Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little Big Horn Days

We usually try to get out of town for Little Big Horn Days but this year we ended up being in the parade.  While we were in Red Lodge signing up for the Father's Day Fun Run, the marketing director for the dealership asked us if we would ride in the parade in Hardin escorting a float with veterans.  We didn't know anything about a veterans float.

The marketing director, Colette, said that she got a phone call from a woman in Hardin asking if the Harley group would ride in the parade as an escort.  Colette was trying to get the word out to people she knew and that she only had 4 of her friends.  Colette was wondering if Gary would get the word out to other veterans. Gary was upset at first because nobody in Hardin contacted him to do this.  I had to remind him that not everyone in Hardin knows that he is a vet and active in veterans groups.  Besides they probably got ahold of the VFW and those guys are not bikers. 

In the end it all worked out, we had confirmation that the Butterfields and Davis's would ride in the parade.  Gary also got ahold of the PGR to get the word out and we had one couple for sure confirm.  With such short notice we didn't think we would get very many anyway.

I had called Colette on Thursday before the parade to get as much information on where we had to stage as I could.  With the directions Colette gave me I asked her where are we to go when you get to the 4 way stop.  Colette had nothing written about a 4 way stop.  Colette asked if I would call the lady in Hardin and get all that information and then Colette put me in charge.  It was decided that we would meet Colette and her group at the Town Pump in Hardin and we would lead them to where everyone needed to go.  Gary told the others to just go to the Western Motel to group up and we would go from there.  We had offered to store helmets and coats at our house for the riders since we live a block away.  Only a couple took us up on this.

Saturday morning arrived, we met Colette and her group at Town Pump, they were the only ones who stored helmets and gear at the house.  We had a bigger turnout with bikes than we thought.  Ended up having 20 bikes and about 30 people ride in the parade.  It also turned out that we were not escorting a float with veterans, we escorted the Jailhouse Gallery float.  We were our own entry, so in a sense we escorted ourselves as many of us riders are veterans, the group had Gary lead us in the parade since we live here.  It all worked out in the end, even though we were announced as the Harley Group when it wasn't a Harley thing.

Gary and I had made a reservation for 15 people at La Chalupa for lunch, no way would we get anything downtown and parking was a nightmare with the streets blocked.  We were worried at first but not everyone was able to eat with us.  After lunch our friends all headed home.  They were going to take the old highway back to Billings, but I reminded them that they would get caught in the reenactment traffic.

Later that night we went to the street dance.  This year the city blocked off the two blocks on Center but they also blocked the two blocks on 3rd street at the stop light.  It was nice to wander around and not worry about traffic, however parking and getting around town was a nightmare, but it's only for a weekend.

This year the entertainment for the street dance was Gunnar & Matthew Nelson performing their concert Ricky Nelson Remembered.  They played all of their fathers hit tunes and their own.  It was all very interesting as we got the backstory on how some of the songs came to be.  They also showed a slideshow about it too.  It was alot of fun and good music.  Rocky Hert and his band opened and closed the show.  We didn't stay long enough for the closing. 

I took some photos of the parade and street dance however the street dance ones are not that good.  I struggle to get the right settings on my camera for night shots.  Also I was bumped or someone would get in my way, so many are blurry.  Need more practice on that.  Here I am with a big camera and zoom lens getting ready for the shot and someone would get in my way.  I did post the photos on picasa and some on facebook.  The parade line up photos were taken with my old camera.  That one is more manageable on the bike.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ingomar Montana

Our June HOG Chapter meeting was held in Ingomar at the Jersey Lilly Saloon.  I have never been to Ingomar and didn't have a reason to stop there.  The Jersey Lilly Saloon is world famous for their beans and good food.  Now I can say that I have been to Ingomar and the Jersey Lilly and don't need to go back.

We met at the dealership at 10:00 am and then left for Ingomar.  With the HOG group we never take the most direct route to anywhere.  On this trip we left the dealership went up Zimmerman Trail and made our way to Broadview/Lavina.  From there we turned and headed to Roundup. 

We gassed up in Roundup not knowing where the next gas station will be.  Usually on this trip after meeting in Ingomar would go into Forsyth to gas up.  Due to road construction we had to head back to Roundup.  This stretch of road is 100 miles from Roundup to Forsyth.  Ingomar is about 70 miles from Roundup.

