Montana Highways

Bozeman’s a pretty cool town; it has all the stuff you need to be considered civilized, a significant percentage of the population is associated with the university in some capacity, so the (um, how to put this gently?) redneck influence is reduced, and it is small enough that it would be very easy to use a bicycle as one’s primary means of transportation. Plus, it’s got a couple of pretty nice bars.

Oscar John’s place isn’t that large, made to feel smaller because it is filled with toys. I’m not talking about nerf balls or action figures here, John’s toys are of the high-end sort. (Question: What do you do when you have too many CD’s for your jukebox? Answer: Buy another jukebox!) I expect that the computing power of his remote control far exceeds that of the Apollo spacecraft. He’s still tweaking some of the commands on it (you set up the commands on your computer then transfer them to the remote.) It is a gadget-lover’s wet dream, and John so surpasses my love of toys that is makes me look like a Quaker. (Although I did get some credit when he learned I was traveling with my own wireless network.)

I call it John’s place, but we stay here with the permission of Oscar, a cat, who is spry considering his twenty years.

Out for a cruise John’s favorite toy of all is parked outside, and we have been exploring the highways of Montana in it. It’s a Miata like mine, except he has added on a really nice sound system and some other go-fast parts. Also, there isn’t a giant suitcase in his passeger seat. That’s a big plus. So is the radar detector.

Buuilging Our first day out clouds covered the tops of the mountains, but it was still a great trip. I think, even after all these years, Lewis and Clark would still recognize it. The grass is probably shorter, and there are fences and buildings and cows instead of bison, and highways with cars hurtling along, and bridges over the rivers and railroad tracks and fly fishermen, and billboards and no Indians, but the sky is still Big, and the mountains are still majestic. The Missouri River is pretty much where they left it, though perhaps tamer.

The Indians that subsequently got kicked off the land may have a harder time recognizing it now, since they’re not on it.

As you can see from the picture above (That’s John driving, me in the passenger seat), the beard is getting pretty bushy. When I imagine my face I don’t have a big beard, so when I see pictures, especially with myself in profile, I see just how ugly it’s shaping up to be. I’m glad I didn’t drop the camera on that shot; at highway speeds that would have been the last of it. I have a few more pics that were good enough to not throw away, but most of them will be for the upcoming Yellowstone entry.

11 thoughts on “Montana Highways

  1. Hmmm… You and Pat both, you remember to put sunscreen on your ears and then don’t get it rubbed in all the way. At least Pat now has the excuse that he can’t reach his right ear until the cast comes off.

    Interesting thought — how does Oscar relate to John’s electronic toys? The cats who share Five O’Clock Somewhere with me have different approaches: Dulce, the Maine Chance Cat, mostly ignores my toys, but Tres, the Turkish Van lookalike, loves to push buttons. He has been known to make the printer print out a page that’s blank except for a small smiley face — that’s what his mood usually is. Cat hairs also can be a problem, especially with the computer in Albuquerque, which still has a mechanical mouse. The optical mouse up here is much more resistant to cat-hair problems.

  2. I’m very impressed with your papparazzi shot of Jerry Garcia and Michael Moore, touring top down. How did you catch them? I thought garcia was dead? When are you gonna show pictures of yourself in this trip?

  3. Jerry Garcia and Micheal Moore? That’s rich! But which is which? And don’t say “the one with the ugly beard” (Ugly one with the beard?).

  4. Doh! you took my only answer. I’ve painted myself into a corner of back-handed compliments. The karma will come when Jer visits and post pictures of me.

  5. Also, made me happy to see that Oscar is still catting about! I remember him when I was but a lad! Mmmm, fish tacos at Rosa’s…

  6. OK, first, in that picture what you think is sunscreen on my ear is actually grey hair flappin in the breeze.

    Second, Jerry-Berry’s dead, man. That’s Fidel Castro. JFK is in the trunk.

  7. I should grow a beard. Its that initial, dad-blamed itchy phase that makes it hard to face. Plus, my beard would be a poor pretender to that czech caterpiller that once crawled over your face. Must be the beer. Anyway, since neither fella is smoking a cigar I still can’t tell who is Castro. But I can tell you that Jerry is the one with the beautiful legs. And the hat.

  8. Oh, that’s grey hair? I thought is was a hearing aid!

    Downloaded Mozilla and no longer get the “get a better browser” graphic.

  9. That’s because you have a better browser. Every time you go t a Web site, you vote. You either vote for Microsoft or you vote for Web standards. The owner of the site can and does track the percentage of the various browsers used to visit. Only when the percentage is high enough will the designers of the site be able to use the advanced features that IE does not support.

  10. Actually, for the first week or so after the accident, Pat couldn’t shave, and he began to grow a beard. It looked like it might shape up into something interesting, concentrating in the goatee zone. But no, he’s too conservative, I guess. He dusted off an old electric shaver that he can use one-handed, and now he looks like a respectable Republican again.

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