Montana Vistas

I drove down to Hamilton Montana this morning on Hwy 93 south of Missoula. I was intrigued about the town, as a good friend of mine has that last name. Very handsome little town, I was impressed. I veered eastward onto Hwy 278 via 43 and felt right at home as I encountered towns named Victor and Jackson.

Signs were everywhere reminding you that this area was a major part of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Big Hole Battlefield. The mountain peaks have names like Sheep, Squaw and Homer, and huge cattle ranches appear to own the land…

SlideShow (Montana Vistas)

Categorized as Vacation 2

Free In America

What’s the expression? Oh yea, Free, White and over 21. I definitely fit that category!

I had dinner in Billings yesterday and I asked the waitress if there was a good bar downtown. She pointed to a joint across the street and said “that place is nice but it’s mostly a younger crowd” to which I replied “Oh, never mind, I only hang out with old people”. She peered hard through my sunglasses and the corner of her mouth curled up as she said “that was funny”. Forty years ago that would have been an I just got lucky moment :-)

I’m writing this post on a paper tablet in my lap as I roll along westbound through Montana, smack dab in the middle of Big Sky Country. The mountain ranges are so far apart that the sky really seems flat and expansive. It’s an amazing effect.

There’s no life experience better than being free in America, especially when virgin areas are presenting themselves to your eyes in magnificent glory.

Being old enough to appreciate it makes it better, being a white man means I’m hassled less, and it’s only costing me 12.50 per hundred miles :-)

SlideShow (Free In America)

Categorized as Vacation 2

Victor Parade 2013

The 4th of July parade in Victor was terrific, lots of entries and a great considerate crowd. I’ve seen some parades run amok here with people closing in on the route from both sides and there’s barely room for the parade to get through. Not today!

Steph was handing out balloons with her boss so I headed south down the line and hung out with my buddies from Joshua Smith. The best thing about this location was that I was out of earshot from the obnoxious local broad who knows everybody in the valley and was armed with a microphone and a stage!

I took over 300 shots of this parade, from angles approaching and going away, then trimmed them down to 180. I’ve created a special page that lets you click to view any of the photos. Click the picture below to open the photos page.

But, the best way to view this parade is to kick back and watch the SlideShow.

When your done watching the show, play this:

Categorized as The Valley

Balloons 2013

Happy 4th of July! Went down to the fairgrounds this morning, coffee in one hand and camera in the other. The turnout for this years balloon event was very impressive and we’ve been here for many of them.

The weather was perfect, the balloons were gorgeous and I managed to get this post up before heading off to the Victor parade. Now that’s impressive!

We even got in free because Stephs employer is a sponser.

…and I managed to upload this little video:

SlideShow (Balloons 2013)
Categorized as The Valley

Taint Time

The last couple of days have fallen into a category best defined as taint. You know, it ain’t work and it ain’t vacation. It ain’t the 4th of July and it ain’t the day after. I decided to forgo my first journey until after the parade in Victor because, well, I love it. There’s no better small town parade on the face of the earth!

That said, Steph is actively involved on the parade sidelines this morning promoting her employer, Suburban Propane, by handing out balloons and running a raffle in front of the 66 Station. She’s also working the Balloon Glow later this evening and as a result gets a full blown ride around the valley in one of those bad boys tomorrow!

I’ll be up early with her, watching her fade up into the sky while I’m fading out of town into the great Northwest…

Taint time does not mean latent brain time. I’ve been wrapping up my latest Google Map app which allows you to navigate across the landscape of America viewing polygons of Zip Codes and Counties while dissecting the information underneath.

Click Here, enter a zip code and submit it. Once the app starts, click around the zip code for a new one, toggle to county mode up in the corner, and click markers for more info.

Categorized as Various

Scratch ND

I drove to Rexburg this morning for some final supplies before starting my first trip and I stopped at our base to chat with a couple drivers. I mentioned that one of my stops was Williston ND, the oil boom town, and Jan asked “Why in the hell would you go to that armpit?”, or something to that effect :-)

It turns out she worked construction up there and watched the boom unfold. She said you travel through hundreds of miles of nothing to get there and then there’s nothing there but trucks. I’d already concluded it would be expensive to hang around and accommodations were out of the question. Oh well, scratch that!

So, my carefully planned adventure is tossed up in the air and who knows where I’ll land after leaving Billings on Saturday. I guess you’ll just have to drop by here to find out!

Categorized as Vacation 2


The folks living in the foothills of the Big Hole mountains have the best views in the Valley. I drove up there today to get some shots but there’s smoke over the Tetons! I don’t know if it’s a local controlled burn or not. You can see the haze off to the left.

Anyway, to get here I headed west on Packsaddle off Hwy 33 and traveled to the main fork in the road. The little road you see here just wraps up, around and back.

Drag the map down and left to journey back on Packsaddle.

Categorized as The Valley


I’m going to start walking regularly this Summer and to kick it off I walked around our sub-division loop today. Approaching the backside of our house I realized it’s not a view I see too often. This shot has the creek, the field of weeds, our yard and the Tetons.

Categorized as House