A lovely day was punctuated by yet another evening of rain and thunder, so what better time to do a bit of an update on our erstwhile pair of intrepid travelers?
As for the earlier part of my day, I was kidless, and I very thankfully snatched a full 8.5 hours of sleep, which is rare.
I had a very fulfilling lunch with my friend Shawn. Like unlocking a bike lock combination, we go to the same place at the same time without having to remind each other of what we mean, every time we have lunch together in Denver. The only tricky variable is the date, which is never frequent enough.
I mowed my back lawn before the rain came. It was a challenge. But I love the dissociative, productive, immediate gratification of mowing the lawn.
And after writing this, I must get back to The Machinist. What a great modern noir movie to watch on this noir night of rain and thunder.
Their room at the Best Choice Motel was comfortable enough, but probably wasn't the best choice.
Both Stella and Maisie woke up early, and while they took turns in the bathroom, their chatter was subdued and strained; marginally polite.
"I don't know why, but my sciatica is doing its thing again," Maisie mumbled as she took the foam rollers out of her hair.
"Your sciatica isn't yours, Maisie." Stella was unsympathetic. "It feels like my left leg was put through a vice and tightened by Satan himself.
Stella's beauty regimen was much less formulaic and habitual than Maisie's. Such was the benefit of a quick shower, minimal vanity and naturally curly hair.
So while Maisie was making the most of what remained of what she assumed she still had when it came to "good looks", Stella paid a visit to the Best Choice Motel office, poured herself a cup of complimentary coffee and bought a copy of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, hot off the presses.
Thankfully, Powell was close to the Montana border.
By the time Stella returned to the room, she had plotted their course.
"Let's grab a quick bite and head for Big Sky country," she ordered while she packed her bags. "We need to be in Bozeman by lunchtime."
Maisie shoved her Cover Girl concealer and pink foam curlers in her bag of cosmetics. For some reason, the social and gastronomical mid-day imperative Stella provided made her move a little faster.
It was 7 a.m.
They were expected in Bozeman by noon.
Maisie stashed the nine bills that remained from the day before safely in her cleavage, and pocketed the change. She figured they'd use the balance from the Franklin they'd spent for a questionable night of rest at the Best Choice for decent breakfast.
Four hours and change, and they'd be one step closer to Oregon.
Neither Stella nor Maisie had any idea just how big things could get in Big Sky country.