There are several small towns along the way, but not knowing if there is a gas station we filled up the tanks to almost overflowing.  The towns along the way are Musselshell, Melstone and Sumatra.  There is a gas station in Melstone but it was closed on Sunday and the pumps didn't have the new technology to take credit cards.  Also we had wind the whole way.

I can see why I have never been on this road, there is nothing here.  Melstone is the only town with any sign of civilation, meaning school and gas station.  Sumatra is just a spot in the road and Musselshell is off the main highway a couple miles.

We arrived in Ingomar and I am wondering what on earth is keeping this establishment open.  Apparently the local farmers and ranchers and some tourists who take a wrong turn.  The only thing around here for 100 miles is the saloon.

As you can see by the pictures, nothing here just the saloon (I got these photos off the internet and forgot what site to give credit.  These are not my photos).  The people were real happy to see us and with prior arrangements had food ready for us.  We had a short meeting, then on to eat.  The food was good, we had roast beef, scalloped potatoes and of course the world famous jersey beans.  We were charged $7.50 for all we could eat.  The food was good, but I didn't thing the beans were that outstanding.  I could make them myself.  Just before we left, the owners wanted to get a group photo of us in front of their establishment.  We had fun with that because they had a big cardboard cut out of John Wayne and he posed in our photo with us.

The history about the Jersey Lilly was interesting, however no public bathrooms.  I should take that back, there are public bathrooms but they are outhouses.  I waited until we got back to Roundup.

I was able to highlight a new highway on our map this year.  When the road construction is finished we are going to have to go to Forsyth to mark off the last 30 miles on this stretch of highway.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Honor Flight

Last Saturday Gary and I were in the flag line with Patriot Guard Riders to welcome home the WWII vets on the inaugural Montana Honor Flight.

We didn't know anything about this until our friends told us at breakfast in Rockvale.  Gary didn't get the e-mail from the Patriot Guard on this event.  The flight wasn't coming into Billings until 8:00 that night.  There was no way we could do this that late.

Our friends Dean Luptak and Lynn Davis invited us to stay at their house so we could participate.  We took them up on their offer.  They live in Rehberg Ranch near the airport.  This is the couple that hosts the Halloween and St. Patrick's parties.

We so unprepared for this, didn't have our flags and most importantly no change of clothes for the next day, our chapter ride and meeting.  I also didn't have my notebook so that I could take minutes.

We went to the house to get freshened up before heading over to the airport.  Had to be at the airport at 7:00 pm.  The airport has special parking for people to welcome home the WWII vets.  We were in the over flow parking which would mean alot of walking to get to the terminal, but there were shuttle buses running.

The airport was packed, must have been at least 500 people to welcome the vets home.  Many were family and friends.  One of the local high schools had their band playing the theme songs of the branches and other patriotic songs. 

As luck would have it, the flight was delayed an hour.  The vets didn't land until 9:15 pm.  The flag line was on both sides of the stairway and by the elevator.  What a sight to see when the vets deplaned.  The crowed cheered for everyone and the cheers were loud for the very last vet as the first vet.  There were some in wheelchairs and they were rolled to the top of the stairs so that they could see the crowd, then went down in the elevator.  The vets were very surprised at their homecoming. 

There were a couple that wore their original uniforms.  The Navy vet was a pretty spry man, he went down the stairs, kissed all the women and shook all the mens hands.  Gary said his grip was very strong. My friend Lynn was so impressed by her first kiss by a sailor.  She asked me how I felt about it and had to admit that I've been kissed by a sailor before.  People forget that I'm a vet.

After it was over, we were able to visit with some of the vets.  Everett Bullis and Bill Smith from Hardin were on the flight and I was able to visit a bit with a Woman Marine vet.  She was very surprised to learn that I'm a Marine vet.  I thanked her for blazing the trail to allow women like me to enlist and she thanked me for blazing the trail for younger women.

These vets were sure tired.  They left early Friday morning, did all the touring around Washington DC and then flew back on Saturday evening.  Everette said that it was worth every minute and he has plenty of time to rest at home.

We were so glad that we were able to participate in this.  The next flight will be in September and we are definately going to donate more money.  At first we didn't understand why so much money had to be raised.  Each vet was allowed to bring an escort.  There was also medical personnel, reporters and other dignitaries.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day Fun Run

Saturday Gary and I rode in the Father's Day Fun Run sponsored by the Beartooth Harley dealership.  Sign up for the event was in Red Lodge at the dealership's store between 8-10 am.  We met our friends Marty & Vickie in Rockvale for breakfast at 8:30 am.

