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Our first rodeo

Since our time in the Badlands we’ve stopped in Spearfish, South Dakota, Crow Agency, MT and are now in Bozeman, MT.

Spearfish was a surprisingly lovely town. We stayed at the city campground where we could walk/bike into town and there was a free outdoor concert ¾ of us enjoyed. The town was developed around a trout fish hatchery in a Black Hills mountain stream that is now operated by the USGS. We enjoyed watching the trout from an underwater viewing area.

Crow Agency was remote and we stayed at a sweet and immaculate campground owned by a Mennonite family. The free ice cream and baby goat/calf feeding were big hits with both kids. We were close to Little Big Horn National Monument where we stopped this morning and learned a lot.

Today we made an unplanned stop in Bozeman. The only available spot we could find was an overnight parking place at the county fairground. It’s just a parking lot, but there is a view of the mountains, it’s walkable to downtown AND the county rodeo is here tonight. It was sold out, but after watching (our first rodeo!) over the fence for a while, Tucker and I found someone who had an extra ticket and he was able to go in. He was fascinated and I think this has been the highlight of the trip for him so far. He is still there as I write this. I’ll ask him to write something about his experience.

This is our ‘first rodeo’ in the metaphorical sense too. We are making plenty of mistakes and trying our best to be kind and patient with ourselves and each other (well at least Justin and I are trying this I 😉). Our wise friend Ruth shared that when she and her wife first stayed in their travel trailer they repeated the exclamation “Learning!” when things didn’t go quite right. We repeat this mantra regularly, including when we had to unhook our honda fit twice in one day because of wrong turns, when we snap at each other, or lose the gas cap. I also am saying this in my head as I learn to parent two different species of kids in this new space.

We are finding that driving places by RV takes much longer than by car as well as more energy/focus to drive. Our planned pace was too ambitious, but luckily we had built in some flex days so we are can go a little slower. We are looking forward to having three nights in Missoula where we can catch up on laundry and get Jesse a pair of shoes that work.

Final advice for the day: don’t keep a bottle of kombucha in your backpack when walking around. It turns out it becomes extra carbonated by all the jostling and if you open your backpack at an ice cream store and it falls on the concrete floor, it will explode into a million pieces like a glass bomb and frighten bystanders. Oops. (luckily no one was hurt in this scenario).


Watching the rodeo from over the fence

Trying to keep track of which end is up

Little Bighorn National Monument

Little Bighorn National Monument

Did you know it’s a thing to fly the American flag by helicopter during the national anthem at events? I didn’t!

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