Thursday, June 30, 2011

WAITING AND MORE WAITING

I was all ready to head out of Billings on Tuesday but it was not to be. We took the rig in Monday morning to Jim and Tracy’s Alignment to get the alignment done. They really do great work.

But – always that stupid but word – they found a broken right rear spring. We really wanted them to fix it for us but in order to have it covered under warranty we have to take it back to Hanser’s. Not happy about that. They are notoriously slow about getting parts ordered and then getting the rig in to have it repaired. The next closest Workhorse Chassis authorized repair place is in Rexburg, ID. So here we sit.

This is the part that is causing all the problems: (I did find out it’s called a leaf spring if that means anything to any of you out there.)

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The weather got hot today. Mid 90’s and back up there tomorrow. This is the first really warm weather we’ve had this year. It’s rather like we went from winter to summer and forgot about spring.

It is now Thursday (never did get this posted) and we are still waiting. Jim has called Hanser’s every day and just keeps getting the run around. They told him they had to get the okay from Workhorse. I can understand that. But they  never did let us know if they had checked with Workhorse. Jim called again. This time they said they had ordered the spring. Didn’t know when they’d get it. Did they get hold of Workhorse? Well, no. Next call to them, we were told that we had given them the wrong VIN. Sorry, but the VIN is correct on the repair order they have. Still no call from them. Jim calls again – supposedly waiting for Workhorse. But then Jim gets a call saying – oh, we need the mileage. That means they have yet to call Workhorse.

Later on Thursday – Jim has been talking to Workhorse people trying to get permission to let us take the rig to somebody else. We finally did hear back from Hanser’s. The part is in Chicago and it takes three days to get it here. Long week-end – so maybe Tuesday. However, Hanser’s is telling us that the first appointment they have is July 20. Keep your fingers crossed that Workhorse will come through for us tomorrow.

And so it goes. I am not happy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

REUNION – THE END

After watching the battle we all headed back to Billings so we could clean up for our dinner Saturday night.

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We had a room at the Bighorn Resort that we were using for all our get togethers. Saturday night we had Famous Dave’s bbq which is always good. There was more laughter, drinking, and talking with a little bit of dancing thrown in.

A wonderful time was had by all. In fact, the bartender gave us her card and asked to be invited to any other get together we might have because we were the most fun group she had ever tended for. I would say that’s quite a compliment.

And so we said goodnight and goodbye until the next reunion. Which could be next year or the year after. Nobody knows for sure. All we know is we will be there and we will have a great time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

THE BATTLE BEGINS

IMG_2243 Dave Riley, who graduated with our class, is the Director of the Custer’s Last Stand Re-enactment.

Each year near or on the anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn (June 25, 1876), a group of 200 dedicated people get together and perform a piece of history.

IMG_2262 During the seven years that we lived in Billings not once did we go to this re-enactment. This year the Class of 1967 attended the battle.

There are actually two re-enactments and neither are at the actual battlefield. The one we attended is held six miles west of Hardin, MT. The other re-enactment is held by the Real Bird family on Indian land near the battlefield. Next time I want to attend this re-enactment.

IMG_2247 Probably no single event in American History continues to inspire and provoke controversy as does the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Was this a major victory for the Indians or was it the beginning of the end of their way of life? Probably some of both.

IMG_2249 In 1964 notes written by Crow tribal historian Joe Medicine Crow who is a direct descent of Custer scout White Man Runs Him, were used to write the script for this re-enactment. He wanted to present the battle history from the Indian perspective. The reenactment continued each year in Crow Agency until 1973, when the production was cancelled because there had been a good deal of political unrest and the American Indian Movement had threatened violence to the reenactment. In 1990 when the Hardin Chamber of Commerce decided to revive the old script and bring back the show.

IMG_2295This is a picture of Joe Medicine Crow. He is 97 years old but still very active. He sang a song of praise for Custer at the beginning of the show. Wonder if he’s like to meet my 97 year old Aunt. Both of them are still going strong. He was really cute because he just had to look at the picture in the camera to make sure it was a good one.

IMG_2244 I’m sure most of you know about this battle where Custer and all his men were killed by the Lakota Sioux Indians. Some people say that Custer was an egotistical leader who would not listen to any of his men and others say he was a great tactical leader as proven by his victories during the Civil War.

