March 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
We’re not the most exciting travelers around–but we do manage to get out and about once in awhile. Fortunately for us–while I’m stationed at the ranch preparing for spring calving, Carrie was asked by her employer to attend an event that promoted girls getting involved in science. What that meant in the background was that I was able to slip away for the weekend to go to Billings and meet up with her. Which is nice, cause I like being around my wife. (Her being 5 hours away finishing a Graduate degree is gonna pay off sometime. For real).
It was really good to take a couple mornings off from the feed routine–but both my Mother-in-Law and wife were teasing me about my desire to boogy back to the ranch. They seem to think my Father-in-Law is infecting my brain with an over active imagination regarding the wrecks that happen when I’m not on the ranch attendance roll. Fortunately, (or do I want it to be unfortunate…I can’t tell) nothing was amiss when I arrived back on Ranch territory. Everything went according to plan, creatures were fed and cared for–and ultimately I was not missed. Blech.
That being said: I think it’s important for ranch families to get off site once in awhile and take a step back. For me, it allows me to try and relax and not have the constant: I could be tinkering on that, or fixing this, or checking on them. While of course it’s always in the back of my mind, not being able to respond immediately–or gaze out my window forlornly at that sagging gate I just haven’t had time for–makes for a nice relaxing weekend.
Our hotel was nice, clean, and close to things we like to do. Eat, and drink beer primarily. We went to Jake’s where I ate an amazing sirloin steak. It was my first steak in probably a couple years that didn’t come from home. I have to hand it to you ranchers: You produce a dang fine sirloin. It was delicious. The servers were friendly, and attentive. The beer and wine list selection were good, and prices reasonable. If you find yourself in Billings, Montana you could do worse than stopping at Jake’s for a great steak.
Angry Hank’s Microbrewery was within walking distance of our hotel–which was fortunate because after a couple pints of their Czech Pilsner–it’s a good deal the pickup was parked. The atmosphere was really cool. Their brewing tanks and machinery were in sight, and their brewery is located in an old-timey gas station/mechanic garage. The beer making equipment seemed right being out in the open. The place was packed, but it felt like a bunch of old friends standing around in the shop having some good beer. Service was great, and having to walk around outside to the restroom reminded me of so many road trips with Mom and Dad.
Of course I bugged my wife in between hands of pinochle regarding what is going on at the ranch–but she’s come to expect that by now. I think she has the kind of filter Scout uses. Things that do not need to be immediately responded to go into the filter, where she can decide if it is worth remembering, or commenting on. If not–it gets cleaned in the filter, and comes off as something else. This is an ability that I would like to acquire. Mostly, I just get accused of zoning out and missing something. (Which may or may not be true, I will never tell).
Also, since she spent minimal time making fun of my mustache, I have decided to keep it. Granted, it looks like a small reddish-brown mouse died on my face–it keeps my upper lip warm, traps beer foam, and gives me an additional prop for my “cowboy” look. These are all good things. My goal is to get it long enough I can use mustache wax and make a curly-cue thing or something. I have to accomplish this before Carrie cuts it off when I am sleeping. It’s good to have goals.
I am more than glad to be back with my creatures, and look forward to more shenanigans with Scout. As we’ve got the new cow horse Pete, and two new bulls in the corral there is plenty of opportunities for Heeler Evil.
But dang. Those brews and steak were a nice break to recharge the batteries.
Seeing you was cool too, Honey.