Thursday, June 27, 2013

Exploring Billings Montana

I have noticed in my travels that MANY people do not know were Wyoming is.
But if you say the square state right under Montana, they always know of Montana at least.  
**Please note:
This trip was last month---the date stamps on the pictures are very messed up.
I am not passing off old pictures to make a "new blog post"   At least this time. ;)

Flying out of Bellingham, WA
I have never flown over B-Ham in the day time.  
This picture out the plane window, loses most of the amazing beauty.
There are hundreds of islands and water every were.

           Last month, before our big cross country move, I took a very short trip to Montana mostly to visit with my parents.  With packing and all, it was not the best timed trip, but we found it better than just moving to a new place, and leaving my family for a few days in that new land.  Plus we had bought a discount flight voucher a few months before, and it was about to expire. Additionally, upon arriving in Arizona, my flight plan would have left the evil city of Phoenix --to Seattle, and than down to Billings.   I did not grow up in the state, but it is much cheaper to fly into Billings than the po-dunk airport in Sheridan, Wyoming-were I grew up.  Plus there is much more to do and explore in Billings, it is "the big city" with a mall and such!  It was a very quick trip---but still enjoyable for sure!   Along with cheaper flights, seems to come layovers.   On this trip I flew right out of Bellingham, Washington direct clear to Seattle.   I than had five hours to explore and attempt to do some blogs at the airport.  I have a couple of  blog posts about exploring Billings--type "Billings" into the search if you are so inclined and or that bored.  ;)

     Bellingham airport is very small and boring.   I arrived there much to early, and had lots of time to sit.  As I mentioned I had lots of time to explore the large Seattle airport.   And watched many a plane take off.  

Again out the plane window.
Descending into Seattle.
Two of the stadiums are in this picture.  Both in the heart of downtown.
Just beyond is the waterfront-- with hours of enjoyment and exploring.

Soon after landing I decided it was time for some caffeine.  This being Seattle-- even in the airport--a Starbucks was never far away.  

A perfect presentation for a Washington cup of coffee.

The airport is full of art work.  
I am not sure what this is---but it is purdy.
And shiny, I am easily distracted by anything shiny.

                                           A huge canoe on one terminal ceiling.         

Happiest person in the airport!

                                                             Still waiting!

      Five hours is a long time, even in the most exciting of places.   I took full advantage of the free wi-fi through out the entire airport.  And believe I finished a blog post or two.   But I soon grew tired of sitting.    I do not sit well.   I have long ago learned that airport bars are overly expensive.   You could rent a car, and go buy a six pack of beer for the same price as one brew.  

      Because of the long lay-over, I did not reach Billings until Midnight on the first day of my voyage.   A quick trip to the motel, and off to find something to snack on, and call my wife before bed.   I was instantly to impressed with the store clerk bagging my purchase.   Because there is an annoying bag ban in Washington.   I thought I could go right to bed, but with the boring day, and the time difference, I was up till way to late in the AM.   It is only a one hour time difference, but that is more than enough to change my entire body's clock.   I do not see how people can fly across the sea.  It would take me two days of just sleeping to catch up.   Both ways!  Just down from my crummy motel the next morning I found coffee!   Lots of coffee.   City Brew is huge in the Billings area.   I rambled out another blog post and than planned out my day.   My buddy lived in the area, but had to work till about five and he was my tour guide for the day.   My parents were not coming up to visit until the following day.   Being from a much bigger city- I was surprised to learn two things, the bathrooms in the coffee joint- and much of the town, were not locked.  And the coffee place and most businesses, including my hotel-did not have a password for there free wi-fi.    I know these are little things, but very nice.  Plus having grown up in Wyoming, I am very easily amused, thanks for playing!


This restaurant is connected to the motel I stayed at. 
And I have heard and am sure it is a fine place to eat.
The name just makes it far from appealing to me.
Although it is talking about the near by rock formations, that lead to some great exploring--and the airport.

I had a good part of the day to roam --so I took off for a near by trail I had heard about.

So many trails---so little time.

I had thought that the trail would lead me up the rocks, but soon found this was wrong.  
I soon grew bored with this trail and headed down town to explore.

A few shots before jumping off the trail:

This really is an impressive area although it is hard to capture the large size, in these pictures.
Several very nice houses are nestled up in the hills.  
The formations in the rock are equally as fascinating.

One of the many great sights in down town Billings.

I worked for one of the biggest casinos around while living in Washington, so while exploring I decided to visit what looked like a large casino in Billings.  When I opened the door, everyone stared at me.  All five customers.  There was a lot of empty space, and about ten "slot" machines.   Slot machines in MT mainly consist of Keno and card games.  Both lame in my book.
Although the following night we ended up at a "Casino" and I got very cheap drinks as I pretended to play the slot machines.

This patriotic greater stands in front of one of the huge Army Surplus stores.
I also found a huge antique shop to roam through.

I would recommend not visiting the art museum.  
This rotating sculpture sits out front. 
It is a very large space, with not much actual museum.
And it is expensive.  

I found this very amusing and jumped in the middle of the Burger King parking lot to get this picture.
There was no one around, and it was like the person did not know he could actually take the wheelchair inside instead of parking it between two handicap parking signs.

This could easily be yet another case, were only I am amused. ;)

This sign reminded me that it was lunch time.
I walked to a grocery store and something suitable for a sacked lunch.
Than called a cab- and had them take me up the rock rim to another hike spot.
Because I was more than tired of walking.
I must say here that the cab call centers are very rude here-and it took 50 minutes to actually see the cab driver.  
But it beats walking.

I ended up at Zimmerman Trail.

Very nice area filled with trails and look outs over the city.
I was a little alarmed to find signs every were to watch out for rattle snakes. 
Because I am overly afraid of all snakes. 
But I did not see the signs, until I was done with my lunch and hike. 

Among all the trails  lots of huge areas of flat rock can be enjoyed.

By than it was time for my buddy to be off work, and he played tour guide. 
Sadly my trip was in the middle of the week, and there was not much to do. 
We ended up at Wally World first off.
I have known this man since middle school, and had the privilege of attending his wedding two years ago, so we were soon lost in catching up.
And he saved me some cash by letting me stay at his very nice house.

The next morning I was dropped off at a coffee house, and than meet up with my parents for the day. 
We explored some, and had some issues with my hotel.   But it was a great visit with them for sure!

                                                                Me exploring!

     Next exploring blog post will be a picture filled post about our family's awesome trip to Tombstone, Arizona.

                          Gun fight action in Tombstone    The "Town to tough to die!"

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