IMG_2273 Custer was admitted to West Point in 1858, where he graduated last in his class. However, with the outbreak of the Civil War, all potential officers were needed, and Custer was called to serve with the Union Army. He fought at Gettysburg and also at Appomattox . He became the youngest major general, the youngest in the history of the US Army. After the Civil War he was asked to go west to help fight in the Indian Wars.

IMG_2292 If you’ve never read anything about Custer, you might want to check in on him. He really was a very interesting and controversial individual.

IMG_2288 Some of the major players on the Indian side of the war were:

Sitting Bull - leader of the Hunkpapa band of the Teton Sioux Indians.
Crazy Horse - one of the four warrior chiefs of the Lakota.
Red Cloud - a great Lakota warrior

Everyone knows the outcome of this battle. Custer and his men were defeated and Custer and over 200 of his men were killed.

A fascinating time in American History.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

REUNION – DAY 2

No planned activities for Friday day. I got together with five classmates and we went to lunch together at Pug Mahon’s. (Great pork chop sandwich.)

IMG_2237 We laughed and talked and reminisced for several hours.

From the left – Lynn, Carol, me.

 

 

 

 

IMG_2236 Maggie, Nancy and Randi

 

 

 

 

 

Friday night we had snacks in our party room and then we were going to go to the drive in. However, Mother Nature changed our mind for us. She decided to throw us a rain, hail, and wind storm. Once again, we all had a great time just drinking and visiting.

SHOVE IT REUNION

I mentioned in a previous blog that we were having a sort of class reunion. It was actually a “Take This Job and Shove It” Reunion. This is the year we all turn 62 and actually qualify for social security.

Eagle I graduated from Sidney Senior High in Sidney, MT in 1967. We had 123 in our graduating class and at our 40th reunion we had about 80% of our group show up. We held the reunion in Billings, MT because Sidney does not have anyplace for anybody to stay and no where for us to eat or things to do. Everybody had so much fun, we just had to do it again. We decided to have another get together for the year we all turned 60.

This time we didn’t have very many people that were able to make it but the 20 of us who were there had so much fun. We laughed and visited and caught up with each others lives. We are finally at a point where nobody is trying to impress anybody else.

IMG_2232 Thursday night we all went to a baseball game. I’m not a baseball person but they were honoring the Sidney (MT) Majestics Baseball Team that won the championship back in 1966. Several of our guys played on that team. We really didn’t watch the game. We were much too busy catching up with each other and watching some of our classmates indulging a wee bit with the beer.

IMG_2231 Jim got this great picture of everybody taking a picture of the guys on the team.

After the recognition it was almost 11:00 and way past my bed time so we headed home.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

SKITTLEZ HAS A MISHAP

IMG_2201 While we were in Hell Creek, Skittlez fell down the steps of the motor home and banged into the door. I, of course, fell apart because I didn’t know if her leg was broken or not and we were out in the middle of no where.

She cried a little bit and was limping but she could walk on it so we figured it wasn’t broken. I gave her one of Scooter’s pain pills (for her back) and an hour later she seemed good to go.

Had to throw in a picture of our Scootz.IMG_2208

 

 

Every so often though, she would either start limping or would yelp when we picked her up or she jumped down from someplace. When we finally got back to Billings, we made an appointment to take her in and get her checked. We had to drop her off at 8:00 in the morning and we didn’t get her back until almost 3:00 in the afternoon. What a terribly long day we had.

 

IMG_2228 The good news is she’s back to almost perfect again. She had dislocated her shoulder but not completely so it was slipping and it only hurt sometimes. The vet manipulated it back into place. He showed us her x-rays and it seems that dachshunds have very shallow, almost flat, shoulder joints so it is really easy for them to dislocate it. He said to keep her calm (yea right!) and on pain pills for ten days and she should be just fine.

I thought the vet was going to try and keep her. He must have told me four times what a marvelous dog she was, how well behaved, how healthy she was, and that he could tell she was spoiled ( ya think?) but in a good way. Needless-to-say she came home with her Mama.

HOLY COW – WE’RE BUSY

IMG_2183I vowed I was going to post something today regardless of what it said or when it got done. (Judy just told me this is a Lark Sparrow. Thanks Judy.)

