Gone Fission

…I’ll try to get to church for critical mass

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 6, Part 2, In which we support small local & wierd business, are boarded by the police and see our critters eat for free.

(Note: All comments by Flash are in italics)

Well, it took many hours and 438 miles, but we are finally in North Dakota. Williston, ND, to be exact. The Buffalo Meadows RV park, to be exacter. No, there are no buffalo or bison here. There are three Holstien cows not far away though.

After we left the field full of pronghorns, we stopped 4 times at various tourist traps and once for lunch. The list follows…

Havre: We stopped here for gas, sightseeing and to visit The House Made Of Whiskey Bottles. There is actually no charge to see it, since the city of Havre owns it. I was expecting a small bungalow, but no, this place is 7 rooms and 2 stories tall, plus it has a 10’X 15’X 8′ shed next to it. That all took a shitload of booze bottles to build. Of course, I reckon there wasn’t a hell of a lot to do but drink whiskey in Northern Montana in 1880-85, when it was constructed.

Malta: Here, we stopped for lunch (burgers & shakes) and to visit The Lighthouse, which is in fact, a lighthouse. Now, as you might imagine, lighthouses are few and far between in landlocked states like Montana. Nevertheless, there it was, 75 feet high and looking like every New England lighthouse I’ve ever seen a picture of. Which figures, since it was built by a former fishing boat captain from Maine who moved to Montana and made big money in cattle. Both Grace & Sharon declined the heart attack inducing climb up to the top, but being not of sound mind, I trudged up. The Girls couldn’t go, but Flash did by riding on my shoulders. The view from the top was great, once I sucked in enough oxygen for my vision to clear.

I really enjoyed the trip up, despite Dad wheezing and gasping for air and calling himself a halfwitted idiot.

Wolf Point: This is the home town of The Famous Performing Albino Mules and sure enough, we paid $3.00 each to see a 35 minute show featuring 10 of the best trained mules I’ve ever seen, all of them albinos. After the show, we were allowed to pet them and sit on them for pictures (an additional $5.00 each). To avoid anything remotely like the “Squirrel Incident” all of our critters were on lockdown until we left.

Whatever happened to “paid you debt to humanity, now you are free”?

It was also in Wolf Point that we had an encounter with the local police. When we got back to the bus, there was the Sheriff waiting for us. My first thought was “what the fuck did the critters do now?” and my second was “or is John Law gonna just check out them hippies?”.

Turns out, I was wrong on both counts. He just wanted to see how we had the bus tricked out because he had a line on a used bus and was nearing retirement. I showed him around outside and inside (after switching off the TARDIS unit, because some shit is just too hard to explain to mundanes) and he was pretty impressed. I had to make up some off the cuff technobabble to explain the paint job, but he bought it.

Culbertson: This was our final tourist stop in Montana and it only took a few minutes, because it just doesn’t take long to look at an 80′ wide, 20′ tall mural of Montana settlers made out of pop bottle caps (circa 1958).

By the way, for those of you keeping tabs, we bought 9 more fridge magnets, 3 t-shirts, 16 postcards and a ball cap with a white mule on it.

By the time we reached our destination in South Dakota, it was 6:15 PM and we were all hungry as starving tenrecs. With that in mind, we went to Bob & Patty’s Family Buffet. Business was slow, so they told us if we sat on the patio, we could bring the critters with us and they’d give them something to eat at no charge. I have never seen dogs & cats eat so much pasta, fish, veggies, beef, pie and cake. By the time we left, they all looked like furry basketballs.

I love those people! Sweet Ceiling Cat above, they were the most generous humans on Earth! I ate a slab of cod as big as my head, then a slice of cherry pie, then a bratwurst…oh man, it was great!

Beat as we were from the long day, it was early to bed for everyone. But as per usual, I woke up later and decided to write this.

More bloggage tomorrow.

Destination Sign: Altair 4

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Electric Cocoa

…tasty and hallucinatory

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 6, Part 1, In which we leave at the dawning of the day, eat a big breakfast and find out exactly where the antelope play.

(Note: All comments by Flash are in italics)

I was up about an hour before dawn to shower and get everything ready for departure. After feeding & walking the critters, we were off. Lucy acted as my co-pilot by climbing up in the front passenger seat and looking around for maybe 2 minutes before falling asleep. Winker fell asleep on the floor between the seats and Flash sacked out on the dashboard.

