Day 36 – Yellowstone 0 – Yellow Banana 1

Belgrade to Billings MT – 21st July 2021

I leave Belgrade and am heading down towards Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful. The sky is much clearer this morning so I can get some photos of the surroundings without the constant smoke haze.

Not exactly the ‘big sky’ Montana is famous for, but certainly better. I get about 35 miles before I decide to turn around.. why says you… I am about to enter the mountains again and have just seen heavy clouds so already the makings of a thunderstorm ahead and honestly I am not doing that again after yesterday.

Missing seeing a geyser spout every 10 minutes isn’t the worst thing that could happen today so I decide that discretion is indeed the better part of valour and wimp out.

Back I go to Bozeman and make contact with a Bunka in Billings who is able to offer me a stay tonight and steak with corn on the cob and salad… oh wow, I am going to be spoilt indeed. I make a right and am on the I90, which I stay on all the way to a petrol point where I stop to fill up my tank and tummy.

I come out ready to go and look at that blooming horrible sky… FFS here we go again, it seems to be following me.

Ok I’m not messing about today stopping and starting for photographs, I’m just trying to keep ahead of this bloody storm and get to Billings as fast as possible. I do get a little bit wet a couple of times but manage to out run the storm for the most part, although I do see lightening again!

I left Bozeman late-ish so don’t arrive in Billings until 6pm. I am met by Walt and his wife Terra, who are extremely welcoming. I put my bike into their garage (its enormous by my standards and very well organised, wish my garage at home was like this, I can’t even get my bike in!!). I just immediately feel very welcome and so without even thinking about it I ask if I can stay an extra night, don’t ask me why I just did… bit cheeky, but they are very happy for me to stay… In fact I can be even cheekier as I ask if I can stay until Saturday, the reason being I am working online on Friday and would really appreciate it if I could use their broadband as I need a good connection.. now how cheeky or maybe even rude is that!! I think they were a little bit surprised, but only momentarily and almost immediately say I can stay as long as I want.

They have two dogs, Olaf and Dixie… Dixie is a little bit quiet, but Olaf is definitely the star of the show around here. He is absolutely adorable and has a penchant for large stuffed bananas…

I mean he constantly walks around with one or another of these, (I find out that he also has a big pickle somewhere too), hanging out of his mouth. He doesn’t really want you to touch it either, he just likes to have it, like some kind of security banana… so cute. He is the most well behaved dog, Dixie too, they are obviously very well trained and loved.. makes me miss my puggies even more.

Walt throws some steaks on the barbie and it is the most delicious meal I can ever remember having in the USA… I might be exaggerating there a wee bit, but believe me it was scrumptious.

It turns out that Walt aka Rebel Son is a complete Erin-ophile, (I just made that word up), he loves everything Irish and indeed the fact that I am is what made him immediately accept my stay. We spend a couple of hours chatting and drinking beer, a great evening only topped by the fact that they are both ex-military, US Navy, Terra, (aka LT), is Naval Intelligence, (an oxy-moron hahaha), and Walt a SeaBee so with me being ex-RAF we are all of the same mind set and get along tremendously.

I can’t believe my luck finding these two. I mean all the Bunkas I have stayed with so far have been fantastic, but Walt and Terra are indeed wonderful, I think we might remain in touch.

I am given a delightful room in their home with access to a separate bathroom etc. I must say this is indeed extremely comfortable and am loving every minute, thank you guys, you are simply the best.

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