Sunday, September 27, 2015

Finishing Up in Billings with some Rolling and Bumping

Billings, MT  High  93  Low 55

Thursday was doctor appointments for me. Once again I am healthy as a horse – just need to lose weight and exercise more. Good to go for another year.

Friday morning we both got pedicures. Then Friday night Jim and Todd went to the races out at Billings Motor Park. Michaela had plans with a girlfriend so the girls and I stayed home and did nothing.

Saturday we had lunch with Judy and Gary. Nearly three hours later we finally said goodbye until next summer.


Last night we went to the Roller Derby. Really confusing to watch when you don’t have a clue what any of the rules are. But we slowly figured some of it out and by the end were yelling and screaming with the rest of the hometown crowd.


Jim and I used to watch roller derby on TV back in the 70’s (before we even knew each other). I even went to see a couple of derbies in person back then. Things have changed somewhat – they seem to have a lot more rules. These girls were not allowed to use their hands, elbows, forearms, helmets, etc. etc. etc. It was pretty tame compared to what I remember.

Jim and Michaela climbed up to the top of the bleachers. I don’t climb anything anymore so Todd and I sat down on the first row. (Always somebody in the way. Wonder if she hid her face because she’s with somebody she shouldn’t be or on America’s Most Wanted.)


I loved this official’s name. Don’t his skates and socks remind you of the wicked witch melting under the house from the Wizard of Oz?


Our grandpuppies





Our Scootz enjoying the sunshine


The Rimrocks as we drive up Zimmerman Trail.


Tomorrow we head further east. Not sure if we will have any internet for the next week or so but when we do I’ll get a blog post done.

Friday, September 25, 2015

We Didn’t Escape

Billings, MT  High 85  Low 52

Wednesday night we took the kids on an adventure. We went to the Grand Escape Room. This is what their website ( has to say about the experience.

escape1 THE GRAND ESCAPE ROOM is a real-life escape game created for groups of 2-10 people. Your common goal is to escape from the locked room in under 60 minutes by finding hidden objects, solving riddles, unraveling clues and working together as a team to plan your escape.

THE GRAND ESCAPE ROOM is challenging for all ages. The best chance of escaping in time requires working together as a team. Players will quickly learn to think outside the box as they communicate and observe the hidden clues that build toward their escape. Will you be able to escape in time?  Plan your escape today!


We had so much fun. We weren’t able to get out in the 60 minutes but because we were the last group for the evening they gave us 10 extra minutes to figure it all out.

You walk into this room and the door shuts. There really isn’t a lot in the room but clues are everywhere. You just have to find them and then decipher them to figure out what they mean. It really gave our brains a workout (which is supposed to be good for us old folks). I’m just glad we had a couple of young minds with us.

I would highly recommend this activity to everybody. I did find where they had one in Phoenix and I’m sure there are more around the US. Do it and have fun.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What a Week – And It’s Only Wednesday

Billings, MT  High 83  Low 56

We left Helena Sunday morning and made the 245 mile drive to our son’s driveway. That’s a really long drive for us so we were ready to relax when we got parked. We did see a few signs of Fall arriving.

Colorful trees


Snow on the mountain tops.


Monday Jim took the truck into the truck hospital and it was not good news. We needed a complete set of injectors. Lots and lots of dollars. But  we don’t have a choice. They also did transmission maintenance. Sure glad Todd and Michaela have an extra car that we could use.

Tuesday was appointment day. We needed to be at the Driver’s License station by 7:20. My process went without a hitch but Jim just can’t do things without having a glitch. He passed his eye exam got all the paperwork filled out and then the gal looked at his license and said – this expired on your birthday. It really didn’t expire because we had both gotten six months extensions from South Dakota. I had already turned over my extension but guess who’s extension was back in Apache Junction. We had thought that we would have this all taken care of before his birthday while we were in Helena. What we didn’t realize was that we had to have an appointment and there were no appointments available in Helena.

Ginny to the rescue. It’s amazing how things can work out. I called our neighbor, Ginny, down in Apache Junction and it just so happens that they had returned to AJ on Monday from their summer travels. Also, this was the first year that we had left a key to the fifth wheel with her when we left town. She was able to find the required paper and overnighted it to us. Thank you so much.

Jim took all the paperwork and went back to the license place and he is now legal once again.

After that fiasco I had my eye appointment. I had to drive because Jim had an expired license on him but the doctor dilated my eyes and there is no way I can drive in bright sunlight even with shades on. So Jim very carefully drove us back home.

