next time you're hankerin' for a tattoo of your very own, check in on Eagle Tattoo on Grand Avenue in Billings.  David "Little Vinnie" McAuliffe did a lovely job on Jan's roses and he says that 85% of their customers are women.  The place was full of women lined up for lady bugs, paw prints and to look at the new photos of David's 4-month old who is showing signs of remarkable intelligence.  Mom Brianna is a rather breathtaking redhead who makes Grace (of "Will & Grace") look rather plain.

Party with Jan's friends at Rick's house (it was his birthday, he must be 105 if he's a day, but still a rocking Parrothead) and listened to interesting observations about Butte, Montana about 200 miles from Billings.  From a town of 115,00 people, Butte is down to about 10,000 folk and a rather large mining pit.  Makes me wonder what happened to all those houses?  Abandoned?  So if you're feeling crowded or you're sick of traffic and lots of people, why not check out Butte?  Sounds like being a real estate agent in Butte is like directing traffic in the Mojave Desert.

Several airline pilots at this party and interesting to note that many of them are headquartered in southwestern cities but continue to call Billings home and fly here just because "THEY LIKE IT HERE." 

Enjoyed having a gearhead talk with Auggie about 3-wheeled trikes and Corvair motors and road travel in general. 

Now remember what we learned from P.T. Barnum at his museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut?  Well, if you have that lesson well-learned, you'll need it for this next part.

Jerry down at the Exxon station here in Billings fixed the ignition problem with Seno and Saturday night Jan and I partied with friends.  Sunday I was due to leave for Yellowstone.  Overcast and wet skies sent me packing to the net and weather for Montana and Wyoming.

After two hours of mileage charts, routes, snow levels and road condition reports I elected to stay put.  The pressure was ON, however, because I am due to be in Reno for a speaking engagement June 13.  I could have made it but there is snow starting at 4,500 feet and if you check a map you will find that Billings and I are on the EAST side of the mountain range.  I even thought of heading south but high winds were threatening to knock the trucks off the interstates.

If you're going to be stuck, Jan's place is an excellent choice.  So now the plan is:  fly to Reno, do the gig and fly back to Billings, pick up Seno and resume the trip.  Jan and I immediately started making plans for all the fun things we can do so I get a Reiki treatment this morning and we'll be reading "Wishcraft" together and doing the exercises.  Anybody out there wanting to lock into "what's next?" for your life, I highly recommend Barbara Sher's book on crafting your wishes.  Available ANYWHERE.

If P.T. was right, then this is definitely for the best.  Ya'll stay safe and well today and make the most of whatever you've got for today.

He ran across the parking lot and will run right into your little ole heart if you're not careful.  Some people are loaded with chutzpah and then there's this kid.  James Fulkerson is destined for greatness althought right now all he wants to be is a dj so he can bash back at Howard Stern for "making fun of retarded kids." 

Well, I never listen to H. Stern so I really don't know but I did listen to James Fulkerson who so charmed me in a Billings parking lot that yes, I signed up to help him make his sales so he can go to Rome.  He and his lovely accomplice, Johnna Williams are both anxious to get on a plane and see what there is of the world.  So help them out!  Buy a gift subscription for your grandchild or your boyfriend to any magazine you think they'd like....and call 717-285-4205 and James/Johnna will do the rest.  Honestly, these hardworking students put themselves OUT THERE to strangers--you'd hire them in a minute to work for you too. 

Jerry at EXXON station on 27th in Billings fixed the ignition problem.
Jan Barry and her trike -- personal tour of the "Art Horses" currently displayed in in Billings. 3 of these are Jan's dogs -- aren't they great?
Jan and Dickens kiss-kiss before checking Seno's steering. Dickens is more interested in tummy rubs than old cars.  He HAS his priorities.
Bri and "Vinnie" at the Eagle Tatto Emporium. Jan enduring great pain getting her heart-shaped rose design.
Mechanic goes upsidedown to find the source of Seno's speedometer problem.
One of Billing's art horses -- a fiberglass purple filly and real horsepower.
A race horse: Bale Earnhorse, Jr.
Pun on the run -- check the labels.
Even the exhaust system was interesting.
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