Wednesday, July 15, 2015

June 16, 2015 - Billings, MT

It was at 5 am when Erwin woke up and it was already bright outside. He was relieved to see that it was sunny and beautiful.  Edith woke up much later.  

Edith prepared breakfast while Erwin cleaned up Lil' Home (LH) a bit just in case the technican comes to get it while we are out sightseeing. 

There are few roadside attractions to see and take pictures of in and outside of Billings, MT.  There were a couple of them that we saw last year, but Edith wanted to share this information with the readers again, so they will know what to visit if/when they stay in Billings, MT.  Check for more information or download roadsideamerica app on your smartphone.

Before going out we checked in at the service dept, gave note on what to check in LH, left keys there.  As we were heading out we bumped into Rachele who sold the LH to us. We were curious about the camper van we traded in for LH and if someone had bought it yet. She mentioned that there was a customer looking into it, but wanting to check a 2005 camper van.  Rachele is expecting a baby on Nov 14 and it is going to be a boy. 

From Pierce RV store we drove on S Frontage Road to check out one roadside attraction - Muffler Man smoking a cigarette.  It used to be at the tire shop, but was moved to a barn in a residental area. We had to google for more information before we found it.  The barn is in the back of a house, but there was a gravel driveway leading up to the Muffler Man. 

While Edith was busy taking pictures a guy in the Jeep pulled alongside our Jeep. He came   to Erwin and introduced himself as Owen Johnson, the collector. He explained that he owns more "Muffler Men" than anybody in the country.  The Muffler Man weighs about 400 lbs. This type is now very hard to find these days.  They were originally made for Phillips Gas Stations! Owen sold one to a customer in Niagara Falls who was supposed to set it up somewhere in Niagara Falls.  He found out later that it is still in the storage and he was miffed about it.  Owen left his business card with us and we thanked him for sharing the information.

Erwin & Owen, the ownerThe Muffler Man with a rifle is at Fort Rockvale Restaurant & Casino in Red Lodge, MT.  Nearby is Quick Stop Drive-In where there is an oddball sculpture that is made out of metal. A car with the family inside with the father checking the menu and the mother and kids eating/drinking.

Going back north to I-90 from Red Lodge, MT we spotted a rusty vintage car at 3 Broadway Ave in Joliet, MT. It is by the railroad tracks.

Dilapidated barn in Laurel, MT
After checking out attractions we went back to I-90 E for Billings, MT. While driving on the feeder road that is alongside I-90 there was this cool boulder cairn

We had a lunch break at Pierce RV and recharged our energies before heading out for the afternoon.

We got back on I-90 E then exited at 446 - Business Loop 90 (West Billings) to check out Statues for the Proletariat (roadside attraction). Then to Tire Factory on Montana Ave to see Muffler Man holding a tire.

Next stop was at Al's Bootery to see Robert Wadlow's, the world's tallest man, shoe on display.

Erwin's shoe will fit into the big shoe abut 50 times!
Next stop was to check out Montana Great Centennial Cattle Drive bronze sculptures.  They are at Billings Chamber of Commerce. Lyle E Johns and Dale E Wood were the sculptors. The monument is dedicated to the men and women of Montana past and present. 

From the Chamber of Commerce we continued on 3 North, turned left on Rimrock Road to get on Zimmerman Road for a drive along the Rimrocks.  It offers a great and awesome view of Billings, MT.  At the end of the drive we made an U-turn and drove down while Edith took a video of the view. The Rimrocks, geological rimrock sandstone formations, extend for many miles outside of Billings.

After getting back to Pierce RV for the night the dark clouds started to appear in the West, then it swept through the Southern part of Billings.  Rain came down, then lightning and thunder. It lasted for about 45 minutes to an hour.  When the storm was over the sun and the blue sky appeared. Saw the rainbow, but it was not a full one because the clouds covered most of it. 

Sunset after the end of the storm
We played Tri-ominos. Tied at 2 games each and we could not continue the game because Erwin was feeling tired and was ready for bed. :-(  

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