Friday, August 31, 2012

Freaky Friday ~ When You Run Out of Gas

Well, not gas, exactly. But you know when the ideas just stop coming, as in writing, that is.

Although I'm prolific, and have notebook filled with ideas for stories, and have the muse wake me at odd hours of the night with the idea I need, I do, from time to time come to a stand still and ask "Okay. Now what?"

I had that happen the other night. Well I thought, why not ask a question. Not "What's next", but a question that might spark an idea.

A quick scene here. Set up: Sabrina is to donate her plasma at a place that collects it. She's waiting to be called back...

Are you guys going to be able to go in with me?” I asked.

Rick made a shrug. “Probably not,” he said. “Some places don't allow anyone back there but the donor.” He looked down at his iPhone and then up, and something caught his eye. “Kiel,” he said almost under his breath.

I looked across the room and saw a woman in a green smock enter the room and then immediately turn away and dart back through the doorway.

Kiel? Hey, Kiel!” Rick shouted. “Aw, crap.” I watched his face as it went through a couple of quick emotions, the first one was surprise, the next one was something like suspicion, and the third looked like worry.

What is it?” I asked. “Who was that woman?”

That was Kiel,” Rick said and blew out through his nose like a bull about to charge. He turned back to his iPhone and tapped some message on it rather vigorously. “This is fucked!”

What? Why?” I said, exchanging glances with Cho.

Kiel is a witch,” he said as he tapped something out onto his iPhone. “She's also my ex, but that probably has nothing to do with it.” He stopped and looked up. “At least I hope not.” He resumed his tapping. “Christ!”

Should I go after her?” Cho offered.

Rick looked up. “Knock yourself out.”

Cho jumped up and sprinted through the room and disappeared through the doorway, almost barreling into someone else coming out. I watched a woman shuffled through looking back at where Cho had gone as if trying to understand what was going on. Shaking her head, she went up to the desk.

Some how I had to bring things together here and explain who the mysterious woman was who appeared in a doorway and then disappeared. And Rick, the leprechaun, happened to recognize her.

What I needed was to explore Rick's past a little bit as well. Nothing worse than not giving your secondary characters a background. They need some story from the past to deepen their characters.

So, my question was: What if Sabrina finds something the witch had on her?

Okay, but what? And why/how would it be used?

I came up with the idea of jewelry. Nothing more personal than that and an earring could easily be lost in a chase. So, the earring was found.

I wanted Sabrina to try and get a "read" from it (she is a psychic). But then I thought, if I spoil things here as to what's going on, then I've spilled the beans. So, I have it that she can't read the object. Obviously the witch put a spell on it. But I went on and gave a little background on Rick:

Come in. I'm alone,” I said.

They came in and shut the door.

What's up?”

I held out the earring to Rick. “Look familiar?” I saw Cho eyeing it and lifted for him to look at.

She was wearing earrings like that,” Cho said.

Yeah,” Rick said, plucking the earring from my fingers. “Those are like what she'd wear.” He looked up. “Where did you find it?”

Actually Ariel found it on the floor, in here.” I lifted my eyes to Cho. “What happened to you? Did you loose her?”

I did,” he said. “Once I left the room, it was as though she had vanished.”

She can travel the ley lines. There's a pretty good one here,” Rick said.

I must have been too nervous to notice,” I said, shivering. “Now I'm just cold.”

The blood leaving you does that,” Rick said. “You're lucky that Ariel came to do this. She's pretty good.”

Rick. You said we were screwed. Why? Because of Kiel being here?” I asked.

He hedged. “Maybe. Like I said. I don't know why she was here.”

Let's find out,” I suggested.

Cho and Rick exchanged glances.

How?” Rick asked.

Here.” I handed him the earring. He took it. I then held my hand toward Cho. “Take the glove off my hand.” He did as I asked. “Now, Rick, place the earring in my hand. I may go into a swoon, but I'm sitting and have nothing better to do.”

We'll stand guard,” Rick said and carefully settled the piece of jewelry in my hand. My skin tingled, and then heat radiated from the object. I pulled in a surprised breath. After a moment, the tingling dissipated.

