Feb 4, 2009

Feb 4th 2009

9:15 AM: Left Logan and it's hazy stench and headed to Montana. Once we started up the Wellsville range we were in the sunlight once again. We drove the 90 miles or so, up to Pocotello Idaho and had a gas station breakfast with coffee, then rode like the wind thru Idaho Falls and entered the "Grand Targhee" National forest. Much of Idaho (and Utah) is part of the Great Basin Desert which is comprised of red dirt and sagebrush. Compared to my favorite desert the Chihuahua, this desert is bare, cold, and depressing to me.

The Middle Eastern part of Idaho has some beautiful mountains and incredible vistas like in the Grand Targhee range. The little mountain towns in the Targhee are spartan but quaint and friendly, no pretension in the air. We never saw a sign when we entered Montana but we made a pitstop in the tiny town of "Norris" and I noticed a bar and casino.

I found out that in Montana there are many bars and casinos in every town. Kind of like the old West! The land in this part of the state had rolling hills and warm temperatures in the 50's! Back in Logan the temp was around 7 degrees, and 250 miles to the North East was downright hot! I didn't even see much snow until we neared Billings and turned south. Here in Red Lodge Montana, near the Wyoming border, there is as much snow as Logan. I really was impressed with the large college town of Bozeman, Montana. One of my best students plans to attend college there.

I love every thing about this great state. It's alot like the real Texas that I remember as a child. I have definate plans to move up here when I retire. The vibe here is quite nice.
Chuck and I just pulled in the "Yodeler" Hotel in Redlodge.

He got us a fine basement room, for only $59 dollars per night.

It does have an ancient steam bath option in the restroom, that came straight from the 1950's. I haven't used it yet. We got here an hour ago, and plan to hit a restaurant/bar/casino very soon. Wish me luck in the Casino. I want to play some 5 card draw with the local sharks for a little while (Mom, I'm sure you are reading this, so I just want to assure you that I will quit after losing 50 bucks or so).
Wound up playing Ntn Trivia for free and drank a few "Red Lodge Pale Ales", the water for the Red Lodge brewery comes straight from the local glaciers. The beer was incredible and fresh, and if you buy 4 beers, they give you a fifth on the house. I hear all the bars in town do this.

Feb 3rd 2009

Bussssssssy day at school. Took me nearly two hours to get out of there....Whew! Logan is subject to a phenomenon known as an "inversion". This happens in areas that are surrounded by mountains during the winter time, where the cold air mixes with smog and other pollutants and sinks to the valley floor. The result is burning eyes, lungs, and a general stench in the air. The only natural solution is for a new weather system to come in and flush the nasty air out. When the inversion becomes officially "Hazardous", schools will not let the children play outside during recess. This inversion is the worst I've seen during my 1 1/2 years living in Cache Valley, and the thickest pollution I've witnessed since 1983 when I stayed in Mexico City for a few weeks. The building in the background is the beautiful Logan LDS temple.

Ran around with Chuck the rest of the day, getting ready for our trip to Montana.