Enduring a night in a smoky motel room
does not have the same thrill as a night in
a smoky bar.
In the latter, at least you have loud music
and stiff drinks.
In the former, you get nothing but a lumpy
bed, truckers running their engines outside,
and a scratchy throat (and you didn't even
get to sing at the top of your lungs to bad
80's music on a dance floor).
(downtown Buffalo, WY)
We woke up early and hurried out to
breakfast at Tom's Main Street Diner on
Main Street in the heart of Buffalo.
(Tom's Main Street Diner)
Mom got a kick out of the game heads
on the wall - they don't have those in Florida.
Breakfast was awesome. Perfect eggs over
medium, thick bacon, and even the
coffee was good and strong.
(ready for breakfast!)
I got a lesson about morning pastries.
"Are those sticky buns," I asked the cook/owner Tom.
"The only sticky buns around here are when
a cowboy has been riding his horse for days
and hasn't had a bath!" Tom exclaimed loudly
for all the diner patrons to hear. "These are
Hmmm...they looked like sticky buns to me.
(NOT sticky buns)
As we entered Montana, we decided to stop off
for some lattes at Native Grounds, a tiny espresso
shack at Crow Agency that is owned by a young
man - No. Cheyenne Indian - named John Maxwell.
Finding the place open is very hit or miss but
on several occasions, Greg (my hubby)
and I have lucked out and had a great cup.
John is a talkative fellow who studied "coffee"
in Seattle before opening up his business.
(NOT Native Grounds)
Well, he wasn't there and his Native Grounds shack
had been transformed into an Indian Tacos shack.
So we didn't get our espresso fix.
Lunch was elk roast and elk salami at the home
of Greg's dear friends Bob and Sandy Short
in Laurel, MT. Then it was off to points West
We took I-90 to Big Timber where we turned
up 191 North, past the Crazy Mountains. Greg said
they are called the "Crazy Woman Mountains" and
I'm not sure if he was just pulling our legs because
all the signs and maps say Crazy Mountains.
(Crazy Woman Mountains?)
If you look at a map, 191 between Big Timber and
Harlowtown, it is pretty empty except for Melville.
Sort of like our empty gas tank that Greg noticed
only after we had passed any signs of civilization
and a sign that said Harlowtown was over 30 miles
away somewhere back a ways.
"How far back?" I asked.
"I don't remember," Greg said, notably kicking himself
mentally for not filling up in Big Timber.
"Well, we should get there soon," I noted hopefully.
And lo and behold, there was Harlowtown, a
beacon of hope for our empty gas tank.
We pulled into town and went straight for
the Conoco. Hurrah!
Closed. I kid you not. The gas station was closed.
We puttered up to the market and were relieved
when Greg came out giving the thumbs up.
There was another Conoco on the opposite end
of town. So all was well and luckily I don't have
a "we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere
with no cellphone signal" story to tell you!
Had dinner at Break's Ale House and Grill in
Great Falls, MT then continued on to
Conrad, MT where we're staying at a modest
motel called the Northgate.
(Northgate Motel, Conrad, MT)
Upon entering the room, I was ready to shower
and crash. Greg, of course, was raring to go
on a walk. So he bounded about the small town
while I freshened up then settled onto the
computer. My momentary dismay that there was
no phone in the room was gone when I turned
on my computer and another wireless message
I feel like I've been living in the dark ages!
I've not been on a wireless network before
this past week. What rock have I been living
under? This wireless stuff is great!
We'll be crossing the border tomorrow morning.
Good thing I left my gun in Wyoming with a trusted
friend (and licensed gun dealer) who will ship it
to me when I get to Anchorage. Those squeamish
Canadians didn't want me taking that thing over
the border. Seems that they only allow semi
automatic handguns with magazines that have
no more than a 10 capacity and mine has 13.
Here's to a safe, smooth passage into Canada-land.