You okay, Brie?” Rick asked, his hand hovering over my hand.

I swallowed, looking into his brown eyes. I waited. “I'm getting nothing.”

It might be charmed,” Rick said.

Okay. Just take it away.”

Rick took the earring out of my hand.

We were quiet for a few heartbeats. Then I had to ask.

Okay, what do you know about this witch?”

Kiel Saint Thomas is no saint by any means,” Rick said. “I knew her about five years ago. We dated.” His eyes slid back to Cho, then on me. “I thought things were going great. And then I realized she was using me to learn... things.”

Learn things?” I said. “Like what?”

Well, ley line travel, for one.”

You knew she was a witch?”

I knew it the moment we met.”

Where did you meet?” Cho asked.

In a club on the north side.”

Really?” I said.

And we sort of hit it off.” He beamed and slid his eyes again to Cho. “The sex was fabulous.”

Cho and I wisely kept silent.

She'd have me help her in spells,” he said slowly, looking down. “I didn't like what those spells were for.”

Why? What were they for?”

She was trying to raise the dead.”

Oh, come on!” I said.

No. It's been done by famous witches like John Dee. But then she asked if I knew any vampires. You know, personally?”

And you probably did,” I supplied.

I did. But I was getting some bad vibes off of her and where she wanted to go with her witchcraft. I thought it was turning into more black. She wanted to go after certain people who had wronged her, that sort of thing.”

Yes. Definitely black magic,” I said.

So, I hesitated in introducing her to any vampires. But it doesn't take much to find one, especially if you're a witch.” He shrugged. “Anyway, I broke it off. I had to have another witch put a protection spell on me so that she couldn't hex me.”

I nodded. “So, Kiel probably has found a couple of vampires by now.”

No doubt.”

Rick, I'm not sure what level Kiel is at, but if she's in with the wrong vampires...”

You mean the likes of Ilona and Nicolas?” he suggested.

I slid him a look. “The very same ones. She may have been in cahoots with them to find me and do something to prevent me from giving blood.”

Most likely,” Cho piped in, “she was here to take your donation and not get it to Tremayne so that he would die.”

Ahhh,” Rick said. “That would be just her style, too.”

No doubt Cho is right.” I sat for a moment thinking, shivering again. My coat had slipped off me some. Cho moved it up and arranged it around my shoulders. “Thanks.” I held the coat in place with my free hand. “I'm wondering if I were to take that to another witch what she might learn from it, if anything?”

I don't know,” Rick said, holding the piece of jewelry between his thumb and first finger to let it dangle. Overhead lighting shown through the amber beads. “Worth a try, I guess.”

The question worked. I knew that if Rick knew her there had to be some background. The link was the earring.

Next time you have come to a stand still ask a question. Or many. Keep asking them until you hit on the right question that gets your brain working on the story.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Ring & Dagger's Magic

I realized I have not had a Teaser Tuesday in a few weeks. A pox upon me! So, without further ado, I give you a little teaser from Vampire Nocturne

The Mystic Ring carries great magic, and is partially how you are able to move through ley lines,” Vasyl added.

I'm not that good at it,” I admitted.

You will get better,” he assured. “If I can not persuade you to not return, remember what you did to me.”

I frowned, puzzled.

At the end of the ceremony. You threw me?”

Ohhh!” I let my head slink down some. “I didn't mean to. I'm really sorry.”

I know. But that is not what I meant. You stopped me with the ring. Do not forget what you can do with it. Plus, the Dagger of Delphi; its blade is made of pure silver. You saw its power. Plunged into the heart of a vampire, it will make him immobile while you decapitate him.”

Right,” I said, inwardly cringing. “It stabbed the vampire without my even touching it.” A chill crept up my arms with the memory.


It then returned to me.”

It is imbued with the soul of the sibyl of Delphi, so it will always go after vampires, demons, and Fallen Angels, and all their descendants. It knows to return to its mistress. Always.”

©2012 Lorelei Bell

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27 ~ My Birthday (and why I hate it)

I've always hated the day of my birthday. AUGUST 27th.