We got there a tad early but only had about a 10 minute wait.  This gave us time to gas up before heading out to Red Lodge.  To our surprise our friend Pat Breckenridge was with them.  We are the three that ride trikes together all the time.  As we were getting seated our friends Dean & Lynn stopped to eat with us.

We got to Red Lodge just in time to sign up for the poker run. It cost us $40 to participate, $25 for the rider and $15 for the passenger.  We got can coozies, tickets for the meal afterwards and Gary got the t-shirt.  I would have had to pay $10 more for a t-shirt.  We decided that we would trade years for t-shirts.

The poker run takes up over the Beartooths, down Chief Joseph Highway and back to Red Lodge through Belfry and Bearcreek.  Our stops were Vista Point, Top of the World, Painter's Outpost on Chief Joseph, Eidleweiss, the Belfry Bar and our final stop The Snag in Red Lodge.

We had good weather, it was very windy and cold on top of the Beartooths, but as soon as we stopped at Top of the World, it started to get warmer.  I ended up getting a great poker hand, two pair queens and 10s.

It took us a couple hours to finish the loop.  We stopped at the Belfry Bar to get our last card and we got a drink there.  It got hot as soon as we came off of Chief Joseph Highway. 

Our meal at The Stag was very delicious.  We thought that we would be getting the standard burger & chips.  We had a choice of ribs, brats, brisket or corned beef.  Had potato and macaroni salads and for sides had baked beans or corn.  It was all very good. 

We ended up into two groups, our little group was the last to leave Red Lodge, but we were the first to finish.  Most riders on these poker runs spend money at the bars.  After our stop at Painter's Outpost, we ended up into two groups and we were in the first group.

We waited for over an hour for the second group to get to The Snag, but then we found out that one of the riders went down and ended up in the hospital at Cody.  Not too sure what happened but the guys could only speculate.  For a fact her rear wheel locked up and they think she hit the rear brake too hard, once she started to wobble she must have panicked and hit the front brake which caused her to go over her handlebars.  Fortunately she was wearing a helmet and leathers.She is going to be ok, broke her collar bone in two places, has a dislocated elbow and a broken foot.  She will need surgery on her foot.  This happened before one of the cattle guards on the highway.

Once everyone got to the final stop, they awarded prizes for the poker hands.  They only gave prizes for first and worst hands.  I didn't win, the guy who did had two pair also, kings and aces.  The one time I actually have a great hand I don't win.  I did come in 2nd though.  I got a t-shirt out of the deal, but it is not one that I will be able to wear in public.  That will be my lounging around the house on laundry day t-shirt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dentist & Doctor Appointments

Thursday I had a dental appointment in Billings.  I was originally to have x-rays taken and a cleaning.  I got a phone call from the dentist's office and was told that I won't be having an x-ray since the doctor will be gone.  I do however, get my cleaning.  I make my appointments in the morning and that will give me the afternoon to shop.

I don't really relish getting my teeth cleaned, but since I've had all this dental work done four years ago I want to keep up my good dental health.  I will have a long life if I do.  I know that this is just a cleaning, but the tools used are just wicked looking.  It takes about an hour to get done and then my teeth are polished afterwards.  I think I would be done faster but I visit with the hygenist and she is really a nice person.  My teeth are pearly white for the summer.

I spent the rest of the day shopping.  Started on buying the supplies for Mmom's birthday party.  I got the napkins, cups, plates, forks and spoons.  Will be getting the food stuff when it's gets closer to the party date.

After lunch I went to the Harley dealership to see about the leather coat that I won on the Gambler's Run.  I told the guy in charge of the run that I would be at the dealership in the afternoon.  That gave him 5 days to get there and pick out a coat.  When I showed up and asked what I need to do, I was told that nobody knew anything about it.  The owner of the dealership was out for the day and he didn't say a word to the second man in charge. I had time to spare before going home, so I drove up to the top of the rims and took some photos of the Billings skyline.


I was in the meetings when the chapter was told that the man needs to pick out a coat and the winner can come in and get the right size.  This happened last year and it took the winner three months to get her coat.  Looks like it's going to take that long for me.  The assistant told me that he would get it worked out and will call me.  We were going to ride in the poker run on Saturday and he said he would let me know.  As of yet, I still don't have a coat.

