Tuesday - August 11

 Hot and sunny today - 97.     I did zoom session - funeral mass for my cousin's husband at Holy Cross in Mendota, IL - the video was good but not so much the audio and some of the other zoom participants did not mute their volume, so.....

Afterwards we took off for Garryowen and checked out this "itty bitty" area of a Conoco gas station, general store and post office.    We're thinking the owners live upstairs (population of 2) and run these businesses???    

Off to the Bighorn Battlefield - got a map of the area and 1st stop was the huge Custer National Cemetery.  We parked and walked around the cemetery (they had every other parking space not in use with a cone).   Not seen that before and when we left, many more people came and parking would be a problem?    The visitor center was closed.    As we drove the battlefield route, I read the various markers/landmarks to Mark.

From there we drove to Hardin (18 miles away) - the closest "big" town of 4,000+.    Not too much here but had lunch at DQ (carryout and ate in Big Red) and on back to Flo.

Read and took a nap this afternoon.    Did zoom with Claire and Kathy, supper and then a walk up the hill.

                                                                    All about Garryowen
                                                                          Garryowen, Montana

                                                            Small part of the Custer National Cemetery
                                                    Little Bighorn Battleground - June 25-26, 1876                                                            


                                                          Horses grazing on private ground

                                                            Pretty skyline over the campground

Monday - August 10

 Crystal clear deep blue skies and 55 when we left Greycliff/Big Timber at 9:30 this morning.    We had interstate driving all day.    Stopped in Columbus MT for coffee at Black 'n Brew and then in Billings for a much-needed wash of Flo and Big Red at a big RV/semi truck wash.     $80 later we were outta there, but wow....nice and spanking clean!    Of course, our campground is all gravel and the dust returns.    Sure wish these folks could get some much-needed rain, but this is normal for them.  Wanted a quick lunch and nearby was Burger King - not our favorite, but whoppers hit the spot and ate on Flo,

We had a package to pick up at GNC (Amazon locker) that was waiting for us when we parked across the street at WalMart.    And then, back on the road for another 50 miles.    And here we are at  7th Ranch RV Park with an address of Garryowen, MT - middle of nowhere but lots of RV's here, so....weather turned really hot and we just hunkered down this afternoon.   

Black 'n Brew

Pretty scene truckin' down interstate 90.

 Kept in touch with Anne and others back in IL as terrific storms went thru this afternoon - a "derecho" which I had never heard of (Mark had) - very high winds (hurricane force), hail. etc.    It did a lot of damage in Iowa and various parts of IL.

Drew arrived at Anne's this afternoon just before the storm - he's hanging out with them till Wednesday and then "University of Iowa....here he comes!"

When we checked into 7th Ranch (no clue what that name means), they gave Mark 2 tokens for ice cream.    We walked down the hill (1/2 mile or more) to get our treats later this afternoon - ice cream bars or sandwiches!    Mine was huckleberry ice cream coated in dark chocolate and Mark got the good ole stand-by vanilla with dark chocolate coating.    Nice treat and much appreciated

Montana is sooo huge land wise and there are tiny little areas (not sure they would be called towns???)    But the populations are so teeny tiny like tonight - here we are in Garryowen - population 2.    Yup, just TWO.     We will check that out tomorrow along with Little Bighorn Battlefield and Custer's Last Stand which are nearby.

Bummer about the Big 10 college football games cancelled this fall.    Michael and Drew are very disappointed along with so many other fans!     This may all be getting a bit ridiculous???

Sunday - August 9

 No special plan for today except mass with Father Daniel Zinger, newly ordained (1 week ago) in the Diocese of Boston.    We defrosted the freezer, had breakfast and then decided to check out some "small" towns (closest is 50 miles away).   My Aunt Dee who just had her 92nd birthday and lives in FL told us she once lived in Montana where her Dad worked in the lunchroom at the train station in Harlowton and her Mother worked in a downtown restaurant.     Harlowton was a booming town 80+ years ago and Aunt Dee went to 3rd or 4th grade here.    It has fallen on sad times these days with a population of just 900+ and many empty stores.    The railroad closed down in 1980 but the station is now a museum and we had a nice chat with gal who was working there.