Well, think about it. This is when school starts back up. Why would I like going back to school when it was my birthday? I hated the fact that I was usually surrounded by an institution, with teachers yammering on about something I wasn't sure if I cared to hear. And then be embarrassed later because I didn't know the answers. Well, they didn't know what ADD was back then. Nor was my dyslexia picked up at all. School was no fun.

I suppose you think it's different now. Right? I'm no longer going to school.

No. Not really. I now am driving a bus. Even though it is a transit bus, I drive college students around... on my birthday more times than not. Like today. Monday. Ugh!

Well, there are good things about this time of year. There are pens and paper things on sale! I do love to look at and buy when I have some extra cash.

But really, if I could move my birthday a few months away, like--oh, I don't know--say October 31st. That would be more ideal. My birthday would be celebrated by ghosts, witches, vampires, werewolves--um, you know, people and children in costume. And all that candy! Oh! That would be my night for sure. And I could dress up too--I loved doing that when I lived in town. No one comes out here in the sticks. Oh well.

Two things I bought for myself were two books: Charlaine Harris' "Dead Reckoning"--which I am reading right now. And Kim Harrison's "Pale Demon". I actually found a hard bound of Pale Demon on sale reduced below the price of the paper back. Hot dog!

Anyone dislike when their birthday falls on? Just wondering. I can't be the only person!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Cat's POV - From the Wild Side

I'm a cat. Undomesticated. Some would call me wild. Okay, so I'm a feral cat.

I have no name. The humans who I've adopted--well, sort of--call me "Kitty" and that's fine. I like the man, it's the woman I don't trust so much. At least he has fur on his face like me.

So, to begin with, I came around their yard early June, starving and pregnant. Again, but then I'm female, and I've been through this before. These feet have traveled far and wide. The humans took pity on me. Odd how they did not chase me away like so many others have done. They fed me. First it was scraps from their meals, which is fine. (I have eaten from garbage before, I've eaten road kill too, as well as my own kills, but I'll get back to that.) Then I believe it was tuna from a can. I'm not finicky. I've gone hungry way too much to care one way or another. A meal is a meal.

So, I was then given some kibble. I've eaten kibble from other domesticated cat's dishes before. This wasn't bad. You domesticated ones don't know how good you got it. Warm place to sleep, food until you burst. But don't get me wrong, I like my life. I come and go as I please, no one to answer to, sleep under the stars, and if I feel like taking off for some reason, I will.

My pregnancy went alright. Had five little ones. All but one looked similar to me--tiger stripes, at least one had the feral buff of my coat. But my first born, he was different. He had odd markings on the face, back legs almost completely white, and very dark back. Plus he's a long-hair, which is so unlike me. I swear I don't know where that came from! The rogue that knocked me up was another tiger. Anyway, I hear the humans now refer to this one as "Jack". That's a pretty good name for him. He's stronger, more daring and I think he'll make a good hunter, and maybe the winter won't be much of a danger to him, once he strikes off on his own.

The other day I spotted some road kill--a squirrel. Sort of looked like how that one who knocked me up got all mangled on the road a few months back. Serves him right, the bastard.

So, I gnawed off a hunk and brought it up. My babies are getting stronger and bigger every day, and their little teeth are like needles on the teats! Time to ween them already. I bring a hunk of squirrel up and they jumped on the meat. Just as I figured, Jack was the dominant one and hogged it for himself, growling while he ate. How adorable! The next day I brought up more--a piece of leg. This time the one with white paws dove on it. The smaller ones, they still need my milk, so I don't mind getting them off by themselves to savor the last few times I get to feed them. The runt I worry about. The others play pretty hard, and it's hard for her to keep up. Now and then she just gets off by herself. She's a bit too trusting of the human woman, however. It bothers me. I've voiced my opinion of her and have growled when she came too close. I swear these humans are a bit dense. I may have to take her out someday. Just saying.

And now it's time for a long, leisurely nap after a night of prowling. Later.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kitten Watching

I've been home for a good two weeks, and I'm still not really "back". I'm in this zone where I just can't get it together for more than an hour. I can't concentrate. I have very little desire to do much of anything.

