Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Failing Asleep At The Wheel PT I --Into Billings MT

                    So I try to keep this page as updated and fresh as possible.  But work, my family, and just plain life seem to always be keeping me more than busy.  This is also an Arizona Exploring blog sight for the most part, but every once in awhile I wander and Explore further down the dusty trail and wish to share.  I hope you enjoy the posts--from wherever they may start even half as much as I enjoy taking the pictures and the Exploring.   My long running personal blog page usually gets updated more than this here page---Also full of my pictures and Exploring, but maybe not for the faint of heart, easily offended, any type of snowflake, or those in California who now have a third sex option to put on there drivers licences.  Anyways please also check out that page  at      
    I recently had the joy of taking eleven days off work and traveling a few great and amazing places.   The first part of the trip was going back home to Wyoming, a place I have not been in 6 or 7 years.  But first it was easier and cheaper to fly into Billings Montana, get a rental car, and drive to Sheridan Wyoming.   About a two hour drive-if I wasn't known to stop a lot and Explore and get pictures.  And get pictures I did---I am going to break this trip into several blog posts because of the amount of pictures I did take along the whole way.  I have older posts from Wyoming and Montana you should also check out---full of Exploring and pictures of course, they can be found on both of my blog sights by using key words in the search.   

Still in Arizona with time to kill.
Plane was delayed

Airport coffee

Gate to Billings

    Originally I had planned on just driving right to see my parents  --Originally I had a lot of plans that did not actually happen on this trip.  But it was an adventure for sure.  In the first place, I was supposed to stay in a guest cabin near my parents-but that also fell through.  After hearing this news---something that actually did not turn out to bad at all,  and after the pilot announced that it was 45 outside when we were flying into Billings, I decided to splurge a little bit and stay at Motel Six.  In my travels this is usually my go to place to stay.   And I have tons of pictures of myself in there mirrors.   I spanned out in this shot to show the silly ashtrays.   They are supposed to be no smoking rooms, but have ashtrays with no smoking signs on the bottom of them.  I am still not exactly sure how I would read all that.   I don't smoke I just find it amusing.   This room was not very good for a Motel Six--but the bed was comfy and check out time was noon.   Some time during the night it turned to rain outside -so I was glad that I had dug out my hoodie jacket before coming home and that I had stayed the night in Billings.  

   In all my travels  this is the ONLY Motel Six I know of -where you can stand on the porch of your motel and see another Motel Six.   

   I had planned on sleeping in a little bit--not much and than doing it my way---and hitting the highway.   Stopping at Custer Battlefield-or whatever they call it now.  That's what it was while growing up -so that's what it is to me!    Although that is one of the few protests for a name change I can understand---Custer and his men got beyond slaughtered here, quickly  -probably should not have been named after the poor scalpless white boys.  

    I had also planned on getting to the motel much sooner the night before.   Billings used to be our party town, when we were bored.   Bored in Wyoming---that almost never happened.  Billings was the big city it had a mall!   Anyways, I have not been in the town for a long while.  Especially at night.   And soon after getting the rental car----another very difficult part of this trip, I was soon lost in the town.  From the airport I quickly got to the downtown area, but it was not familiar enough anymore to help me navigate.  Thank goodness for online maps!   But this was not even helpful at first, because after typing in "Wal Mart" to help get me near the two Motel Sixes-I soon leaned there were now multiple Wal Marts in the area.   After several attempts  I just typed in the mall----and very quickly had the lay of that part of town. 

Waiting for my luggage.
Very small airport to Explore

              I only share a picture of the mall   because it is exactly how I recall from my teen years.  Inside and out.  Even the vendors in the food court seem to be lost in time here. 

Speaking of lost in time
I found an open Shopko here too!

The following morning I soon decided I needed lots of coffee.
A very good place to enjoy a brew or five!

   I work in a very large casino.   So it always amuses me what is considered a casino in Montana.    The only thing really neat about these places---is when you sit down  you can get free beer.   Even at the very ritzy gas station casinos!   I can't say that I did not hit any of these ---and come out a lil ahead during this part of the trip.  ;)    Inside there is usually mostly bar.   And a few dozen old school slot machines with a lot of Keno games over regular slots.  

    Much later than I had figured, I made it on the open road.   And it is wide open!  I had forgot how boring a drive this is  and soon wondered how I used to drive this all the time in my youth---like it was nothing.  Usually at night.  This whole area is definitely a whole new world.  And when I lived --grew up in the area I was used to it.    
    Speaking of wide open, I was not used to the 80 MPH speed limit signs on the highway.  In Arizona they top out at 75---and I kept looking down to see I was driving in that range speed wise.  Montana used to have no posted speed limit on highways in the day time.  The signs said simply "reasonable and prudent."  This however could be greatly interpreted differently between the driver and the officer involved.  At some point to many people died --although I am not sure what the hell they hit---and the government stepped in.  Basically telling the powers that be of the state, that if they did not lower the speed limits, they would loose tons of big government funding.  The signs soon changed.  

   I probably would not even have recalled it was fall time  if I had not drove this part of the trip.  Not to many trees in Arizona, and cactus do not change color much.   Maybe before dying.  Although the best fall colors were still about a week away.