About 90 minutes later, once Grace & Sharon had awakened and made themselves ready to leave the bus, we stopped in Inverness to have breakfast at Martha’s Truck Stop. Big portions rule here and my biscuits & gravy filled a plate most people might serve a roast turkey on. Grace & Sharon had omelets that looked like egg colored sleeping bags with two fat people inside. All the food was darned good, we said as we waddled back to the bus.

Did I mention that the truck stop not only had fridge magnets & t-shirts, but a good selection of bandannas? Yeah, we spent some $$ there.

Personally, I think the money would be better spent on catnip and squeaky toys.

We are stopped about 6 miles outside of Havre just now, because…
1: The dogs needed to pee
2: There are about 150 pronghorns out in a big meadow right beside the road. Although many folks call them Pronghorn Antelopes, the antelopes parts is incorrect. We have seen lots of them before on trips through the Rocky Mountain states, but never in these numbers. Pretty darned cool.

Holly Herring Snacks! All that meat on the hoof had my inner lion going crazy. Oh, to be 10 times larger and weigh about 100 times what I do now!

We will soon hit Havre and the first of our roadside attractions of the day. More bloggage later.

Destination Sign: Kzin

The Rare And Beautiful And Deadly Flying Weaselcobra Of Potawango Island

…they are just crazy dangerous

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 5, Part 2, In which we have a somewhat quieter drive, curry is eaten and my cat falls in love.

(Note: All comments by Flash are in italics)

The second, mostly downhill, half of our trip through Glacier National Park on the Going To The Sun Road was way quieter than the first half. This is because both Grace and Lucy fell into a deep sleep due to burning so much nervous energy on the first half of the trip, Sharon did a bit of self medication and Flash hid in the cupboard behind the bags of pasta & rice.

Winker and I had a fine trip, just cruising along on a narrow mountain road listening to reggae music and barking from time to time.

When we reached the St. Mary entrance on the far side of the park, we all got out to stretch our legs and, in the case of the more nervous, kiss the ground repeatedly while thanking Dog for delivering them from their near death. Well, Flash thanked Ceiling Cat, but the effect was the same.

By comparison to the earlier ride, the drive from St. Mary to Cut Bank was pretty tame, though we did see a mother moose and her calf, a few dear and a porcupine. As we drove along, Grace started heating up our dinner which we had cooked back home and froze for later trip consumption. Tonight, it was smoked pork curry. We ate dinner just after pulling in at the Lucky Beaver RV Park, located just north of Cut Bank. Mmmm, tasty tasty curry.

After dinner, we strolled around the place and met another bunch of travelers in a hippie bus (sans TARDIS unit, of course). Turned out that they were from Santa Cruz and there were 8 of them heading to Nova Scotia for some New Age/hippie get together.

At another campsite, we encountered a nice young family that had a sweet little West Highland White Terrier and a beautiful Maine Coon cat. A female. Who Flash instantly fell in love with.

Ol’ Flash was trying hard to get her to give him some sweet love, but I think the fact that she was 3 times his size and 4 times his weight kind of made her decide against it.

Oh man, was she HOT! That long hair…those eyes…that tail…daddy like! But she was all hung up on the size thing. I tried to tell her that once she tried Portuguese Jungle Cat, she’d never go back, but she had her mind made up. Too bad, baby. I could’a rocked your world.

After a nice walk, we went back to the bus and watched another alternate universe movie, “Live and Let Die”, but this one starred Sean Connery. After that, everyone but myself and Lucy went to bed, so she and I watched some Three Stooges shorts. Now Lucy is asleep and I will be hitting the California King sized sack soon.

Tomorrow: We drive across northern Montana to North Dakota, stopping at interesting places along the way.

Destination Sign: Camelot, Silly Version

The Mysterious, Yet Oddly Romantic, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Haunted Shopping Mall

…co-starring her pet emu, Walter

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 5, Part 1, In which we quickly recap yesterday, drive on a twisty mountain road, view scenic panoramas and watch tourists behave stupidly.

(Note: All comments by Flash are in italics)

Recap of yesterday: I was not feeling 100% ok yesterday. In fact, I was feeling somewhere around 30%, with dips as low as 12%. Still, one must press on, if only to get one’s travelling partners to shut up so one can peacefully die. We left Missoula and drove through very scenice areas on our way to Kalipell. We stopped at two roadside attractions: In Ronan, we saw the Miniature Indian Village, which is big, covering an area about 100′ by 75′ and pretty detailed. It cost $2.00 to go through and yes, they sold a variety of souveniers. You can guess which ones we bought. In Big Arm, we visited the Big Arm House, which looks like the right arm of some enormous giant who is showing off his bicep. The interior of the house has a necessarily odd layout, but the view from the fist room (65 feet up) is pretty impressive. The inevitable t-shirts look pretty good, too.