My problem? Kittens.

Yep. The little darlings have me hypnotized. I watch them playing, sleeping and so on. You see, mommy cat moved them, coz they were getting bigger. So she put them under these large juniper type bushes that grow low to the ground, and the main trunks are larger around than my thigh. These bushes are situated right out side my office widows. I sometimes can look out and see these little cuties running, climbing up and around their "jungle gym" and I get so engrossed in their antics, I get nothing done. I think, though most people can forgive me for being so engrossed in them.

And then someone mentioned that one--a black and white--has the look of a Maine Coon (American Longhair). That wasn't the first this was mentioned. Mother cat is just a plain tiger cat. Nothing too special, but her fur seems thick--not long, or anything out of the ordinary. But the color is buff. She also hisses when my husband goes out and feeds her. She will alternate with these gravely meows. Our neighbor, who took care of them while we were gone, said that a Maine Coon does this in greeting. Some greeting. My husband is her keeper, although he will not admit to owning her. She is more wild than tame. Or is this just the way a Maine Coon acts?

I had to look up Main Coons. They are beautiful animals (above picture is one), and they are quite different from other cats. The one thing that struck me was that Maine Coons are not your typical "lap" cats. They will not come up and want affection from you. They are more aloof than any other cat.

Their name apparently comes from both the color, and that big tail. The fur is gorgeous, and there are as many color mixtures as there are in any cat world. The legend of how they came to be in America. Various stories survive. One being that ships at some point brought a type of long-haired cat to our shores, they jumped out much like the sailors and mated with the mainland womenfolk. They may have been from the Vikings who brought with them the Norwegian cat (to the right) which look pretty large and capable of surviving winters.

There are 5 kittens in this batch, and I have a window seat every afternoon and evening, and I watch them play. When they get going, it's like they've got fire under them. Jumping, chasing, creating new ways of crouching and then displaying that stiff-legged, arched back thing. It's hilarious! I feel like I'm in one of those zoos where you watch on one side of the window and they continue on as though you aren't there. I see them learn something new each day. Now they are able to capture things in their paws. They haven't been able to do that before this week.

Are they related to the Main Coon? I don't know. They say that Main Coons have fur between the pads of their paws. I've not been able to befriend them that well, yet. Only one--the runt--seems friendly enough to stick around. It also meows. Only one has unusual coloring a black back and two long white socks in the back and his eyes are outlined in white. Something they all have and I don't know if that's a trait. But the rest look more like the mother. The other four are tigers--gray or the buff color of the mother. But two have some white on their paws. My little runt has been the only one to come near me. He's the only one who doesn't run and hide. I may have to give him/her a special name. I've already named the black and white one Captain Jack. If it's a girl it will be Captain Jane. He's the larger of all and only one with longer fur.

Well, that's why I've had nothing to post. That, and because I'm waiting to get those pictures to post. Among them I hope to have some decent kitten pictures.

All for now.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Hello, my pretties. How are you on this fine Saturday?

I know that some of you have been checking in and reading my posts on my trip from my journal. However, I don't have pictures yet, and I felt that perhaps I will wait until I get the great pictures before I continue, because I sure wouldn't want to deny you those while I tell my story. (We just took the film in.)

And as you all know even when a writer gets away from his/her office, he/she can't help but keep thinking about the story. And so, while I was away, I did have my notebook handy. But I wasn't thinking about the book. Once we had gotten to our destination, I was relaxed. But I didn't write anything, except in my journal. I was into the now--for once!

For a writer to be able to relax and get away from the day-to-day grind, and if you can, get away from all form of news--this is helpful. While in the lodge there was no TV. Who needed it?

Once we began our way back home, I set up office in the passenger seat, and wrote the scenes that had come to me while I was relaxed and we traveled through North Dakota, and South Dakota on consecutive days.

Since I've been home, I entered those scenes into the story document, and now I'm up to page 101, and the word count is at 36,305, and I'll be adding to it the second scene I've written, so it will go beyond that easily today.