After my eyes were back to normal, it was time to take the girls in for their yearly check up. Many more dollars later, they are good to go and are doing really good for their ages.

Todd fixed chicken noodle soup for dinner using Michaela’s Mom’s recipe. It was fabulous. And I didn’t have to cook. Love it.

This morning we met up with our dear friend Carol for breakfast. So good to see her again.

Tonight we have another adventure that I’ll blog about next time.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Helena Wrap Up

Billings, MT  High 84  Low 51

Our last few days in Helena were pretty quiet. Jim went fishing a few times but the only thing caught were small walleye that he threw back to grow up. However, he did see this eagle.


We took the girls to Rods N Dogs for baths. Love this place because it is so much easier on the back.


Can anybody tell me what kind of butterfly this guy will turn into?


The girls were looking for any warmth they could get. Whether it be in front of the heat vent (it got down to 37 degrees one night so it was cold)


Or in the sunshine


I went to dinner with my friend Wendi from work and we had a great time catching up with each other. She still has a couple of years to go before she can retire so I love to give her a bad time about it.

We left early this morning to head to Billings. Helena was supposed to get 55 mph wind gusts this afternoon and I wanted to be well out of the way. We are now parked in the kids’ driveway for the next week.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Marysville House, an Accident and Thieves

Helena, MT  High 88  Low 48

Last Thursday evening we went up to Marysville (an old mining town that is almost a ghost town) for a steak dinner to celebrate Jim’s birthday. I’ve posted pictures about Marysville before and the fact that they have the best steak in or near Helena.

Jim and I split the Porterhouse and it was so huge, we brought home enough steak home for Jim to have steak and eggs for breakfast. (I forgot to take the picture until after we had eaten.) It’s also a beautiful drive up into the mountains. A very enjoyable evening.


However, on our way home we needed to stop at the grocery store which took us a different way. Driving up Montana Avenue we came upon an accident that had just happened. One guy was scrambling down the bank to get to the scene and Jim stopped the truck and joined him. Several folks called 911 and I grabbed the girls’ blanket out of the backseat to cover up the guy who had been ejected out of the car. I was really impressed at how quickly the emergency personnel responded. Also, people who stopped to help started directing traffic and clearing the way for the emergency responders.


The guy was able to give Jim his Dad’s phone number but Jim had to leave a message. He wasn’t in a lot of pain – or he was in too much shock to know he was in pain. It appears that alcohol was involved and he did not have a driver’s license – only a Montana ID. I would say he was in his mid to late 20’s. The paramedics were able to get him on a backboard with his neck in a brace. They had to cut down the fence and winch him up the embankment. Haven’t heard how he’s doing but I hope he’s okay.

Friday Jim got a call from Al (back in AJ) while he was out fishing. Seems our RV park got hit by thieves. Several park models and sheds were broken into. They stole the winch off of one fella’s Jeep and they also got our generator which Jim had bolted and chained down. They were very prepared and organized. It’s amazing how angry and violated you feel when you get a call like that.

It is very sad that there are so many people out there who would rather steal than work. Really tests your ability to forgive and have hope for this world of ours.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Family, Fawn, and Fish

Helena, MT  High 78  Low 43

My great niece Tara Jo brought her significant other, Eric, and their son, Emmett, to visit. Emmett is such a sweetie but I have forgotten how much energy it takes to keep up with a toddler.

Tara and Eric


Emmett – why do they love those boxes? (he was in constant motion, so it was hard to get a clear picture)



We had a wonderful visit and hope we get to see them again before we head out.

This fawn’s mother must have told him/her to stay put because he stayed in that spot for an entire day. If we got too close (when Jim got out of the truck he was really close to the fawn) he would get up and move to the other side of the bush. As soon as we moved further away he came right back and laid down. I was worried about him because I thought maybe his mom had gotten hit by a car and killed but I read that they will leave the fawns for up to eight hours while they are out eating. He was gone when we got up the next morning so I sure hope mom came and got him.

baby deer1

Jim has been fishing every day and he’s even caught a couple of walleye. Nothing big enough to keep though. He went to Canyon Ferry on Tuesday but he said there was a lot of green algae covering the lake because it is turning over. Did you know that lake’s turn over? I sure didn’t but they do. Had to Google it to find out more about it. So he’s been fishing at Hauser Dam.

I was a little concerned about him fishing at Hauser because we had a manhunt underway for a murder suspect in that same area. He was considered armed and dangerous. So I worry. But they were able to apprehend him yesterday so I can quit worrying about that.