IMG_2204 We did get out of Hell Creek. But again lost the fender off the boat and had to back track to find it. We stopped for breakfast in Jordan (which is where the dirt road begins) and Jim noticed it was gone. We unhooked the boat and headed back to Hell Creek.

IMG_2205 Thank goodness the fender was only about three miles down the road. That fender, as well as the other one, are now bolted on to the point where they will never come off. The trailer will rust and fall to pieces long before those fenders come off.

Got back into our son’s driveway and discovered the fridge wouldn’t work – not on electric and not on gas. The road had claimed another victim. The kids didn’t have much food in their fridge so we moved all of our food into their house for a couple of days.

IMG_2203 We had an appointment for the following day for some service maintenance on the rig. This is when it’s nice to be parked in the kid’s driveway. We took the rig in and then went back to their house and had a place to sit and for the girls to roam. We had to take the rig to Hanser’s Automotive because they are the Workhorse Chassis dealer in Billings. Not impressed. But we think they got some of the work done. We’re taking the rig to a different place for the alignment. Didn’t trust them to do that important piece of work for us.

The next day, into Billings RV to get the fridge working. Billings RV and Pierce RV are the two Dometic repairers here in town. Pierce couldn’t get us in until July 11. But Billings RV is much smaller and could fit us in whenever we could get there. Great bunch of people to work with. A screw had worked it’s way out in the eyebrow and was shorting out something or other. Took them awhile to find it but six hours and $280 later we have a working fridge.

Took the kids to dinner one night and met up with our dear friends, Judy and Gary, who are going to Escapade with us in August.

Then on Thursday my sort of class reunion began. But that will be a different post.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

THE GIRLS

I haven’t posted pictures of the girls for awhile and it’s definitely time to share some of them with you.

IMG_2016 Skittlez definitely thinks it’s time to eat in this one. Look at that tongue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2023 Don’t bother me.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1851 Can’t you see I’m hunting? Scooter would hunt 24 hours a day if you’d let her. When she goes out to hunt she’s as spry as a puppy. When it’s time to come in, she acts like she’s 100 years old.

 

 

IMG_1929 Scooter was buried under my coat on the couch and it was time to eat. She just brought the coat with her. Don’t have time to take it off when there’s food to be had.

 

 

IMG_2089 Scooter doesn’t do well with thunderstorms. In fact, she just totally freaks out. So I saw this thunder shirt advertised and we decided it was worth a try. It’s rather like wrapping a baby in swaddling clothes. The Velcro snugs it up tight around her neck and her body. And believe it or not, it really does help. She still gets upset but she isn’t bouncing all over the coach and I don’t worry about her breaking her back. She likes her coat and is more than willing to let me put it on her.

IMG_2073 This is Zoey – our granddog. She is such a good dog. But our dogs are so territorial and possessive that keeping the three of them in the same room gets interesting at times. Most of the times Scooter will ignore her, Skitz barks and snaps at her, and poor Zoey – she just wants to play. She definitely thinks she’s a lap dog.

I just had to add this last picture for Judy. Scooter was going nuts trying to get through the window so she could visit her friend.

The End - IMG_2092

Monday, June 20, 2011

AND YES THERE WERE FISH

Not many, but a few keepers.

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OH JOY, OH JOY

Well, it is pouring rain and only in the 50’s. So our furnace decides to quit working. Out here in the middle of nowhere. Jim is out in the rain and mud trying to figure out what’s wrong. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I do have the little electric heater running.

Also, no fish yet. He’s had two days of being able to fish but nobody is catching, at least not walleye. They’ve caught some Northern and perch but the guys didn’t keep them. We much prefer walleye. Even the fishing guides are getting discouraged. The water is too cold and this rain sure doesn’t help any.

Several rigs pulled out this morning.I’m sure they’re worried about being trapped here with the water running over the road in several places. However, tomorrow is supposed to be a pretty good day – only isolated showers. So hopefully that will dry things up a little bit.

We had to relevel the rig because the passenger side of the coach had sunk so far into the mud that water was getting into the furnace area. We’ll see how that works. We let it dry out over night and this morning it seems to be working again. Yippee!

