All involved with this trip may have to forgive me if things are akimbo, it's been a while since the trip now, and for a good portion of Saturday, I had a migraine, so things are fuzzy anyway...
I left off with us prepping to leave for the family reunion, though I just realized that before that, Lindsay and I went and wandered around two other graveyards in the area, one that was full of old graves with new headstones, which was cool, I guess, but it lost a lot of the character. The other was better, more overgrown and old feeling. Eventually, I'll have to do some individual posts on the cemeteries we visit, likely on my Bugaboo site. Mostly because it doesn't get enough love.
Also, I'm still without a decently functioning computer, so I can't edit and upload any photos yet.
Anyway, we were still showering and prepping things when the rest of the family headed that way, so we got the directions and left shortly after them. Turns out, directions in a rural town are subjective. Never get a description that includes the words run-down or old, because that can be everything you see, whereas to a local, that could be the silo built back in '42 rather than '53
Anyway, as is our custom, we got lost. Drove around for a bit, ended up in a different town, came back, drove around some more... Eventually, we decided to head back to the Motel and wait for my in-laws, Rich and Sue to get into town (They were running about 4 hours late, thanks to some really poor diner service..)
Turns out, we had the right vague direction, we just didn't know that the road we needed ended, jumped about a mile down the road, then picked up again.
The reunion was held in a spacious garage on the Anderson property, and it was quite the spread. We made some bean dip in our crock pot, and it literally disappeared under the massive legions of food weighing down the tables in the garage. We're talking enough dead chicken to kill a man, 24 different salads, 63 varieties of grilled items, yet strangely, only a carafe of iced tea and some warm water to drink...
Considering we were in Montana in the middle of July, it was pretty nice. Still far too hot for my liking, but there was a great hustle and bustle feeling as kids ran around laughing, people hugged other people, men played horseshoes, old folks sat in the shade.
I was introduced to a whole passel of folks that I immediately forgot, ate a few bites, drank a lot of water. We sat down next to a super-friendly gentleman that, while I can't be sure, seemed to see into my soul with his gaze, found me wanting, attempted to convert me, only to be rebuffed by the special anti-god coating on my glasses.
It was fun, but the heat coupled with what I suspect was a pretty healthy dose of MSG in something I ate, triggered a migraine pretty quickly. After a while I had to retreat and Lindsay and I headed back to the Motel. By the time we got there, I was in full blown MIGRAINE. Seeing shapes, blurred vision, shaky, throbbing pain, Basically, I turn into a 250 pound geriatric six-year-old, if that makes any sense.
As we puleld into the lot, my low pressure warning came on, at some point at the reunion, Strontium had gotten stabbed in his rear tire. I just about ignored it, crawled into bed with my caffiene and pills, but we were headed to the cabins the next day, a Sunday and I had fears about doing so on a Doughnut or finding a tire place open. It was around four-thirty, so we called the only tire place in town, A&A tire. No answer.
I decided to head down to the gas station and at least add some air so taht I had an idea of how quick it was leaking. When I mentioned it to the girl at the counter, she told me that A&A should have been open, but in small towns, sometimes places closed early. No kidding?
Anyway, in my pill & pillow induced haze, I vaguely recall Steve and the rest of the crew coming back from the reunion and Linz explaining our problem.
"Well, did you call A&A" Steve asked.
"Yeah, but they didn't answer, I think they were closed."
"Did you try calling them instead of the store?"
"Uhh...no. Should we have? Do you know them, or something?"
Yeah... in a small town, odds are good that they do indeed know the person. Odds are also good that if a tire store called A&A tire is closed early on a Saturday, that it might just be because they are hosting, oh, say, a family reunion at their house. It's even vaguely possible that you might accidentally take one of their nails home with you in your tire.
Happily, he wanted that particular nail back, so he met Linz and Rich at his shop and repaired Strontium's tire. Hooray!
I woke up later that evening feeling moderately improved and walked to the gas station for some food. ( I had missed the evening pilgrimage to the Busy Bee with the rest of the family) Ate some grub, read my book and sacked out.