There have not been many times over the summer when we here at A100 have had any kind of time restrictions or deadlines we have felt we have had to meet. This is good. This makes thoughts of professional life seem… distant memories of a past that none of us are yet ready to revisit. However, sometimes in life other people who operate under a normal mode of being expect you to be on time to things and prepared to be on schedule. Since this is rare in our general mode of operation this summer we never minded when someone from the outside “real” world needed us to be “on time” or “at the airport to pick them up so they could enjoy a few days with us on our trip.”
Tom’s sister Lela – unfortunately – had to spend a few hours dealing with our simple lazy summer outlook as she waited at the airport for us to pick her up. Many apologies Lela – we were quite excited to see you and to have you with us for the few short days you were able to come out to visit- but we were well into our own schedule at the time and woke up when we woke up which was too late for the few hour drive to the airport to collect you. Poor Lela patiently waited for us to arrive after our slow departure from our log cabin – but once we did finally arrive to pick her up we were off to MontanaFair.
If you’ve read our Where We’re Going page for Billings, Mont., you would know that MontanaFair is the biggest annual event within 350 miles of Billings, Montana, drawing in over a quarter million people. So that means that everyone within 350 miles comes to MontanaFair. We arrived midweek so it was slow and we were able to see the sights without being too overwhelmed. We started with a bite to eat; Joey tried a tasty treat called “fried Pepsi” (shown here) which turned out to be dough – which, rather than being made with water was made with Pepsi… and then fried…and was mediocre at best. Tom tried a “Viking on a Stick” which almost made him ill (it was some ground meat-like substance, deep fried and shoved on a stick… so it was about as appetizing as that description makes it sound).
After this round of questionable Midwestern food stuffs we headed over to see the livestock shows. We walked into a building where little piggies were running around squealing, cows were being displayed to a small group of uninterested onlookers and the most hideous-looking chickens were set out in cages after being judged in an ugliest chicken category.
We walked around and saw all kinds of animals penned up in cages waiting to be displayed in one way or another. Sheep in sleek jumpers lay confused on the hay ground, llamas looked pissy like llamas look, pigs lay around in giant pink and black spotted blobs and roosters strutted in their foot-and-a-half length of cage. It amused me greatly to see a diagram of each animal and the parts it could be broken up into (and subsequently eaten) hanging on the cages where the animals were penned in. It made it seem more like being at a butcher shop than at a livestock show. There is nothing too “live” about a piggy’s body being considered in sections which are labeled not using words like “pig body parts” but rather in words like “pork meat cuts.” I rest my case. And our lovely guest, Lela, happens to be a vegetarian. Welcome to road life Lela!
We saw many things here at MontanaFair besides the livestock show – things like a vegetable canning contest kids could enter, fair rides we didn’t go on, lots of questionable sounding food stands, and probably the best participant in a comedy hypnotist show ever, ever. A young girl, maybe 10 years old, hustled her round, pink-suited frame up on stage to volunteer for the hypnotist. What a ham! (That’s not a fat joke; I’m referring to her love of the spotlight here) This little girl was stretching her arms way up in the air when the hypnotist told her she would feel her arms floating way up in the air, she slumped over in her seat onto the next participant when he told her she would be tired, she reacted strongly to the suggestion that the person next to her smelled bad, and reacted as strongly again when she was told she would see something scary.
I can imagine that you could feel so much in a trance that you might be susceptible to outside influence – take what happens during college parties for instance. However, I draw the line at believing that you would be able to ham it up on stage with your eyes closed and have anyone expect that you don’t have any idea what’s going on. This little girl enjoyed the spotlight so much I really felt she deserved a featured spot on our little claim to fame here on the great internets. Here’s your fifteen minutes sweetheart – ham on, my young friend.
We rounded out the fair by sauntering by the largest tractor I have ever seen and the only tractor I have ever sat in, before we headed towards a park that was supposed to have hieroglyphics painted on the sides of the mountains from a time long, long ago. We had the place to ourselves, aside from a gentleman up the trail who was shooting video for the park service.
It was a very exciting prospect, but as it turned out it was just a nice walk and having a big imagination was extremely necessary in order to see anything painted on any of these rocks. Oh well. We were about to see amazing rocks regardless of the paint job because we were on the way to Yellowstone National Park. We wandered around this faux-hieroglyphic park to our hearts content and then made tracks to our hotel room outside of Yellowstone in anticipation for an amazing few days ahead.
Until next time America.
Until next time America.