The week was long since we drove out to Billings Tuesday, and I went to Laurel Wednesday morning to do a site visit with one of my VISTAs. She's doing a wonderful job, but the Billings area got something like 10" of snow that day. Driving the 15 miles or so to Laurel and back to Billings was a pain - the roads weren't horrible as it wasn't cold enough for the snow to stick and freeze, but you did have to take it easy due to all the slush. Tuesday was long too since we had dinner with one of Cody's VISTAs. The rest of the week was busy with classrooms, sitting at student unions at our tables, and driving. I didn't really track my hours, but I'm going to guess that last week was pushing 50 hours, which isn't horrible, but 50 hours of work, when you're on the road just feels long. I checked my e-mail sporadically in the evenings while I was on the road, but I still have 61 new messages in my inbox that I didn't get to. Damn recruiting season.
There were of course good parts of the trip - fortunately Cody and I get along pretty well, so the drive time and the table time, and all the time we spent together didn't get to us. I also got to see some of my VISTAs (Kelly at her site visit, and Robin at Bozeman, since she did a classroom presentation for us). Also got to see some of the other VISTAs (Kaz and Kyle at Billings and Butte respectively). Cody and I also got to check out the Berkley Pit, which is pretty damn impressive - here's a VR panorama view of it. While it's a Superfund site due to the pH of the water being 2.5, it's impressive to think of how much effort was put into moving all the dirt to strip mine the land.
Today was long too, as Kelly and I tried to hike out to Crow Creek Falls, but apparently the USFS had closed off the road for some reason or other, so we parked the car probably about 6 miles from the falls, and ended up just walking around, probably 5 miles or so.
This evening we celebrated Eric's birthday at Jester's. Surprisingly, I noticed that they had a wifi access point behind the bar. Jester's has this reputation for being a rough and tumble bar (when I got there around 9:15, the bartender and some of the patrons were talking about a fight the night before), so I have a hard time imagining anyone using a laptop in the bar.
I put up some pictures earlier today as well. New pictures include some from the Destination Imagination state tournament, National Youth Service Day, the queer prom in Missoula (all of 1 picture), and some from the hike today. I think this is my favorite picture of all of them - the mix of the light and shadows, along with just the raw beauty of the scene makes me happy.