Monday I had my yearly check up with my VA doctor in Sheridan.  Jennifer was off so she went with me.  Nothing new to report here.  I am healthy and things are going ok.  Still struggling with my weight but she told me to just keep doing what I'm doing.  I have a friend on the Atkins diet and he swears by it. I know enough that a diet that wants you to eat foods in high fat is not good for you.  She told me to stay off of any fad diets and if I do anything, Weight Watchers is what she recommends.  They also gave me a tetnus, diptheria and pertussis shot.  Whooping cough is spreading and for a person getting older, it is highly recommened that I get this shot.  OK fine.  Now I wonder how much they are going to charge my insurance.  When I got the flu shot last fall, they charged $117.  I don't think about this until after it's done.

Afterwards Jennifer and I did some shopping.  I should say Jennifer shopped I just wandered.  We ate lunch and then I did take the car to the car wash to get it clean.  I would much rather use their vaccum than mine to pick up the the small rocks.

Now I'm healthy won't get whooping cough and have shiny teeth.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Last weekend, Gary and I spent four fun days in Deadwood.  This year it was decided to have two groups of bikes leave because there were so many.  It is safer to ride in a group with smaller numbers.  There were 20 bikes in all.

The first group left Billings at 8:00 am.  We met with them in Hardin as they stopped for gas here.  Our neighbors also went with us and we met at McDonald's for coffe while waiting.  It didn't take long for the group to get into Hardin and there were only 4 bikes.  The weather looked very promising this year and we were all keeping our fingers crossed that no rain.  It was blue sky and very sunny in Hardin.

This year the original route was to take Highway 212 to Broadus for lunch and gas, then we would continue on to Alzada, turn off to head to Hulett to Sundance for gas.  From Sundance we would continue south to Four Corners then head into Deadwood.  This route depended on weather and it looked like we would take the scenic route.

At Lame Deer we picked up a couple who live in Colstrip and on our merry way we went.  As luck would have it, we ran into rain 15 miles west of Broadus.  It wasn't too bad here, but as soon as we got into Broadus and gassed up the down pour started.  The restaurant for lunch was a half block away.  We were hoping that the storm would blow over while we were eating, but it just stayed.  We get rained on every year for this ride.

After our lunch as we were getting our rain gear on, the second group caught up to us.  They were drenched.  Because of the weather, it was decided to just head into Deadwood by quickest means, so we went through Belle Fourche.  We arrived in Deadwood around 2:30 and that gave us plenty of time to get checked in and our clothes spread out in the rooms to dry.

When the 2nd group arrived in Deadwood, they said the rain stopped so they were able to take the original route as planned.

We always stay at First Gold and they treat us good.  We get coupons for breakfast but that is included in our price.  They also give us $20 in promo cash and have a slot tournament for our group on Thursday.  This is always a fun thing, but we never win.  Somehow Gary and I always end up with $25 extra in promo cash, that we get $45 each.  I usually play with our promo cash on the machines, in fact that is how I won big last year.  However this year Gary played his promo cash.  I won enough the first night to pay for our dinner.

Friday morning we woke up to blue sky and sunshine, which is a welcomed sight.  For the past couple years it has always rained in Deadwood that we just spent time touring the town.  This year we rode to Keystone and Hill City.  A very enjoyable day.  Still didn't win on the machines.

Saturday we rode to Sturgis and Rapid City to the dealerships, then back to Deadwood for a look around in the afternoon.  Ate lunch at a place called the Stockade.  They had live entertainment, just one guy singing cowboy songs and he was a comic.  He said that this was his family hour, but the jokes were a bit on the naughty side.  To be fair, no families with young children were there eating.  Enjoyed ourselves.  We both made good donations to the state of South Dakota.

Got back to First Gold so that we could do the gathering of the group.  This is where they draw for prizes and the grand prize is a leather coat.  I won the leather coat this year.  Now all I have to do is go to the dealership it pick it out.  Last year the winner had to go through hoops to get her coat.  In the past a coat was picked out and brought along for the trip.  The winner was awarded the coat and if it didn't fit, just take it to the dealership to be exchanged.  Gary won a t-shirt,  it is not really appropriate to wear in public but he can wear it around the house.

I hope I don't have to go through hoops just to get this coat but will see.  Will have to check on it this weekend.  I don't think I will have much trouble because the owner of the dealership was finally able to participate in this event this year.