I always feel that once I've reached the 100th page that the story is definitely on it's way. I usually know by now how long the novel will be, because I have certain events/scenes and I know where I want the climax to come in. I never think about word count when it comes to how long my book is. I go by pages, so I know that I have to begin building toward something after this point. It may take another 100 pages or more to get to the crisis, and then an almost lull, and then the climax, and resolution.

I've already given my MC a black moment, and more things will follow. Foreshadowing something that possibly might happen has already taken place. This may be a little darker than the other books, because of the things I cover, and things that happen to Sabrina. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, since this is the fifth book, and the third one isn't even out yet.

I hope to continue with the trip log, at some point next week. As soon as I get those pictures I'll put up the next post (day #4, I believe).

So, how are all of you with your WIP's? What's the progress reports? Love to hear from ya!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

TRIP DAY THREE ~ Montana in the Rain & Pompy's Pillar

August 3 (journal entry) Friday

Left Miles City in the rain. T-storm blew in. But before that, we got to a car wash: The truck was all red from dust and mud stood on the running boards. But this stupid car wash didn't get the mud completely off, so Dennis had to spray it off--again, using up $ for the stupid thing.

Next thing we needed was food. Motel 6 will only give you coffee. I need more than coffee to get me down the road and Dennis does too. Unfortunately we had to settle for a McDonald's. Now before you start in on how great you think this place is, Dennis worked for a McD's and he can tell you that everything is FROZEN! Even the pancakes. Which is what I ordered. And I REALLY DON'T LIKE SOMEONE PUTTING CREAMER AND SUGAR INTO MY COFFEE! Grrr! But if you don't tell them to do this, then you get it black. I do not take my coffee black.

When we got finished, we walked back to the motel and began to pack. Then the rain began to come down heavy.

While we waited for it to pass, Dennis put ice/heat/ice on his lower back again. He did that for about 30-40 min. We used a hand towel, wetting it and popping it into the microwave. He said that the wet heat worked much better than the dry heat. Something to keep in mind. We had a zip-lock baggie for the ice, and he would pop that into the freezer at every interval. He feels much better, but has to be careful how he moves and bends.

On the Road:
The mountains are small, and surround this valley. Rugged dry grassland, dotted with mostly sage and a few trees along here. Very different.

I woke up with a headache, and felt it wasn't important enough to mention, but took something for it. I had 2 wine coolers last night after our harrowing drive, so I guess I pay for that. (However I forgot that we are now in higher elevation, and that is also one of my heralding signs of adjusting to the altitude--which is very mild compared to some people.)

WE head for Butte today. Hope to see Poppy's Pillar, if no rain.

10:00 AM ~ Made a pit stop. Dennis dug out my sweatshirt and his, as it is 58 degrees here--at one point it was 54 while under a dark cloud. Rain is letting up as we continue on.

Buttes are tree-studded here. It's more grass-lined than not. The valley below is carpeted in green and gold with a river cutting through (we learn it is the Yellowstone River).

We stop at Pompy's Pillar National Monument. For those of you who are history buffs, you may know what this is. If not, I'll tell you. This is the only known physical site where William Clark left his name (of the Lewis & Clark Expedition). It was called "Where the Mountain Lion Lies" by the Crow people, and was a landmark for these proud people where they hunted small game and bison.

Anyway, the pillar is a massive sandstone outcrop that rises 150 feet from a two-acre base on the banks of the Yellowstone River. It is located between Custer and Worden. There are hundreds of markings and petroglyphs, and inscriptions left by visitors, including Clark's.

Unfortunately, it was raining, and we didn't feel like making the hike over to it in the rain. We did take pics, as there was a very good interpretive center there. I also bough a very nicely polished agate about the size of a goose egg.

Pompy was Clark's nick name for the young Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, whose mother, Sacagawea, was the party's interpreter. Pomp means "little chief" in the Shoshoni language.

And by the way, Sacagawea was never compensated for her work for the government, which doesn't surprise me where it comes to the government's treatment of the Native Americans.

12:20 MT time.

We have group of Mountains called the "Big Belt" rising in front of us. I took a picture as we were heading toward them.

