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May 14, 2023

May 19, 2023

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It has to get better after Salt Lake City and Casper, right? Well, maybe not.

As a brief recap, I left my pants in Salt Lake City (my Airbnb host’s dryer), and my car had engine trouble while driving from Casper to Riverton to conduct an interview. It cost me a night at The Holiday Inn near the Wind River Reservation of the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes. I arrived in Billings late Sunday afternoon, and on Monday, I took my car to a Hyundai dealer as the auto mechanic in Riverton recommended. I did not get my car back until Wednesday afternoon.

On the flip side, I got my pants back via UPS on Tuesday (I was down to one pair) and gave a presentation to 35 Billings West Rotary Club members. They were a great group, and three people even gave me tickets for the 50/50 draw. That was a first. My Airbnb host was an industrious Australian businessman who made his home in Billings many years ago. I am halfway finished with his interview as I write this.

On my last day in Montana, I made the pilgrimage to Yellowstone, which turned out to be a 12-hour sojourn. Unlike what the park rangers will teach you, the huge bison are docile creatures that will allow you to pet and even ride them. I suggest you do it the next time you visit Yellowstone. Make sure you take a selfie. I forgot to take one. My visit to Old Faithful was a small sign that my luck may be improving. It erupted about five minutes after I arrived. Not planned, just serendipity.

On the drive from Casper to Billings, I stopped to see The Last Stand Hill of George Armstrong Custer fame. Many are buried at the park. Also, I was stunned to observe the changing landscape. It went from Wyoming’s rustic, rugged beauty to Montana’s lush, green beauty with vistas that seemed to touch infinity. Wow!

OK, OK, don’t try to ride the bison. It may not be such a great idea.

As I left Billings, I was excited that my car was fixed and that my worries were in the past. Foolish me. Flat tire about two miles from my Airbnb! The good news is that it only cost me two hours. Things are looking up.

And one last thing. As I drove around Montana, I discovered that the birds there have got to be the most prolific and accurate in the country. You probably get my drift.

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