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment so stopped by the dealership to see about the leather coat.  I came home without a coat.  The owner was gone yesterday and the second man in charge again said that he didn't know which coat was to be awarded.  He was not happy.  I did tell the guy in charge of the coat that I would be in town on this day, that gave him 5 days to pick one out.  Looks like I'm going to have to jump through hoops to get this coat.  Not happy about it but what do you do.  I was at the meetings when the dealership said to pick out a coat and take to the event.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Birthday And Elections

Well my birthday came and went.  It was a pretty quiet affair.  Gary and Jennifer took me out to dinner at La Chalupa and that was it.

Tuesday I helped work the primary elections.  I have been helping the elections office for the past month.  She had a helper in her office, but couldn't really count on her.  One day last month she came up to my office and asked if I could help her stuff envelopes for the absentee voters.  No problem, got envelopes ready to go for her.

The county commissioners asked if I would work in elections as needed until this election cycle was over.  My boss didn't have a problem as long as I got my work done. 

I worked two days in elections on Monday and Tuesday.  In the 27 years of working in this building I knew the elections office was busy, but just didn't know how busy they really were.  There is more to elections than counting ballots.  Alot of paperwork for a primary because in Montana we are dealing with two ballots.  Montana is an open primary so a voter can choose which party to vote for in the primary.

Monday was just a regular day but we had to get all the ballots and stuff ready for the election judges to pick up for their precincts.  This county has 20 precincts, with Crow having to have two boxes as that is the biggest precinct.  I helped carry these heavy ballot boxes out to cars for some of the judges. 

Election morning I worked all day.  It has been a long time since I've put in hours like that.  I worked my regular 8 hours, then an additional 10 hours for elections.  We didn't get done until 2:00 am. then turn around and work the next morning.  What held us back was the counting machine.  That machine did not like the absentee ballots because they were folded or the ballots with write ins. 

My job that night was running the jogger.  One person would receipt in the ballot boxes and hand them to me.  My job was to put the ballots in the jogger, make sure that they were all aligned correctly for the counting machine.  What a jogger does is just shakes the ballots into a neat pile better than what a person could do by hand.

I now have a greater appreciation for election administrators and I learned alot more about the election process.  The saying that your vote counts, it really does.  I won't be here for the general election, but will be able to help with all the before stuff.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Womens Only Garage Party

Wednesday I went to the Women's Only Garage Party at the dealership.  They have this party every other month on the last Wednesday.  It is designed to get women into riding.  I have been to others before and they are fun.

The marketing director at the dealership had asked me to come to this party because there was a writer for a Billings magazine who was going to write an article about women riding motorcycles.  She thought I would be perfect since I just passed the motorcycle safety course and in the process of getting my endorsement.

This was a small party, about 20 women showed up.  We have fun, we are served snack type foods and wine.  This time they had Montana Chad's cater and we had meatballs and two different type of wings and of course the wine.  I also got a ticket for a door prize and a coupon for $10 a clothing item.

There are always three stations, one about motorclothes, how to pick up a bike and of course the famous dyno demo.  I have done the demo a couple times and truthfully since I took the course, it is more fun to be actually moving than just going through the gears.

The motorclothes is boring because I have all of that stuff, however I did find that I can get a pair of their protective glasses with my prescription in them.  The glasses have a foam seal to help block out the wind and debris getting into my eyes. 

I did the bike pick up.  Had a hard time at first but once I figured out how to position my feet I got it.  For this the dealership used a sportster bike, which is one of the lightest ones on the floor.  Well it wasn't very light, but with the technique I did get it back up.  Doesn't take arm strength, all in your legs.  I think the method I prefer is to just wait for help.  It was nice to know that if the situation did arise, I could pick it up by myself.

I was disappointed in the writer for the magazine article.  She didn't interview anyone she is just going to base her article on a questionaire that she had us fill out.  I don't think this is what the marketing director had in mind either.  Anyway, the director will let us know when the article comes out.

I did win a door prize, I got a scratch off lottery ticket for a chance to win a Harley.  I didn't win a Harley but did win $5.  I can also enter my ticket for a second chance drawing.  All it takes is one chance.  I also bought a new t-shirt with my $10 coupon.

It was a good time and I got to see friends.  Gary went to Billings with me and he ran some errands while I was at the party.