Road trip!

We went to Bozeman for a shopping extravaganza. We then went to Montana Wheat where I bought 20 pounds of cinnamon rolls. From there it was off to Big Sky.

This is very clever advertising.

Big Sky Montana, home of the world’s largest hamsters.

Neat little spot.

I love this picture of us. Janet’ smile just makes my heart melt.

You don’t really see it from the pictures, but ash was falling from the sky due to the forest fires which are the specs you see on the car.

Leaving on a jet plane

Well today Janet is leaving. We had a nice morning together and loaded the car up for the journey to Bozeman. I had my shopping list and the strong need to get a hair cut. It was a nice ride listening to some of our traveling music and talking about Janet’s visit. Our current life situation was discussed and what we could make decisions on and what was in God’s hand on timing. After leaving Livingston and going into the Bozeman pass the car started acting funny. It was knocking and it wasn’t getting pickup. Going up the hills Janet had her foot all the way to the floor and it was barely holding 60 MPH going up hills. We rolled into the airport parking lot with it rattling like it was about to either come apart or just die at any minute.

Trying not to think about the car we went into the airport to get Janet checked in. Once she had her ticket we played the game of what needs to come out of the suitcase to not have to pay an extra weight fee. Really nice being in a small airport where you can just walk back and forth and weigh a bag at an empty check in lane without anyone being concerned.

Once the bags were checked we sat down to talk a little more. It was so good having her. While I didn’t want her to go I didn’t have that deep dread like before. I think it was because I knew she had a good time and would be back. We hugged goodbye and Janet headed to the TSA interrogation over the rocks she was carrying. They must of known that she has some MacGyver in her and if pushed she could build a sling with her scarf and take down many a security personal. While I thought I was ready to watch her leave, seeing her walk around the corner and disappear caused my heart to sink and a mild panic attack set in.

I headed out to deal with the car. It started fine, but was a rambling wreck going down the road. It seems as though it was going to cut off at evry stop light. I went straight to the Walmart car care center, where I learned that they didn’t do diagnostic work. They suggested that I go to AutoZone since they could check the codes on the lights for free. Well off to AutoZone I went. The lady at AutoZone was very friendly. She was able to determine that some of the spark plugs and ignition coils were not working and thus all should be replaced. Since I had never even heard of an ignition coil until then I didn’t think this was something I should try my self. Doing a quick phone search I was off to the Jiffy Lube, which I found to be closed while their website said they were open. Another phone check and off to the Firestone auto repair. They were open. Sir that will be a $100 diagnostic fee since the AutoZone one doesn’t count. I agreed so he went to talk to the shop lead. Well it turns out that the foreign car guy only works M-F so they couldn’t do anything with it.  The car almost didn’t start so I am really edgy at this point.

Trying to get something done I went to Great Clips and put my name on the hour plus wait list. I then went back to AutoZone to buy the parts. I was thinking I would ask the work shop if they could help if I had the parts. They had the spark plugs, but not the ignition coils. I tried another auto parts store and they didn’t have them either. I stopped at Burger King and had a Rodeo Chicken sandwich while thinking about what I was going to do.  I decided that I was going to get my hair cut and do my Walmart shopping and try my best to limp back home.

After getting my hair cut and a Walmart shopping extravaganza I headed back home.  By the way I did ask Walmart car care if I had the parts could they do the work and the answer was no. I had to be careful because I had no pickup and if I slowed down too much it seemed like it would shut off. Thank the Lord I made it home. It also made me really thankful for scooter car because I knew I needed it to get to work.

Don’t I look happy….

OK, done with the sappy stuff. Janet is here.

Picked up Janet at the airport. She had Leviticus in tow. We made a quick stop and then on our way to Gardiner. Janet got to see a full winter storm. Coming over the Bozeman Pass it literately was a blizzard.  The snow was blowing sideways due to the strong winds and visibility was almost zero. I hugged the right side and drove about 10-15 miles an hour. To give you an idea how bad it was I followed the right side off an exit and didn’t know we had left the interstate until I saw the stop sign. Had to get back on the interstate. Saw multiple cars in the ditch. It was bad. It took 3 hours to get home when it should have been an hour and a half.

Janet is here!!!!

Did see a few elk on the way to Bozeman.

Peanut AKA Buckaroo Banzai

While I was cleaning the house and taking the recycle in to the bear attack zone Janet was having big issues trying to get Peanut on the flight in Atlanta. The paperwork from the vet didn’t have everything needed. It had turned really cold here so I thought they might not let him fly due to the temperature. I had been praying that it would work out. Thanks to prayers and some help from Ann (you are good to have around in a pinch) Peanut took off from Atlanta.

It is a beautiful day. Here are a few pics of the house and ride to Bozeman.

By the time I got to Bozeman I already had an email that he was ready for pickup. I got to the airport and asked to find where I could pick him up. It’s the details that will get you. I was asking a Delta ticket agent. The first question they asked me was what airline was shipping the cat….. I guess they get a lot of random people coming up to them to get pet cargo that is on a different airline? Once it was clear that Peanut was coming on Delta they found a walkie-talkie and tried to reach the ground crew. After multiple attempts they figured out that the walkie was turned off.  I think this person was having a bad day. I was told where to meet the ground crew. Once I found the spot it wasn’t long at all before they came out. They had me sign a claim form and they dropped the carrier and quickly went back behind the closed doors. I guess if you show up asking for a cat they figure it must be yours. I didn’t have to show the waybill or a picture ID. I look in the carrier and all I see is blankets. I call for Peanut and put my fingers in the carrier, nothing. At this point I freak out and think he is not in the carrier. I quickly start cutting off the zip ties. In the process of doing it under stress, I cut my left hand. I quickly wrap my handkerchief around my left hand to catch the blood and continue getting the carrier door open. Once the door is open I am feeling inside the carrier. I feel him under the blankets. OK he is there. Then the next fear hits hard. As I am garbing him he is not moving. Until I can get the blankets back and pull his head up to look him in the eye, I really think he may be dead. By the time I am sure he is OK I feel like I am about ready to pass out from the fear and adrenaline rush.  Not a peep from Peanut during the ride home. Once in the house it took a little bit for him to calm down. It took a lot just to get him out of the carrier. He seems to be settling in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He howled a lot during the night. I think he is trying to find Leviticus, which will be here soon.

Headed out to the BIG city

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.