We also checked out Two Dot, where Aunt Dee would go to watch the rodeo.  

                                                    Welcome to the town....not much here - population 67

                                               The bank has seen better days - all boarded up

                                                                       Bar is still open

Pretty hollyhocks in Harlowton
                                                       Sweet little deer on the museum grounds

           Mark is standing where the stools used to be around the counter at train station lunch room
                                                       Pat is outside train station now a museum

                                                Whoaaaa....."Chamberlain" portables in Harlowton

We had lunch in Harlowton at the Loco Creek Diner....tables were spread well apart and I enjoyed my Reuben and Mark had the hot beef/mashed potatoes/gravy.    They had elk, bison and sheep on the menu - no thank you!

Enroute to Harlowton, we came upon a big black object on the highway......just like in northern Montana where a big ole black bull was sauntering across the road, this time it was a horse and we were in the middle of nowhere!!!  

Driving for miles and miles of fields, mountains in the distance and no civilization.    Montana is the 4th largest state (after Alaska, Texas and California) in land mass.  

            The Crazy Mountains (or "Crazies") are part of the northern US Rocky Mountain Range.

Big Timber

Connor has started his therapy for wrist and has 4 more sessions plus exercises to do at home!

                                      Thankful our kiddos are ok and no damage or injuries anywhere

Zoom session with 10 siblings - covered gardening and schools starting up and the challenges facing our teachers.

Have a safe, healthy week!     Back "on the road again" tomorrow....

Saturday - August 8

 Beautiful Saturday in Greycliff.    We drove into Big Timber for breakfast-to-go……1st stop was The Big Timber Bakery which had gotten good reviews from other campers online.    2 beautiful cinnamon rolls were waiting….1 caramel and 1 regular.    Excellent.    Then to The Coffee Shop for our coffees and on home.    Warmed up the rolls and dug in….

Realize the customers eating and drinking can't wear masks, but none of the help did either!   Arghhh!

                                                                     Love our cinnamon rolls


 After breakfast, we drove into Greycliff (pop – 56) to mail a birthday card.    Nothing much here and surprised they have a post office as that is really the only business we saw.

Just down the road we read all about prairie dogs which are in abundance here – unfortunately, they were too quick for this photographer.    We saw them standing on their hind legs (blended in with the grass) and then “poof” they scrambled back down into their hole.    These critters are part of the ground squirrel family and their burrow (home) can be 14' deep providing shelter, food, storage and safe haven from many predators which feed on prairie dogs. 

We enjoyed a quiet rest of the day - weather was perfect, windows all open and just had some good ole R and R.

Our colorful NC kiddies


Very sad to hear that a former grade and high school classmate of mine died Thursday.    He was in a nursing home where there are many cases of Covid between staff and residents.   Bugsy was quite a character - full of life and fun!

Thought ice cream sounded good this afternoon.....the closest was 49 miles away!    Decided we didn't need it that bad!    Ha!

We are in Sweet Grass County, Montana where they have had only 5 Covid cases with 1 death.   The entire state has had 4,000+ cases with 75 deaths

We have not played one single game of cards or anything since we left NC.....so this afternoon, we got out the cards and had 3 close games of 2-handed euchre with Mark winning 2 of 3.

Walked around the campground - many left this morning and they're filling back up tonight.    Loaded baked potatoes and salad for supper.




Friday - August 7

 A beautiful sunny day and very windy....from Dillon to Greycliff (187 miles) with stops in Whitehall for coffee/banana bread at "Sweet Things and Coffee Beans".   Stopped in Bozeman to pick up a CVS prescription and lunch on Flo picked up from Panda Express (across from CVS).

Back on the road arriving at the Big Timber/Greycliff KOA Journey Campground.     Greycliff (sounds like an English Manor) has a population of 56.................Big Timber is 8 miles down the road with 1,700 people.

                                                      Today's coffee shop in Whitehall, Montana

                                                                    And more beautiful scenery...

Have a great weekend!     Our park is full......they just kept coming and coming this afternoon/evening!  It's the weekend and that really brings out the campers!