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I spy a caterpillar

April 10, 2015

Photo on 3-19-15 at 11.57 AM
P. and I. visited the Four Dances area, taken care of by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. Apparently, there was a Chief Four Dances, of the Crow Tribe, for whom the area was named. There is no Indian stuff at Four Dances, but it is a natural area with snakes and other wildlife. I saw a caterpillar and lots of grasshoppers. We met a woman who walked a pair of unleashed dogs and a portly man who went to the area apparently to speak on his cell phone. P. calls them “mobiles.”
I had my GPS to test. In fact, the reason I am up at 3 a.m. writing this is because the damn thing has an alarm that went off. I am having trouble understanding how it works. Next time we visit a foreign city, like Paris, I want to take the GPS. If you have been to a place like Paris or Washington DC you will know why I want a device. Sure, cell phones have an app to be downloaded. I don’t have a fancy phone and I bought the GPS for, like, $200.
Four Dances is just across the Yellowstone River from Billings. Close. You head out of town toward Lockwood, then veer off to the right as though to Pictograph Caves. There is a sign and a short gravel road and a parking area. Then you walk a trail, not too steep, up a hill until the trail offers an access to the river to the right or the peregrine falcon nesting areas straight ahead. You’re not allowed too close to the nests, but you get an expansive view. P. and I opted for the river, a long downhill walk that gets steep the last third before it winds up on the flood flats about 100 yards wide to the water’s edge. We saw a pair of Canada geese and distant ducks. The water was low. There are no dams upriver so the level fluctuates with the melting snow and rainfall.
The walk back uphill was excruciating, but as good a workout as an hour at the Y. I was soaked with sweat and it was about 70 degrees with only a light intermittent breeze. Because we had been good we stopped at the Big Dipper for ice cream on the way home. I had chocolate with orange and chocolate chips; P. had — I cannot remember, except it was light-colored and she didn’t offer me any.

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