We rolled through 615 miles this first day, from breakfast at the No Sweat Cafe to the less than succinctly named Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel Bismark here in North Dakota. Sara, Chris and Bannack are heading home to New York City and I’m along for the ride.
This trip seems like an extension of my recent trip to the Italian consulate in San Francisco. When I count it all together my summer road trip miles will have reached over 4500 when I arrive in New York. That’s 77 hours of car time according to Google Maps. As you can imagine, rest stops are precious.
Bannack and I were both in the same kind of stir-crazy mood when we got to Wibaux, Montana. The empty deck at the brewery wasn’t a perfect playground but it meant running, airplane rides, bull fighting, getting thrown in the air, Tootsie Rolls, and donkey kicking. We visited Wibaux’s real playground too, but it was the empty kind with painful spiky grass, swings that pinch, and those metal horses on springs that look like they should be really fun but still aren’t.
Sunday we’ll be in Chicago for a night or two, Wednesday night we’ll arrive in New York, and I’m looking forward to every rest stop along the way.
It wasn’t easy to say good bye to Bannack as he took off to Great Falls for his New Year’s trip but we had a great week together, and a great day today. He burst into my room this morning by throwing himself against the door and flopping on the ground. Breakfast at the No Sweat with Ed. Fish feeding at the Merc. A walk into the wind to the science museum with my mother and a ride around the carousel with Bannack on a fish.
I’ll miss you little guy, and I’ll see you in May!
On the way back to Helena from the reunion we stopped at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch in Deer Lodge for Western Heritage Days weekend. There was a lot of sun and mosquitoes to accompany the cowboy talks, chuck wagon and blacksmithing demonstrations. By far, my favorite thing was seeing the beaverslide hay stacker in action. You can see it in the video below.
This video is boring, but careful observers will notice a front flip and a driver bucked up from his chair.
The main section of the slide is constructed of two green 55-62 feet lodge pole pine poles. The 15-20 foot span between the poles is called the floor and is constructed of 1 x 4 slats roughly 40 feet long, two thirds of the length of the poles. A frame of 24 x 20 foot wood poles is called the backstop, and forms an immense right triangle with the floor and the slide. The spaced slats in between the main poles are easily seen. -Source
I’m pretty thrilled to be back in Montana for the weekend for a big Roberts’ family reunion. The family booked 22 rooms here at Fairmont Hot Springs, that includes one tipi. We’re off with a bang and a ROAR. (Roberts’ Outstandingly Awesome Reunion.)
But best of all is getting to see Bannack grown up and more capable of antics than ever. Here he is at around ten o’clock last night playing bell boy.
I asked Chris to send me more nephew Bannack photos and he’s been really pulling through the past few weeks. This one melts my heart! I miss the little squirt.
It has been a long time since I have visited the country club pool in Great Falls, Montana but Great Grandma Fern was kind enough to take us yesterday.
It was pure 1950s sweetness and Bannack fit right in in his tight striped le petit bateau swim suit (thanks Jill).
Helena’s one and only consignment craft boutique and best place to find a birthday present for my sister, just launched a brand new website. If you have never been up to Reeder’s Alley you’ve missed out on a really special nook in Helena’s history and a great part of town.
From My Ma:
Bannack loves to mow! Only pretend. When Mike starts the mower engine Bannack is frightened!
I’m missing my little guy.
My sister, Chris and Bannack are staying up at my parent’s house so they can get their place rented before the big move to New York in August. So when I called home recently I got to talk to everyone, including little Bannack.
My mom wanted him to show off his newest word to me and put him on the line. I could only imagine what he looked like, but the little tyke growled something that sounded an awful lot like “garage” into the telephone and it made my day.
My friend Ray just launched his new website a few days ago. Ray’s working with my favorite dudes at Signs Now, and has been responsible for some of Myrna’s print design lately. Check it out: RaymondLombardi.com