Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heather and Ollie drive the Beartooth Hwy

Last Sunday Ollie and I took a lovely drive on the Beartooth Hwy. It is about 75 south of Billings, through Red Lodge and into Wyoming. The summit is 10,980' and change - 400' below the tip of Mt. Hood in Oregon. The drive is breathtakingly gorgeous from both directions, and the air is soooooooo clean - I wish I could bottle it up and take it home. There were lots of motorcycles on the highway; it's very popular with large groups and individuals alike. We stopped about 3/4 of the way up the pass at an overlook to take a few pictures and use the potties. Please to enjoy:The little chipmunk was so cute, and it wasn't until I was focusing on him that I realized he was eating...a fly. Yep, wings and legs were just spinning off in every direction while he nibbled on him. Therapy anyone? We continued on down the other side of the pass and headed towards Cooke City. We couldn't afford to go into Yellowstone Park, so we found a cool little turn out called Flume Trail about five minutes outside of Cooke City and turned around there. Here are a few pics from that spot:Lots of people had their four-legged family members along with them to enjoy the day; I loved this doggie's daisy bandana, so I had to get a snap of it (and her owner's particularly nice hiney managed to sneak it's way in there too - oops!). As we drove out of the parking area, the owner of the cute rear...err...uh...doggie waved to us as Ollie and I blushed, smiled, and waved back like idiots. On our way back onto the highway, we spotted this waterfall - the first picture is how it looked from the road, then there is a close up on it:
We had such a nice day. The mosquitos were HORRIBLE as they are that time of year (so I found out afterwards while talking with a co-worker) and Ollie and I looked like we had the chicken pox the next day with all the bites. We stopped at the Top Of The World Store and I was standing in line to use the potty with nine other people, and each of us had our very own cloud of not less than 30 mosquitos swarming around us. West Nile Virus anyone?

We then arrived back in Red Lodge and went to the candy store (shut up). We then cruised around town so that Ollie could snap some pictures of this quaint old mountain town to send home her to family. We spotted what promised to be an extra bad action rock and gem store and got out to investigate. Well, I should say Ollie got out - my door was locked and refused to UNlock. I was locked into my own vehicle. And not like in that funny Family Guy episode where Peter locked himself inside the car; this was complete brain freeze and feeling totally helpless. So I managed to get Ollie's attention and asked her to try to unlock my door from the outside with the key - no dice.

Once we arrived back at Ollie's place, I realized that I had no idea how I was going to get out! You see, I am only 5'2"; the Rodeo has bucket seats, a center console, a stick shift and an emergency brake all between me and the passenger's seat. I have not waited 42 years to have sex only to lose my virginity to the emergency brake while trying to lift my 300+ lb carcass into the next seat in order to get out of the freaking truck!!! So, since Ollie's driveway is on a steep angle, I parked on the street. We laid the passenger seat all the way back, slid my driver's seat all the way back and laid it flat, left the emergency brake off, and I climbed/scrambled/crawled into the passenger seat and out the passenger side door. Awesome! We figured that the temporary block that is holding my non-working electric window up shook loose and was now blocking the lock and there was nothing I could do but wait until Monday to have it fixed. Neat.

Monday morning arrived as did I at work - now having crawled in and out of my crippled rig five times. A guy came and fixed it, and I was walking on air; elated at the thought of not having to get in and out the hard way anymore. Whew!! Lunch came and went - no problems. After work I went to the grocery store, went to get out, and - you guessed it - was locked in AGAIN. Must...not...even...think...of...using...the...f-word. I flew back downtown to the glass shop and called them from the curb only to be told that there was nothing they could do about it until the following morning. MUST...NOT...REPEATEDLY...YELL...THE...F-WORD...AT...THE...TOP...OF...MY...LUNGS.
The following morning the same guy came and picked up the truck and took it back to the shop. It turns out that the temporary window block is fine; it's the locking mechanism that has now fallen apart. more seemingly minor thing that I cannot afford to fix. I was so depressed; not because of the lock not working but because of what it represented. One more thing going wrong and no money to fix it. The glass shop guy recommended that I not lock the door anymore and I should be fine. Wow - really Sherlock? The only problem with that is the fact that we all live in a society - even in Billings, Montana - where some people have a tendency to remove things from your unlocked vehicle that do not belong to them. Hence, the use of DOOR LOCKS YOU MORON. Oh well. It could be worse. I just wish it was better.


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