We ate lunch at a Subway in a town before you get to Billings. We both went with tuna and same chips and drink. I sometimes think we were Siamese Twins, separated at birth--and gone through a couple of reincarnations, of course.

We were sort of watching this guy making coffee for the lunch hour. I think it took him ten minutes to do it. And while we were eating, this guy that he had made the coffee for, said, "Your coffee is running over." Very calmly too. I would say by the time of this writing, if he isn't fired by now, he should be.

Anyway, we did finally drive out of the rain. In fact, the sun came out while we were having lunch, and it got really warm. We're now in Big Timber Area. We did stay here once at the Super 8. It was a great stop, still would be, with KFC and a large gas station/store/restaurant within walking distance of it.

Butte is 142 miles from here. If everything goes smoothly, we should get there by 3:00pm.

Hope you're all enjoying the trip--we get to Glacier Park Lodge tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TRIP DAY TWO ~ A Really Terrible Day

August 2, Thursday

We slept on a rock-hard bed. Back is really feeling that.

We grabbed something to eat--the usual motel fare, along with coffee that tasted like charcoal. However the milk was nice and cold, and I had a raisin bran.
We have clear skies, but may run into rain according to the weather forecast.

We had a bad scare. Dennis' back went out as he pulled my suit case off the low hutch. His knees buckled and he went down. He said he felt a burning sensation, and laid down on the floor and we waited. He stretched out carefully, then used the pillow to put his hip back. He said he felt it pop back in. Then he took 2 Alieves for pain. He's in pain no matter. We figure it was from all that driving--500 miles or so yesterday. We didn't take that many breaks. We will today.

7:23AM, 64 degrees
On our way, heading to North Dakota. Only 50 miles to Fargo. Rolling hills of farmland with the usual stuff.

7:36AM -
We came upon an accident that was a semi that went into the ditch, it looks as though he tried to get back on the road and got stuck. He's lucky he didn't roll it. I swear these guys are not driving with both hands on the wheel. We've been seeing them weaving on the road.

Anyway, it wasn't real bad, and we were delayed only about 5 min. Dennis spoke to some kids in a bright blue van while we waited. They were headed for Washington.

We make the Moorehead/Fargo border and now are in North Dakota. Dennis reminds me we gain an hour on the way. That's the good part about going out. The bad part when you come back you loose an hour.

9:00AM -
WE pulled into a "welcome center", about an hour into the state. We took a fairly good break just for Dennis' back. Ate a cookie & had a small can of Sierra Mist. Yummy.

We are now into the wheat fields that are golden yellow, ready to be harvested, looks like.

Traffic is much less today. Dennis says the population of the whole state of N.D. equals that of Chicago. A plus on why we like it, but it has its down side. I'll tell you about this later. There's less people, less traffic and only 2 large cities of Fargo, and Bismark.

Less than 20 miles from Bismark and we saw another semi involved in an accident. This one was tipped over. It also may have just happened. I began thinking there was a reason for Dennis' back to go out this morning, making us late in getting down the road.

On the other side of Bismark we stop at a rest area. Dennis does a few stretches. He needs to apply ice and heat alternatively. We need to get to a motel with a microwave in the room.

12:00 - After Hebron we get the time change. It's really rugged out here. Some hills are conical in shape and may be remains of old volcanoes.

We reach Dickerson. They have and are building more motels here. Plus large apartment complexes. The oil boom still going strong.
We continue, and on course to reach Montana today.

Sky become cloudy, a led gray. We had to endure road construction, but nothing like yesterday. That was terrible. It was actually stressful on Dennis (probably promoting to the back thing), but me too. I hate the two-way roads where they put up those damned cement dividers--I fear some one's going to push us into them!
Anyway, the oil rigs are a real eye-sore around here. I don't know if it's a real good thing.

Dennis saw lightning in distance as we head west. We stop in The Badlands rest area. Beautiful here. We took a few pictures. But too cloudy, the lighting is real flat. If we'd had snapped a picture at the right moment, we would have had a bolt of lightning in it. Darn!

We move on, drive past Madora, trying to reach Miles City. Dennis is really in pain right now. He wants to try and find a place in Glendive.

