Homecomings, Foreign Countries, and Flashing Road Signs

The past week has been quite a whirlwind. I headed out last Sunday for my old stomping grounds of Miles City, where I based (braced?) myself for the wild week of the Southeastern Montana Winter Ag Series. I’ve participated as a speaker in this annual event several times, and as usual, it didn’t disappoint. Ten towns in five days, two presentations a day. It’s a bit wearing, but a pretty dang efficient use of time. And since we didn’t start until late morning or early afternoon most days, I was able to meet friends for breakfast and visit others around town. And “old home week” continued as I caught up with many friends who attended the series.

I had several new experiences and learned a few things during the week. For example, I had never been stopped to wait for a snowplow to plow hay off the highway where a semi had dumped 5 or 6 round bales. Later in the day, I was following an empty hay truck driven by a man who apparently thought he was still loaded since he drove well into the opposite lane. On Tuesday, when I got to Broadus, I restarted my cell phone in hopes I could get some network service to check on email. The phone then asked me if I was okay with paying more for roaming while in a foreign country…who knew I’d crossed an international border on MT-59?

We were blessed with good roads and weather until the last day, which made for interesting travel back home to Belgrade. Roads were better than advertised, though, and I made pretty good time. Then on Saturday morning I took off for Stevensville to speak at the Bitterroot Stockgrowers educational session that preceded their annual meeting. A special treat was staying with my best friend from high school and catching up on about three years worth of gossip.

Misspelled word of the week: A motel marquee advertising in-room “refridgerators”.

Understatements of the week: Flashing road signs on the really icy parts that either read, “WATCH FOR CHANGING ROAD CONDITIONS” or “TAKE IT SLOW, ICE AND SNOW”. Gee, thanks for the update, MDT.

Looking forward to the Winter Grazing Seminar next week in Harlowton! Stay tuned for more from Asphalt Cowgirl January!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Asphalt Cowgirl January

Happy New Year! I hope you’re making the transition to writing “2013”…I’m still working on it, as I failed miserably when writing out a check yesterday.

The Asphalt Cowgirl travel season is in full swing. Silly me, I went ahead and added up the miles. Looks like around 4375 or so in January alone…so I think the Asphalt Cowgirl moniker is still appropriate!

My first trip took me to the Golden Triangle and Hi-Line region of Montana. We had great turnouts at both meetings and a lot of young producers in attendance, which is so encouraging and exciting.

During my windshield time, I tend to see and experience interesting and fairly random things. Here are some highlights from the first foray of the year.
 
·         Before I’d even reached greater Belgrade on Friday morning, I saw a small red car which appeared to have some sort of canvas frame tied on the top. It wasn’t tied on very well, however, and the small red car looked as if it might take flight at any time.
·         My state pickup was spoiled when I was in Miles City, as it lived in a garage. Now it has to tough it out in the parking lot on campus. I drove for a large portion of Friday with an ice/snow mohawk on the cab. Oddly, as I drove toward the “great white North” of Havre, America, it just got warmer. Somewhere between Great Falls and Fort Benton, it was warm and windy enough to shave off the mohawk.

·         CW McCall’s “Convoy” was a featured song playing on KMON 560 AM. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s a good thing I travel alone, because no one could stand my singing.

·         Best misspelled word of the trip: “sumptious”. As in “try our sumptious desserts”. Better than sumptious deserts, I guess.

·         I was stopped for a funeral procession. The flag-draped casket was being transported to the cemetery in the back of a pickup, complete with three pallbearers sitting on each side.

Next up, the southeastern Montana winter ag series.: 10 towns, 10 talks, 5 days.

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux