Had to negotiate getting in the car to leave today.
One of these things are not like the others.
Off to Chicago in the AM for 4 days. Going to a restaurant convention to look at food ordering kiosks.
All up hill for a while.
Couple of scenic selfies.
I made a snowman for Janet.
Can you find the Keebler elves winter home in this shot?
This is a close up of their winter home.
Not sure if this was a rescue or avalanche dog, but he was ready to help either way.
Some reference shots to give you an idea of the snow. Note the phone in the first and my leg up to my knee in snow for the second.
I am used to the higher altitude now, but Janet is still in better shape than me. All that free food in the employee cafeteria is making me fat.
I love this picture. Seeing Janet smile warms my heart. I also love the way the snow looks on the rocks. Looks like icing dolloped on top of the rocks.
A little snow art as we get ready to head back.
Wait for it…..buffalo jam on the way home.
This group had some big boys.
I went out for a hike. On the way there I saw a coyote. He was actually very pretty.
The scenery on the hike was gorgeous.
The snow is a little deep here.
Hello Mr. Bison. A very different view when you are close and you don’t have the metal of the car around you.
This will give you an idea of how powerful the bison are by seeing him run in snow knee deep to me.
End the day with another bison jam.
With the temp rising up during the middle of the day it has caused a lot of melting, which then freezes again at night. That in turn creates a lot of ice. Hard walking around. Had a few arm windmill moments to stay upright.
Monday and Tuesday were just long work days.
The bison can’t make up their minds. Last week they didn’t want me to leave work. Now they don’t want me to get to work.
After the two in the road moved off to the right and the road was clear I started off again. Right when I got up to the ones on the left one darted out onto the road and ran to the other side. Guess he was having his bison zen moment and it was critical that he was on the other side of the road just then.
Left work at lunch time to head to the big city to try and get a car tag and maybe my Montana license. You are highly encouraged to make an appointment for getting your license. I could not get one for the day I am going so will be rolling the dice. Going to Livingston first and then to Bozeman so will get two tries.
The bison are not happy with me clocking out early. They setup a roadblock.
Made it home and switched to my car and started on my way. It is really hard to explain the excitement I feel going to the big cities. What would I see? What would I do? The best way I can explain it is to say it was like when I was a kid and I knew we were going to Six Flags the next day. Part of me is a little uncomfortable that I am this excited.
On the way out of town I had another roadblock. Really cool seeing them up close, and he had no fear. Cars wised by and he didn’t flinch.
It’s a hard drive with nothing to really look at on the way….
Stopped in Livingston and found the tag office. No line and everything went smooth. I got a Yellowstone tag with a bear on it. Montana still has the option to just pay one year at a time for taxes, so went with the year option as I was wondering if I will still have a driver door on my car in a year.
Found the drivers license office. Went in and found about 6 people waiting and only one person working. A sign clearly stated by appointment only. I asked if I still had a house in GA if I had to get a Montana licence. They said that I could only claim residency in one state and I would need the licences from the state I want to claim residency in.
Stopped by the Verizon store on the way out of town as my data is still turned off on my phone. Checked on what a hot spot would cost, which turns out to be pricey and no unlimited plans unless I get a phone with Verizon. Will wait on that.
On to Bozeman I go. Found the driver’s license office. They had two doors. Door 1 was for appointments and door 2 was for walk-ins. The fact that they have a process for walk-ins was promising. Went in and was told that I could wait. Filled out the forms and only waited less than 30 minutes for my turn. So it turns out that Montana is in a fight with the TSA and federal government over licenses. That star on the top right of your GA license is a “smart id”. They don’t have that in Montana, so the TSA is saying they are going to stop taking the Montana licence for air travel. I asked the lady about it. She said that the state filed for a year extension. This means I “may” be able to use my new Montana licence for air travel. Regular lisence is about $40, and the “smart” one is about $140. She said it wasn’t worth it now and to just use my passport if the TSA stopped recognizing my Montana license. Well alright then….
I am now a card carrying member of “The Last Best Place”.
Now for some shopping and site seeing. I went to TJMaxx, Barnes and Nobles, REI, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Stopped at multiple hair cutters multiple times to be able to get my hair cut. I think they must have a shortage of places to get haircuts. Then for the big Walmart extravaganza. Capping that off with a stop at Taco Bell (inside joke – I am turning into my dad).
My big night out is coming to an end and time to drive home.
Wait for it…I had waffles for breakfast again. Had to do laundry which got me in a cleaning mood. Sorted things around the house better. Moved things to better fit to how I am living in my “tiny house”. Got my shirts together for dry cleaning. I even vacuumed by spacious abode. Worked on the car. Got the cover back on the backside of the passenger seat. Worked on the driver door handle. It will now open with the right amount of force and finesse. Broke down boxes and took them to recycling. Called my mom, dad, brother and Janet. One thing is vexing me. I know I bought a bottle of bleach from the Dollar Store in Bozeman when I first arrived, but I can’t find it anywhere. How can something hide in 500 square feet?
Went for a drive out toward Cook City which is east. Didn’t get too far and had to turn around. Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam….
Too many in the road, decided to turn back. Stopped at an overlook an saw a waterfall that was partially frozen. Really neat looking.
Have started implementing some changes at work. Had the first morning stand-up with my team. Overall it was a work day. It started snowing really hard. Like an inch an hour. Went to a baby shower for a coworker. Really nice turn out and was fun. The cake was amassing to see and tasted very good. Sorry the picture is blurry. I am posting it anyway so you can get an idea of how great it was. Everything on it was cake except the baby rattles. The bear was made with rice crispy treats.
Went to the bison in winter discussion. It was really good and I learned a lot. Many groups with strong passions about bison. One group thinks that no effort should be taken to contain the bison. They want them to roam free all over Montana, even the major cities if the bison wanted to go there. Another group thinks they should not be contained, but that people should be allowed to hunt them once they leave the park. Another group thinks that the population should be controlled by taking some to slaughter. Yet another group thinks that the extra or any that try to leave the park should be captured and given to a Native American Indian group in north east Montana that is building a herd with the plan to repopulate all Native American reservations across the US with bison herds. Given all that you have the biologists that are trying to understand what the bison want and how to provide a good home for the bison with the least amount of politics as possible. I also learned that it is very hard for a wolf pack or a bear to take down a bison and that more bison die drowning than from predators each year. Seems the bison get used to walking on the lakes and rivers during winter and the when spring comes a few break through the ice and drown. The grizzly bears pull them out of the water to eat them.
Was “fun” driving home in the little scooter car. Missed the turn for my road again. Well didn’t miss it. Applied the brakes for what I thought was early enough and then slid past my turn. Made it up the hill fine. Weather calling for 40% chance of snow every day for the next week. Will be taking the BMW in the AM.