5:00 PM Miles City Motel 6

OMG! If Dennis had only just continued driving to Miles City, instead of turning around (because he missed the exit into Glendive), we'd have gotten into a room way before this!

We pulled into the lot of a Super 8- Whatever they named these motels "super" for I haven't a clue. We've only found them in the poorest conditions and this was one of the worst. The woman looked like a $6 hooker with tattoos, and fifty rings on her fingers--which looked unwashed. She had one room left--a smoking room. But looking around there was like a day care going on, plus the woman was renting all these videos in the lounge. Gag me. We left, walked over to the Comfort Inn, across the way. Talk about night and day! They were professional, clean, and booked. Oil diggers are taking up all the rooms in town here as well. POO!

So, ticked off we tried another place--which was basically another dive. But since Dennis made the mistake of thinking someone's living room was the motel's check-in desk. Embarrased, we just got out of there. And missed the road that would have taken us back on to the Interstate.

I was thinking "this sure doesn't look familiar." Eventually we wound up on a back country road, and and then the road became a dirt road. Ummm. Yeah. We're lost. I said, "turn around". He refused to. I grabbed the road atlas. If I had a proper map I'd be able to say "Honey, this goes nowhere." with authority. As it was, I saw this gravel road meandering out of the end of town. We keep driving and come to a junction. If we weren't so lost and pissed off, we would have been taking pictures because it was beautiful.
An oil truck goes around us and turns. He sure knows his way around.

The road signs were next to unhelpful. I knew we were on #335, but it didn't say that anywhere. One road sign pointed to an oil dig. The other pointed to somewhere called "Marsh". Great. Which do we want to wind up in? A marsh or an oil field? Because I'm thinking Marsh is an unincorporated Hamlet, I said we should go that way. Even though the town isn't marked on my map, I'm going by how the roads on it are merging. One diving south--away from where we want to go.The one we are on eventually (I hope) will get us back to the Interstate.

About 45 min. later--yeah, there was a small place that may have been an abandoned town with the left-over ruins of an old store that had caved in. But remarkably people are living way the hell out here! They had to be oil people. Who else would live in such a terribly situated area?

We continue on. I'm going on gut instinct. I'm seeing what the map is telling me. We were in Fallon County. There was a place called Fallon at the end of this road that zig-zagged like a snake around a tree limb.

In front of us is an electric truck. We figure he knows where he's going. We keep following him. He disappears (probably into the marsh?)

We do come across fields of something that belong to someone. See distant farms/ranches. I keep thinking we'll wind up being lost in the dark knocking on someone's door asking for a place to bed down. I felt rather despondent at this point.

Finally, about an hour into this drive, we come to another cross roads. We stop. I say to Dennis don't turn left turn right. I'm going by the road atlas that Fallon is ahead on this road, if we go right. Some guy in a white truck turns the corner. Dennis powers down the window, meaning to ask for directions. Instead the guy thinks he's just being friendly and waves back. !!!

So, Dennis does as I say. About 500 feet or so, we are on pavement. Oh! I want to kiss the pavement, believe me! Then, not long after, Fallon comes up, and we drive on to the Interstate. We had about 40+ miles to Miles City. Motel 6 was a quick turn off the exit ramp. Two people were in front of us, and two came in behind us. One guy--biker--said, "You got enough bunks for us?" Hahahah.
The woman was great, she got us all checked in like a mad woman on speed. We were happy just to have a room--and the microwave was Dennis' salvation. He used a damp wash cloth put into the microwave, alternating with the ice pack: hot/cold/hot, ending with cold. He did this for an hour.

Tomorrow Day 3: Billings/Pompie's Pillar/Butte Montana

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


NOTE: Trip was 3,800 miles round trip; covering 5 states , two time zones, an awesome driver (husband), and sidekick/map reader/journalist (me).

Aug. 1
We got underway @ 5:50--a good time to hit the road. We'll still hit rush hour traffic up around Rockford. We will head north into Wisconsin, gradually into Minnesota.