Now if Jim and Bill could just catch some fish.

HELL CREEK CAMPGROUND

IMG_2154 The ground is so saturated that trying to level our rig was almost a joke. The boards and levelers kept sinking down into the ground.

 

 

 

IMG_2153 Our friends, Bill and Carol, are parked next to us and Bill was trying to help us but there’s not a lot anybody could do. We finally got it as level as it’s going to be and left it at that. In a day or two I’m sure we’ll really be off because we just keep sinking. Fridge seems to be working well and that’s all that matters.

IMG_2186 Last year when we were here, there were many, many campers parked without hookups. Those spots are now all under water. You can see some of the tops of the shelters that were being used last year. If you don’t have a reservation for an electric site this year, forget about coming out here.

IMG_2187 I would give anything to be able to send some of our rain and water down to Arizona right now to help them with their fires. I did read that because of all of the snow melt and rain up this way, that Lake Mead is starting to fill and they figure there is enough water to take care of Arizona and Nevada for the next three years. But that doesn’t help the horrible fires burning up the forests in Arizona right now.

IMG_2163 One of God’s beautiful masterpieces – the double rainbow. The colors were just brilliant and, of course, my pictures don’t do it justice.

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We also had a gorgeous sunset.

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And look at that moon rising.

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Fishing tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

JOURNEY TO HELL

Creek State Park, that is.

IMG_2115 Hell Creek is a state park on Fort Peck Reservoir in northeast Montana. It’s a beautiful camping area with electric hookups, a dump station, and clean pay showers. But, it is a fishing camp.

The road just seems to go on and on.

IMG_2120 The road to Hell Creek from Jordan, MT is 25 miles of dirt and gravel. It took us almost an hour to drive that 25 miles. This state park is not a place to just drive to for camping and to find peace and quiet. It is quiet during the day because everybody is out fishing. But when the fisher people start returning in the afternoons, it can get pretty noisy.

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IMG_2141 The road cuts through the Missouri Breaks.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2138Here you can see the dark clouds gathering over us. We drove through some rain but not much which is a good thing because this road would turn to mud very easily.

 

 

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The road is graded but with all the rain, it is in pretty rough shape. In fact it is so rough that it shook all the bolts out of one of the fenders on the boat trailer and I lost the fender. And I also lost one of Jim’s bumper guard thingies that helps him get the boat on the trailer.

IMG_2176 There are such nice people in this world of ours. Some guys coming back from Jordan to Hell Creek, found the fender and then tracked us down in the campground to return it to us. Now that is really going above and beyond. No luck with the bumper thingy but we’ll look for it on the way back out of here. While we’re here Jim is going to secure everything on the trailer very tightly.

IMG_2178 This is the roller bumper thingie that I lost. The metal L-shaped thing is also gone. Sure hoping we find it on our way out of here.

BIG SKY COUNTRY

I want to share with you some pictures of the area north and east of Billings headed towards Jordan, MT.

The Lund is the boat we left in MT over the winter. When we had our fifth wheel, we would double tow with the boat trailing along behind the fiver. With the motorhome we can’t do that, so I drive the Avalanche and tow the boat.

These are a couple of the pictures I took as the girls and I were following our home down the road.

IMG_2099 Definitely Big Sky Country!

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_2114 As you can see, there are very few trees in this part of Montana. The land is the rolling prairie. Lots of ups and downs over small hills. Notice how green everything is.

 

 

Montana had a record amount of snowfall this past winter and this also turned out to be one of the wettest springs with all the rain. These following pictures are of the Musselshell  River which flooded the town of Roundup and closed the highway. Last week we couldn’t have driven through Roundup because of the water on the road. This week, the river has receded but the water is still along the sides of the road. It’s going to take a long time for Roundup to recover from this flood.

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After you cross the Musselshell (once again) near Mosby, MT there is one of the nicest rest areas in the country. And probably one of the least used. It is out in the middle of no where on Route 200. Route 200 takes you right through the middle of MT and most people either use Highway 2 in the northern part of the state – what we call the Highline, or they use I-94 which runs through the southern part of the state. If you want to see lots of sky and rolling plains, take Route 200.

IMG_2105 We stopped at the rest area for lunch and to walk the girls.

 

 

 

 

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