Diversions

Recent Posts

Red Lodge Songwriters Festival enters 2nd year with expansion

Weiters

Mike Booth and Cory Johnson started the Red Lodge Songwriters Festival last year, hoping it would become an annual event that got bigger every year. It looks like they’re on the right track. The second annual festival starts next Thursday, June 22, and this year will feature two members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, with 12 shows at six Red Lodge venues scheduled during the three-day event. (more…) Continue Reading →

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First Time for Everything: A belated visit to Bannack

Masons

How I missed visiting Bannack for all these years I can’t really say. I spent four years in Butte and Anaconda in the early 1980s, during which time I did manage to explore Virginia City and Nevada City, those two other early gold camps, but somehow I never got to Bannack. Blame it on my youth and my heedlessness, and the fact that I had a young child at home. I was also nearly always broke and the owner of unreliable cars. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Big Sky Pride fest returns to city, Egnew runs for mayor

Falls

Big Sky Pride is bringing its annual LGBT celebration back to Billings for the first time in nearly a decade, and organizers say it will be the biggest one ever. The week-long celebration will kick off with a Community Night at Hooligan’s Sports Bar this Monday and end with a “Recovery Brunch” on Sunday, June 18, at the Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill. (more…) Continue Reading →

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After success at home, Uzbek pastry chef opening new store

Veronika

A little more than a year after starting a bakery in her home kitchen, making Russian, French and Eastern European pastries for customers who placed orders by phone or via the internet, Veronika Baukema is almost ready to open a brick-and-mortar pastry shop on Montana Avenue. The self-taught baker said she learned a lot from books and YouTube videos, but she thinks her passion for baking is the most important thing she has going for her. “And I practice,” she said. “I practice. I practice.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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BugBytes: Thoughts on cool beetles and squeamish adults

Bugs

Finally, springtime is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. This invigorating seasonal shift signals the revival of two key insect-related events:

1) The transformation of our house’s western exposure into a Bacchanalian bone zone for randy swarms of box elder bugs recently sun-flushed from their winter hideaways and onto our front stoop. The result is like something out of a John Waters film: excrement-stained walls and windows, a mailbox filled with copulating foursomes doing it in the dark, and let’s not forget the dribbled gobs of abandoned egg clusters that, when crushed, dissolve into a smear of blood-hued vitals. (more…) Continue Reading →

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A little trust goes a long way in travel-trailer transaction

Group

I find some discomfort thinking that we understand the words: “You can’t be too careful.” Other protective phrases like “It’s a scam,” “You’ll get screwed,” “A friend of mine was robbed” and “Watch your behind” diminish the values of faith and trust between people. Paranoia, fear and reluctance seem to take over. It doesn’t have to be that way. Stars shine from around the world when we look. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Recalling the past at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

Tower

POWELL, Wyo. — It sprang up almost overnight on arid, sagebrush-covered prairie and became Wyoming’s third-largest city, a community of more than 10,000 Japanese-Americans imprisoned after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Creation of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, situated on 46,000 acres owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, was a boon to the local construction industry, which built many of the 650 buildings and structures at the camp. (more…) Continue Reading →

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A girl and her car: A story worth telling more than once

Glacier

I’m really only good at telling one story, and that’s the story of my car. Daily, it seems, I’m asked how I obtained such an odd machine. I drive a 1961 Dodge Lancer. I call him Ol’ Frank. He’s painted the same teal as when originally manufactured, has the original slant-six with a push-button transmission and has only 83,000 original miles. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone snow coaches switching from tracks to tires

tires

CODY, WYO. — Heavy spring snowfall this week caused Yellowstone National Park managers to temporarily close some entrances, and motorists in parts of the park were told snow tires were required for entry. But having the right tires for snow in Yellowstone isn’t just an unexpected issue for some spring travelers—it’s also shaping up to be one of the biggest changes to winter travel in the park in years. (more…) Continue Reading →

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