Once we arrived in Kalispell, we did some sight seeing after I ate a hearty bowl of antacids mixed with aspirin, chased by about 30 gallons of water. After wandering about looking all touristy & shit, we went back to the KOA and pretty much goofed off. By dinner time, I was able to eat real food.

That big funny looking house was full of mice! I could smell them all the way out in the bus! Curse Dad for putting steel security mesh on the windows!

Glacier National Park, so far: To start with, I need to point out that our Magic Bus is 32 feet long. This meens that it cannot traverse the Going To The Sun Road, the only road that bisects the park. This is because, due to the narrowness of the road and the steep dropoffs and the lack of guardrails along much of it (due to winter avalanches), no vehicle over 21 feet may go all the way through the park.

We did not know this in advance and so there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth this morning…but only for a few minutes. As always, our trusty onboard mechanic, Joe, solved the problem. With a small bit of (possibly illegal) jiggering to the TARDIS unit, he reduced our bus to a mere 15 feet long externally. Inside, nothing changed and we were off on the road to adventure.

Unfortunately, the narrow road and very steep dropoff along much of the road to adventure (and we were on the dropoff side most of the time) caused much nervous agitation and panicky comment among everyone but Winker and I. I was secure in my driving ability and Winker has no depth perception. Everybody else made terrified noises, barked or hissed, depending upon their species. When we stopped at the first scenic viewing area, Flash had hidden in a cupboard, Grace & Sharon were nervous wrecks and Lucy had peed on the carpet. At least, I’m assuming it was Lucy.

It was Lucy. Also, Dad…YOU ARE INSANE! WE COULD HAVE GONE OFF THAT EDGE AND BEEN KILLED!

Things are indeed scenic and wonderful and natural and fucking near glacier free here. Thanks a bunch, global warming. We saw a fair amount of wildlife on the way up (we are now at about 8,200 feet altitude). Well, I saw wildlife. Everyone else was busy screaming and stuff.

Stupid Tourist Tricks: We saw a guy with a rope tied around his waist that had the other end tied to his car. He did this so that he could lean way over the edge to take pictures of deer way down in the valley. His family cheered him on. Perhaps inevitably, his name was Bubba.

Another pinhead was racing his friend downhill on one of the steepest grades on skateboards. I regret missing their crash a few minutes later, which a fellow uphill driver described as “bloody & bouncy & taking about 300′ to stop”.

Finally, there was the woman who was feeding peanuts to the marmots. After a few minutes, there were about 50 peanut jonesing marmots around her. Then she ran out of peanuts. You’d be surprised how fast a chubby middle aged woman can run when pursued by a seething horde of high altitude rodents.

Yeah, you know, I loves me some rodents (as a snack or a meal), but those fuckers weighed more than I do and there were a shitload of them and they were all batshit crazy for either peanuts or tasty tasty human flesh.

Right now, we are getting ready to finish our drive through the park and then Go on to Cut Bank, where we will spend the night. More bloggage later.

There’s more of that road ahead? Oh, hell no! I’m off to my cupboard!

Destination Sign: Asgard

The Ice Cream Gnomes Are Coming To Steal Your Berries

…so don’t make them get rough.

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 5, Part 1, In which Your Humble Narrator rests and let’s the critters do the blogging.

I indulged in too much Guinness and too many shots of Jack last night. That resulted in us not leaving Missoula until noon. We are now in Kalispell and tomorrow we enter Glacier National Park. I need to rest, having only recent eaten anything beyond water and aspirins. The following was transcribed this morning by Flash and includes discussion with Winker and Lucy.

Begin Transcript

Winker: Dad looks sick and smells funny today, but he was laughing and singing last night. I think I’ll go lick his face to make him feel better.

Lucy: I think Dad drank too much of that stuff he buys in bottles.

Flash: I think so, sis. I wonder why humans do that? Sharon & Mom look ok.

Lucy: That’s because they don’t drink that stuff. Do you think Dad will be ok?

Flash: Yeah, I think so. Later, I’ll go sit on his head. We cats have healing powers, you know.

