In yesterday's post I forgot to tell you the funniest thing that happened at Little Bighorn. As we were leaving the tour buses were parked end to end along the drive and the first one said "Lamers" on the back (which is a local bus company headquartered less than 5 miles from our door) so I stopped, rolled down the window, and said to the driver who was standing in the bus' shade, "You from Green Bay?" "Yep," he said, "you?" "Green Bay." We both laughed. He said most of his passengers were too but some were from all over. We wished each other safe travels and I drove away. Earlier when I was off snapping some pix and Durwood was sheltering from the 90 degree heat and blazing sun in the air-conditioned van, a woman rapped on the window and when he rolled it down said, "We're from Sauk City (down near Madison in the south central part of the state), where're you from?" Wisconsinites are so friendly and eager to greet their co-Badgers on the roads. We gave and got a lot of "hey, Wisconsin"s with waves and smiles along the way.
We drove from Hardin, Montana (at the gas station on our way out of town the car at the pump ahead of us was 2 guys from Richland Center, WI on their way to Eugene, Oregon--can't get away from Wisconsinites) to Bozeman, Montana the next day, a bit over 3 hours' drive. We stopped in Big Timber, Montana for lunch at a gas station/restaurant/convenience store/casino. ????? Seems to be a Montana thing. We drove straight up I-90 between the Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains which were breathtakingly beautiful and had snow patches on their tops. Eek. I enjoyed the mountains much more driving by them than going on that crazy Beartooth Highway which is about as wide as a pencil line that snakes up, way up past 10,000 ft., and then plunges back down, switchbacking all the way.
We went straight to the Museum of the Rockies when we hit Bozeman. They say they have the world's largest collection of fossils and we enjoyed seeing a bunch of them. I thought the coolest were the bones still in the plaster "jackets" they encase them in to get them from the field to the lab. In one exhibit a pair of women were painstakingly scraping away everything in the jacket that wasn't bone. One of them had come out to explain what they were doing to the group ahead of us but went back into her little booth as we came up. Drat. We spent a few hours looking at triceratops skulls and skeletons of all sorts of prehistoric lizards and bird ancestors, then went to our motel to stretch our car and museum-tired bones.
The next morning we didn't rush to check out because I found a yarn shop in Bozeman called Stix. Durwood's a good sport and let me park him on Main St. (in the shade) while I dashed across the street to fondle the yarn. I got 3 patterns for a buck each, a skein of locally-dyed sock yarn in a color called "choco rainbow" and 5 skeins of Sun City, a cotton and acrylic yarn that was on sale. On Sale! Two of my favorite words, especially when it comes to yarn. Then we stopped back at the Museum of the Rockies to get a pair of earrings I liked for my birthday (which is 2 days from today, if you're interested), had soup for lunch in a granola crunchy cafe across the street, great soup. Durwood had clam chowder with a slice of gorgeous multigrain bread and I had bacon & ham chili with a corn muffin. After that we beat feet for Gardiner, Montana and Yellowstone National Park. Eeeee!
This afternoon I had to zip to the grocery for a few things I need to make soup this weekend (2 kinds!) and as I was coming back I came around a corner and there was a pair of fawns tiptoeing across the road. Deer! Again! But I was driving slowly anyway and screeched to a halt as they went by too quickly for me to dig out my camera but, seriously? More deer? I wasn't even driving Durwood's van. Tsk.
Speaking of Durwood's van, we took it to the dealership collision department yesterday for an estimate and the guy said it looks like most of the damage is cosmetic so he thinks that there's a good chance that the insurance company will fix it rather than total it. I hope for his sake they say "fix it."
The first batch of soup is done. It's Pappy's Corn and Tomato Soup. Durwood's dad used to make it so it's a sentimental favorite with him. I found some bone-in beef shanks for a reasonable price at the grocery yesterday (why are bones so expensive???) so I used them as my base, adding homegrown Roma tomatoes, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves from the patio pots, and Sunnyhill Farms corn from the freezer. You totally wish you were here, it smells terrific. I just dipped out a tiny bowl for Durwood and he approves. Whew. Chicken soup with yellow squash, spinach, and green beans is on the agenda for tomorrow.
August 30--Willem de Kooning, Untitled. Fiona's dreams were chaotic. Red faces jutted at her, turning into clenched fists with white knuckles where there had been teeth. She tossed and moaned, winding herself in the sheet. Her dreams were loud and brash, keeping her cornered, denying her rest. "Green," she said as she turned in her sleep. Carlo stopped, his left foot held up for a moment, startled she had spoken. He thought of summer games of "Red Light, Green Light" played in the neighborhood after supper. Some nights there would be a dozen kids or more trying to move up to whoever was "it" with their back to the players, listening for movement, ready to turn shouting "red light," ready to stop being "it," to get back into the game. It was hard not to giggle as he undressed and slid between the sheets, stretching out his hand to touch Fiona and softly say "I love you" before falling asleep himself.
Today would have been Mom's 86th birthday. I miss her. I miss her daily bridge game rehash calls and I really miss her getting to enjoy LC.