The weather has been beautiful. No smoke in the air. But a cold front is going to move through Monday and our highs are going to be in the low 60’s with rain.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happy Birthday Honey

Helena, MT  High 73  Low 42

Guess what Jim did on his birthday? You’re right!!! He went fishing. Didn’t catch anything but had a fantastic time in his boat on the water. A very happy man.

We want to go to Marysville for a steak dinner to celebrate but they aren’t open on Tuesdays. We will go up there on Thursday. Tonight we went to Hardees with my sister and her hubby.

After dinner was Jim’s big treat of the evening. For those of you who have visited us in Helena, you know that his favorite ice cream parlor is on the walking mall on Last Chance Gulch.

The Big Dipper

Jim's Bday

It was really hard to get a picture of everybody because nobody would sit still.

This is my sister, Judy, with a chocolate ice cream cone.

Jim's bday3

My brother-in-law, Don, had a dish of some kind of ice cream.

Jim's bday2

Jim with his cone of coffee ice cream.

Jim's bday1 

Happy Birthday Honey.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Settled in our Spot in Helena

Helena, MT   High 86  Low 46

We spent the next night in Shelly, ID at the county park where we always like to stay. Had several storms roll through but most of the worst storm cells seemed to pass on the other side of the interstate.

The next night we spent at Countryside RV Park in Dillon, MT. It’s has nice pull thrus for $35 a night but there is no antenna TV reception. We went to bed early which was just fine.

On Monday we arrived in Helena and got settled into our Spot. My sister had dinner fixed for us and she had also made Jim an appointment with the chiropractor for Tuesday morning.

This is our view from our spot in Helena.


Jim dropped me off at the Laundromat and went to see the doctor. He was really happy with this guy and will see him again on Thursday. I know he is definitely feeling better because he has been out getting his boat ready to go in the water.

Only problem is a cold front is going to move through starting tonight and we are supposed to have rain for the next several days. We are praying that this will help all the firefighters get a better control on the fires burning everywhere. We had pretty clear skies on Monday and Tuesday but the smoke is slowly moving back in. Jim thinks Tuesday will be a bad day for the fish at Canyon Ferry.

We had to get a new prescription for Skittlez – remember her allergies last Spring in AJ? Well, brining her back to the land of grass and trees has made her miserable. She has scratched a big sore on her poor little body and she started throwing up. So glad our Vet in AZ was willing to fax her prescription to a Vet here. Hopefully she can get some relief from itching and we can get some sleep.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Yakking and Jim’s Back

Even though we are currently in Helena, the blog is still in Riverton.


One of my very best friends retired and lives in Salt Lake City. Janet and I worked together at the IRS for many years until I retired and hit the road. I was able to get in touch with her and we were able to spend most of Thursday together just yakking.

Her car is out of commission so she rides TRAX – Utah’s rail system. The closest stop to Ray and Cindy’s house was the end of the red line and she agreed to ride out there and meet up with me so we could go into town for lunch. Ray gave me a ride over to the train station and it was really simple to figure out. Much simpler than DC’s Metra.

Janet arrived about 10 minutes after I got there and we both got on the train and headed out. We were so busy talking we completely forgot to get off the train to switch to the one that would take you downtown. So we just rode to the other end of the red line up at the University of Utah and then back down again. Made the switch and got off at the mall downtown. We ended up at Johnny Rockets for lunch and were there for about three hours just catching up. She then rode the train back out to my stop with me and Jim was there to greet us. It was a fantastic day spent with a truly wonderful friend.

However, not a single picture did I take. Not one. Didn’t even cross my mind. I also didn’t take a picture of Ray and Cindy. Think I am out of practice after sitting for so long in AJ.

While I was off having a great time Jim had a chiropractor appointment. His back was really in bad shape. Sure wish we know what he did to it. We found a chiro only a couple of miles from the house and he felt better after the adjustment. He came back to the Bungalow and took it real easy for the rest of the day.

That night we went to Dickey’s BBQ for dinner with Ray and Cindy. Check out Ray’s blog. Good food and good friends.

Friday Ray wanted to take us sight seeing but Jim really didn’t feel up to it. Cindy had the great idea that Jim should use their Jacuzzi tub and let it work on his back. I didn’t think he was ever going to get out of that tub. It made him feel a whole lot better.

Side note: We got diesel at Costco for $2.14. Love it.

Friday night we went to a Church cookout with pulled pork and sloppy joes. Again – great food.

Saturday morning Jim had another appointment with the chiro at 8:15 and when he came home we hitched up and pulled out headed for Idaho.