Winker: I licked Dad’s face and he told me I was a good girl, but to go away. Then he asked Mom to shoot him, but she just laughed.

Flash: Woooeee! His breath smells worse than a dog fart.

Winker & Lucy: Hey!

Flash: Oops, sorry. But you have to admit, that is really bad breath.

Lucy: Yeah, it’s worse than Cow Breath.

Winker: Maybe we should all go howl at Dad. He might like that.

Lucy: Yes, he might.

Flash: It’s worth a try.

A couple of minutes later…

Winker: I don’t think Dad liked that.

Flash: Nope, but I think his head won’t really fall off.

Lucy: Oh, look! Mom has Second Breakfast!

End Transcript

Destination Sign: Duckburg

Never Spank A Skunk

…in fact, you’ll probably want to skip the stern lectures, too

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 4, Part 1, In which we hang out in Missoula.

(Note: All comments by Flash are in italics)

After the ass whoopin’ start to our stay here in Missoula, we decided to make today a mellow day. So far, we have…

1: Strolled through the downtown area and a couple of neighborhood shopping areas.

The women folks hereabouts love me & The Girls. They kept stopping us to pet the “cute dogs” and “sweet little tiger kitty”.

2: Took a short hike through a nature area.

If Mom had not been carrying me, I would have unleashed Hell upon all those birds and rodents! Oh, and Lucy says “Me too, Flash! Mmmm…rabbits!”

3: Ate lunch at Montana Mikes Big Sky Barbecue. It was very good chow.

I find it a little alarming how easily The Girls can crunch up beef rib bones.

4: Viewed The Leaning Rock House which was, sure enough, built with rocks and is leaning pretty far to one side. Charge? None T-shirts & fridge magnets? Yes By the time we get home, we’ll need a second fridge.

We are now back at the bus for a bit of relaxing in the hot tub. Later, while Grace and Sharon go buy stuff, the critters and I shall watch one of the Doc Savage animated movies. Even later, we shall go out for dinner (humans only) and maybe have a drink.

Destination Sign: Acmetropolis

The 43 Things You Need To Know About Vampire Llamas

…#5: they like to sneak up on bloggers and iujhsdoivuh lscx kl

The Trip to DogCon 3: Day 3, Part 2, In which we arrive in Montana and my furry children unleash righteous anger upon the unjust.

(Note: All comments by Flash are in italics)

After a short stop in the town of Lolo to visit my cousin Lulu, her daughter Leelee and their dog Lala, we got to Missoula around 2:30. After getting set up, I took the girls & Flash to the KOA dog park for a little running about. About 10 minutes after we got there, a group of teenage rednecks showed up with a pit bull that looked to weigh about 90 pounds.

This pitbull almost immediately took to following Lucy and trying to sniff her butt. Now, Lucy is a very timid dog with socialization issues, so she was pretty scared. I told the kid to call off his dog, but he just laughed.

Next thing you know, the pitbull tried to hump Lucy. Flash and Winker went nuts. Now, I knew that Flash was a tough and protective little guy, but the Winkerdog has never ever shown a bit of agression. In fact, she is about the sweetest & mellowest & friendliest dog I’ve ever seen. But not yesterday, no sir.

In a hot second, Flash was all over that pitbull like a tiger striped tornado and Winker, showing an amazing sense of tactical maneuvers, bit the pitbull on the balls. The poor pit didn’t know what to do. He was being shredded from both ends.

At that point, Redneck Jimmy decided to dive in and stop the very one sided fight. His friends were unable to help him, due to laughing too hard. A good thing, too, because Winker and Flash transferred their anger to him. (at which point, the pitbull ran off, yiping & bleeding)

At one point, the kid managed to grab Flas by the tail, but then Lucy dove in and bit him on the ear. After letting the critters play “Fuck Up The Redneck” for another minute, then I called them off.

The kid threatened to call the cops, but decided otherwise when I pointed out that he and his 90 pound dog had been totally owned by a 6 pound cat and two basset hounds, one of which only has one eye. I suppose the fact that I weighed twice what he did also factored into it.

After that, I took the critters back to the bus where it was hot dogs and tuna for dinner. We humans went out for window shopping, steak dinners and drinks at a cowboy bar.

Today, we are just hanging out in Missoula. More bloggage later.

I don’t know that pitbull’s name, but from now on, I’ll always remember him as “Winker’s Bitch”. Go anhead and fuck with my sister!

Destination Sign: Brobdingnag