We encounter fog as we drive on Perry Road, from home. Some is only mid-level, and not dense. This is not what we have seen early in year when it became very dry and hot, and there was no rain (drought). We've begun getting rains--some mostly spotty. But maybe now the weather has switched back--gradually--to normal.

9:11 - We're on I-94 heading to Eau Claire, and presently driving through thick woods. Cool how the other half of the Interstate is obliterated by an island of trees. A much better route than taking the boring I-80 through western Illinois, all of Iowa and Nebraska with pretty much the same sites, albeit a little more hilly.

The north woods is thickening with pines. Where there are oaks I see ends of the branches/leave that are brown and dead. They are just as dry as us!
We spotted 2 sand hill cranes flying low and close to the road over a boggy field.

We'd like to eat at Culvers for lunch, if that could happen. It never seems to work out that you can find a good place to eat. No McD's--bluckh!

11:30 - we got our Cluver's fix--had to drive into Menominee to find it, but from there were able to continue back to the Interstate w/o back-tracking. Cool.

Clouds have developed over the area, and I've heard they are calling for storms tonight. So, the clear skies have gone away for now. But scenery is good--hilly forests interrupted by corn fields and farmland, cattle in the fields now and then.

Now we need to take 694 around the Twins--or "the Cities" as our server had called it--so you take 694, and as you get all pass that city crap, it turns back into I-94.

1:40 PM
We got thru the jungle - just stopped for gas in Clearwater. We are heading for Fergus Falls--our stop for the night as planned.
Tomorrow we'll be driving through North Dakota, and be in Montana by afternoon.

3:40 - Got a room and America's Best Value at $72 ($66 bf. taxes). A very simple room with the basics, but have microwave and refrigerator and a big TV. Bed is small, but we're okay with that.

all for today, my pretties. Good night!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Have Returned!

Hello, my pretties! So glad to be home, but had enjoyable time in Glacier Nat'l Park!
My husband and I had a long 9 and 1/2 hours drive yesterday, came through South Dakota, after staying in the cheapest motel out of the whole trip, and through southern Minnesota, and insane driving through Wisconsin, home. My husband did a wonderful job getting us to our destination and back home again safely.
On our way out we came across two accidents, one had just happened, and it was a good thing we had been late in getting out on the road, or you just never know what might have happened. Both involved semis. The first one had us all stopped on the Interstate for about 5 minutes. A semi had somehow gone off the road into the ditch and tried to bring his rig back out, but now was stuck. We see these drivers of 18-wheelers who have a trying job of keeping that thing between the lines, but we also saw a few who were weaving--doing whatever it was they were doing, and making me nervous as a cat in a dog pound.
Aside from that were our motels. You know how you never know what the bed will be like--hard or soft? Or where they decide to place the toilet paper rolls. In some cases you are required to be a contortionist, or have an arm the length of an orangutan.
And then there's the no shower thing. I knew that our 99-year old lodge would not have a tub. I am a bath lover. I don't like showers. I need to shave my legs at the end of the day, and have a hard time figuring out how to do this standing up without water dripping into my eyes, etc. Well, our shower at the lodge was just big enough to maybe turn around and hit everything. Bending down was a huge problem w/o knocking over the soap on the tiny ledge, or getting water on the floor because you might have pushed the curtain out a little too far. At one point I considered going hairy like Jane (of Tarzan). But I somehow managed not to.
And a warning to any of you who consider traveling to/through North Dakota. Don't. Unless you can drive from Jamestown, N.D. to somewhere in the middle of Montana in one day to get to a motel, you're going to have trouble finding a room in any motel (unless you have a reservation). The oil dig is going strong and hot, and these people who have come from all across the U.S. are living in motels, on farmer's land, in the camp grounds, and places not designated for camping. I'll probably have to devote our try at finding a room at Glendive MT a whole post, when I get a chance. It involved getting lost on a back road making that day a day we would like to forget.
So, anyway, we're home and safe. We even brought back the cooler temps and some rain with us!
And I did get some writing done, which is a plus.

Summer and keeping cool

Living in the country has its advantages. You don't have close-by neighbors, and we get to see nature, like deer, raccoons, chipmunks. w...