I always enjoy an abandoned building in my travels. 

    Here I had just excited the highway on the Crow reservation.  I like to say Crow's are angry natives because they have casinos like the one I pictured above.  I like to say a lot of things that later cause me trouble.  At any rate at this spot I took several pictures and a native that was waiting for his ride, offered to take my picture here.   I probably should have took him up on the kind offer.   I was attempting to see the Custer Battlefield at this exit.  

   I say attempting  because some where down the line this turned into a national park--and the entrance fee was way to steep for me.  I took many a school field trip here---and could only recall mainly staring over empty fields and being told if we did find any artifacts we could not keep them.       So I turned around and hit the tourist trap across the street from the park entrance.  

And got a whole group of pictures roaming around here. 
As I said  a  whole different world!

Few of my friends can identify wildlife I used to see on a daily bases
So I am also betting they do not know what these are above. 

Towards town.
Sadly closed  but the name amused me.

This casino is large   and no the church is not the casino building
just odd sign placing.  

This is the old entrance to the casino past. 

I was actually going to visit this large building  but I missed the exit and it was getting towards afternoon already some how. 

Just across from the grand entrance
Notice the bullet holes in the windows.

Just a little further down a tribute to fallen native solders. 

One last shot before jumping back on the highway.
I did still have at least an hours worth of driving to do. 

A very welcome sign because I was close to home!

Some where along the years they have changed to this new sign.  
This is not the one I recall from my youth.  
They also added a pull over area on the side of the highway   
so you can get pictures and stop and be safe.
Although I really wish there had been a restroom here. 

Next picture filled post---Sheridan Wyoming!

And don't forget Big Horn
were I actually grew up   and beyond.

As always 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

MT Zion Utah --Further Down The Road

     Hello fellow readers!  I have many new pictures and Exploring filled blog posts in the works.  In an effort to keep this page updated and fresh I am skipping ahead of several trips to my recent ten day vacation.  I went home --to Wyoming to see family and friends for the first time in six years.   Way to long- for sure!   After so long gone, I had to dig out a hoodie for the flight home, and was a little alarmed when the pilot announced that it was 45 outside when I first flew into Billings Montana.   I even found some snow at the top of the Rockie Mountains.  Than I spent some more time in Montana  --flew into Viva Las Vegas the night after the horrendous shooting off the strip.   Took some time to hike with my buddy all around MT Zion --and very slowly went back home.   This trip was not well planned at all----and I like having everything planed down to the last detail.   More on all of this of course very soon!    For quicker updates and more pictures  and Exploring   Please check out my long running blog page at         Please also check out past trips around Wyoming and beyond on this very Exploring blog page.   On this trip I easily took over 300 pictures, so lots of posts to come!    Please be patient.   ;)   And share this page when you enjoy what you see!

     Tonight I share our hike through MT Zion National Park.   Near the end of my journey.  But definitely worth sharing.   Plus I have the fewest pictures from this part of the trip.   So a some what short post   to get me back in the grove of posting.    This part of the trip was simply amazing.  And I hope that some of the grand yer of everything shows in my pictures.   This trip was early on a Tuesday in hopes of being around few fellow visitors.  We had left Vegas very early and drove around the Mandalay Bay Casino, still mostly blocked off by police.  We drove right past the windows that were broken out for the crazed mad man --to do his shooting spree just days before.   I really wanted to get a picture of the windows, but the cops were still out in full force and many of them, were still, understandably on edge.  So I refrained from getting any pictures.  I feared stopping the rental car, jumping out, pulling out my camera   and being tackled by a nervous officer.   And being quoted as saying "I just wanted a clear shot." on the evening news.   Anyways more on all that later.      And the all out strange vibes during our Vegas part of the  trip.   We drove the two hours ---past the shooters home town in Utah.  The park was full.   Even on a week day.  In fact after paying our entrance fees ---we had to return back down the hill to park.    Luckily tram/busses service the entire area.   The entry fees were pretty steep it seemed, about $30 bucks but it was well worth it.  

    Near the entrance.   Hard to see in this picture, but all padlocks.  While we were waiting for the tram up to the start of our hike, we leaned that the hike we were planning to take was closed for maintenance.   It really does seem imposable to escape construction, no matter where we Explore!   So we quickly formed a new plan.  The line was long, even early.  But it only took about thirty minutes to get on a bus.   


My friend while waiting for the bus. 
Holding out full information packet.  

At the start of our trail
Originally we were going to the top of Angels Landing.
I enjoy a great sign. 
Especially one with a great back drop.
A fall warning and warning about feeding animals.

Early in the trail before we became winded and were still in great spirits.
How come all the best views are always up hill?


A short ways up.  

Pointing out how far the trip down might be. 
And quick if we went that route. 

Attempt to show our final rise and the steep switch backs in the trail.

O what a view!
The top of the center rock is where our hike would have took us.

Our stop.
For the view and some grub.
As soon as we sat chipmunks came from all around because they knew we had food.
My buddy kept calling them wild gerbils!

Back at the bottom.
We decided to Explore more and went along the river 
back to the information center.

I was a bit surprised to not spot a single fish in 
the crystal clear water. 

What a back drop!

As always 


Next a bit of Exploring around Wyoming and beyond!