Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
74Trip End Sep 01, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
By morning, we wake with urine spraying out from us like the geysers we missed in Yellowstone, and drive straight to Billings with such excretory propulsion. She's an attractive college town, is Billings, more modern than Butte and seemingly less dire. We hardly glance at it, however, or its university, but rather pull into a supermarche to calculate our money matters, as we’ve been sharing all costs (I think that’s some kind of wonderful). We leave our friend at the corner – he doesn’t want to burden us by driving him to the airport; what a guy – and after a group picture in front of Albertson’s, complete with misty goodbye, we drive on. Montana is still open and planar and, apart for some beautiful cubic rock formations sprouting pines here or there, it opens itself to us in the form of miles and miles of mildly undulating green that even the cows can’t come close to populating
We get to the site of the Battle of Little Big Horn, a national monument, and after running around in some teepees, we marvel at the headstones of legend, while I consider George Armstrong Custer’s supposed greatness (though his mustache is undeniably perfect), and study the stories of Sitting Bull’s determined resilience and fierce integrity (sheesh, I’m soooo anti-American, eh?). It all reminds of that great and meaningless quote from The Royal Tenenbaums ("…everyone knows that Custer died at the Battle of Little Big Horn; what this book presupposes is, 'maybe he didn’t?’"), and I’m even further harkening back to that great Italian-French film about Custer’s Last Stand, which is set in Modern Paris and which stars my beloved Marcellino and his beautiful old flame, Catherine Denevue (you should look it up and see it: it’s all kind of bizarre, and in a very good way.
The evening begins with an attempt to repair our bus; we see that her tendency to overheat may be due to the coolant we’ve been using, or attributed to the fuel filter, and in working on that, we also fix to fix our cigarette lighter adapter, while The Beard works to find the source of our general electric problems. Once we paste a few things together, we head an hour or two out of our way to Devil’s Tower, and hike up it for twenty minutes. I’m getting to be indifferent to all of this hiking and climbing by now, since we’ve been doing it every day for weeks, but it’s everyone else’s m.o., so what can you do? In fact, as I transcribe this previously hand-written journal entry, I do know what I can do: stop bitching and enjoy myself. I’m on a school bus traveling across the country, for Jeep’s sake. I feel like I’m forgetting plenty in this entry. Hmm.