Friday, February 26, 2010

Day Off!

I took today off from work to chill out or whatever I felt I needed to do. Even though it's been S-L-O-W as molasses in winter (very appropriate analogy, actually) I have been burnt out and in need of a little R&R. I suffer from chronic headaches and migraines, and lately they have been driving me out of my gourd. It felt so good today to just get out in the sunshine and fresh air! Florescent lighting makes me want to scream after a while.

I couldn't decide what to do with this extra day; should I sleep in? Take a drive? Both? Neither? I hated to waste it by sleeping all day, but that is what usually makes my head feel better. After a little discussion on Facebook, I decided to sleep in a little, then take a drive with my camera. I really can't afford the gas, but it was worth it.
I decided to head to Red Lodge, then make the loop through Roscoe, Absorakee, and Columbus, then back to Billings. Here is Lake Elmo State Park, just about 3 blocks up the street from my place. It's still frozen over, but is starting to get a few little areas where it's starting to thaw since the weather has been in the low 40's for a few days. But before I started out on my little road trip, I needed to perform a little maintenance.
Poor 'ol Rodeo; I don't treat her as well as I should, but she runs great for me all the time anyway. I got my hands all grimy from get the oil tank thingy lid off; however, a fortunate side effect of being a junk food junkie is that I always have tons of napkins in the rig! YAY!
And I had to be sure I had my trusty, musty map book too!
These map books are a must if you decide to go road tripping in your state. If you can find one for where you live, I highly recommend them. They show every single little highway, mountain road, logging road, river, lake, stream, etc. in a grid format. I love mine! It's faded from the sun and warped from tons of miscellaneous spilled liquids. I never leave home without it. Just don't sniff it. Trust me. Seriously bad idea.
I then headed on over to Taco John's for a bottle of water and a bacon, egg, and potato burrito (YAY - more napkins!). I whipped into their tiny parking lot and planned my route. Then it was off to the Interstate!
I left Taco John's at 10:20am. Got on I-90 and headed west, set the cruise at 65 and munched on my burrito. Eight miles from Laurel, the speed limit changes to 75; I up my speed to 70 and reset the cruise. I hate driving 75. My poor Rodeo doesn't need that kind of stress and I am sucking gas fast enough, thank you very much.
I took exit 434 for Laurel and Red Lodge; took only 10 minutes. Hung a left at the light onto highway 212 West. Now only 44 miles to Red Lodge! Here you can see the highway to Red Lodge with the Bear Tooth Mountains in the distance.
As I entered the town of Joliet, I passed this handsome fellow outside the Charles Ringer Studio and Gallery. I love his toes!
Just outside of Roberts, I saw this magnificent creature. I had to stop and capture him! He nearly got me into trouble too; the road has no shoulder, but there were no cars coming in either direction. I pulled over as far as I could and jumped out, snapped a few pictures, then ran back across the road to jump in the rig. As I was putting my seat belt on, a dark car pulled up next to me and stopped; I looked over and nearly had a stroke - a Montana Sheriff!! He gave me his best get-your-fat-butt-outta-here gesture and I immediately gave him my most sincere Holy-Crap-officer-didn't-see-you-sorry-I'm-going-RIGHT-NOW-gesture. I think my only saving grace was that he had two guys in his back seat that it appeared he was, um, transporting to Red Lodge and he didn't want to try to write me a ticket in the middle of the road with them in the car. WHEW!!! There were some other nifty things I would have stopped to clicky-clicky at, but I was too shook up!
So, now I arrive at Red Lodge. I thought that I would have a nice mosey around town, maybe find a little bakery to be bad in; no one's going to be there on a weekday in winter, right? Wrong. The streets were all heavily lined with cars and there was no where to park; it appeared that there were also some chartered buses full of people arriving, so I said NEVER MIND! I went to the local super market and got a hot dog and a drink, then ate them in the car.
So now I am leaving Red Lodge and am on my way to Roscoe. The scenery was so beautiful!!! Unfortunately, it is a very narrow and windy highway with less shoulder than before, so it's hard to find a place to pull over. But here are a few I managed to take when I found a place to pull over:
After passing by Luther, I passed the house that was for sale that had been infested by Barn Wrens; I blogged about that place about two years or so ago. It looked so forlorn; nothing has been done to it since the last time I saw it, but it does appear that the birds are gone (for now).

I was just passing the sign that said ROSCOE when I crossed over the East Rosebud Creek and saw a cow standing down in the creek! I knew I had to capture that!
That water had to be soooo cold - but it would definitely be refreshing! Here is the stream from the other side of the bridge:
After Roscoe, there was this historical marker, along with a memorial erected in 1938 for an old Montana pastor:I also really liked this fence post at the same site:
I moved on and took the frontage road from Columbus to Park City, a road that I have seen several times but had never been on. I am so glad I took it! I passed this and had to turn around and go back for a second look:
This is some sort of spill way that flows out and down into a little stream below. Did you catch that it is frozen solid? That water that looks like it is spilling down is a frozen solid column of water, and so is the big, thick mound at the bottom that looks like water splashing up!! Cool, huh?

I finally got back home at about 3:30pm. It was a lovely day and I am glad I took advantage of it.
Now I need a nap.

1 comment:

  1. Perfect timing! I was really missing Montana and especially my little piece of it and your photos were just what I needed to brighten my day.

    Thank you so much!

    Big hugs from Idaho,



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