Our original plan from there was to make a small detour over to the Pryor Mountains so we could try to catch a view of some wild mustangs. With winter storm warnings starting the next day at noon for pretty much all of Montana, I really had no desire to be on some back road. I just wanted to get home. So, we made the decision to push on to Billings, and see what it looks like from there.
At one point, I think Sheridan, WY, we thought we were going to need to stop. I put a call in to my weather man (Jared always lets me know what the weather is), we decided to push on to Billings.
We hit some snow, some rain, some hail, and some sunshine, but it was all pretty easy going.
We stopped in Billings and ate at HuHots. Yummy.
It looked pretty clear on the radar for the rest of the way to Great Falls (again, I consulted my weather man), so we pressed on.
As we came to one junction, there was a sign "Watch for changing road conditions." Both Gramma and I wondered what that meant.
It didn't take long to figure it out. Driving along with beautiful weather, all of a sudden we are in fog. Ok, lasts about 10 minutes or so then beautiful (though windy) weather. Every so often there would be spots where the snow had drifted over the highway. No biggie, just slow down a bit.
Then it was like we entered a different room. It literally felt like we opened a door and entered a completely different room. Snow was falling fast and sideways thanks to the wind. The road was covered with snow with only faint tire tracks showing, it got darker.
I thought, "Oh crap, I'm doing 70!" Thankfully the road stayed straight and I was able to just let off the gas till we got down to a safer speed.
Just as suddenly we were out of the crappy "room." The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, but the truck felt like it was driving a bit funny.
This would be why.
Wheel wells are full of ice
Almost couldn't get out of the truck! The layer of ice was pretty thick.
It took a few days and a trip to the car wash to get the rest of the ice melted off. The ice was so thick it was making the shocks in the front "thunk" when I would go over bumps.
Oh well, we made it safe and in 2 days. Poor Gramma. We didn't do nearly enough walking for her, but sometimes that happens. We have made up for it since we've been back.
Well, maybe we haven't done as much walking as I thought, but Gramma did go for an hour long walk on her own today. In the 24 mph winds. She must really have been desperate to get away from us!
We've been busy doing a whole lotta nothing. There was some video game playing,
some shopping, we went to see The Croods (and loved it!), we did some thrift store treasure hunting (and brought home a big stack of books!), and Gramma got to meet Meggie and Jill.
Meggie is hiding behind Otis, both of them are eating their breakfast
Emma and Meggie
Emma was so happy to be back with Meggie. Emma kept hugging and snuggling Meggie, trying to feed her, and just smiling huge. She was also happy to see Jill, though I didn't take any pictures. We found out a week or two ago, that Jill has found a new place to do her training and lessons from. It's a bit closer to us, so we may be spending lots more time out at the barn. Yeah!
Oh, and the other big news is that Emma bought herself an American Girl Doll. Meet Saige, lover of art and horses.
Sounds like someone else we know. These dolls are not cheap, but Emma has really wanted one for a little while now. She talked about how she was going to earn the money, save it up, and buy Saige. She has some money in her savings account from past holiday's so we let her dip into that for the Saige ($110), but that she would have to work to earn some money and save up for Picaso, the horse ($94). At first she was all worried because the Saige doll is only going to be available for 2013, Picaso also.
What she didn't know was that Jared and I had decided to get Picaso for her as a half-birthday gift. She was SO happy when the boxes came. Gramma and Boppa pitched in and bought Emma the saddle package for her half-birthday as well.
Emma has been busy with Saige and Picaso ever since. Don't be surprised if you see lots more posts about the newest members of the household. Emma has lots of plans for them.
I hope that Spring is finally arriving for everyone! Other than the wind (which is typical of Great Falls), the weather has been pretty nice since we got back. Beats the non-stop rainy, snowy, drizzle that we had in Iowa, though we couldn't have asked for better company.