There’s No Place Like Home

Now I have enough energy to write about my trip. It was another church group trip, superficially like the one I did last year in Costa Rica. Rather than build a house for a family, this time we hosted a vacation Bible school for a church in Montana. The town we stayed in was one of the smallest functioning town I’ve been to, the only place to go shopping was an IGA and there are no chain restaraunts; as a result many people take the hour long drive to Billings once a week to get stuff they need. Walking down mainstreet felt really does feel like being in the Wild West. Several bars, bootmakers, horse suppliers and such line the street, there is even a 1%er clubhouse with a door that reads “patchholders only.”

The VBS program was a huge success, it went much more smoothly than it ever does at my church. Granted I am comparing working with 60 kids to working with upwards of 200 kids. As I do every year, I was part of the drama team. This year the five part drama was about David, I played Jesse and one of King Saul’s henchmen.

That Wild West vibe I mentioned was more then superficial, at one point we worked on a cattle ranch doing various jobs like fencing and mending chicken coops. However, those jobs were merely the openers for the main event: banding. For those of you not in the know, banding is a method of castration where a tiny rubber band is streched and put around a poor soon to be steer’s testicles. It took our whole team to do that. One person gave the calf milk to disract him, several more held him down, and I and one other had to actually do the banding part. Thankfully it’s done with plier things that open and close the rubber bands. I never thought I’d ever fix a cow. For dinner that day we ate fried bull balls, from a different bull mind you. Pretty good actually, as long as you don’t get a chewy one.

After we left the town we drove to Yellowstone. Going there has never exactly been a dream of mine, but I absolutely loved it and I am so glad we went. Even pictures can’t do it justice, you really have to go there and experience the sounds and especially the smells. When you smell the minerals and gasses it the geological and thermal forces at work make themselves clear. Personally, I think Old Faithful kind of steals the thunder of everything else. Don’t get me wrong it’s definately worth seeing. My favorite parts were the areas that have several hot springs, mud fountains, and are right next to bison herds. I have admired bison for some time and have seen them before, but seeing hundreds of them elavates it to another level. We could only stay at the park for two days, then we headed home.

Overall I would say the trip was very rewarding for me, though not lifechanging like Costa Rica was. I didn’t bring a camera but here are some pictures to give an idea of what I saw:

bison mammothspring falls

I’d love to post more but I have over twenty episodes of Breaking Bad to catch up on.

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