Diversions

Recent Posts

‘Wilderness Walks’ unveil beauty of Eastern Montana

A hike into Bitter Creek

Starting this Sunday and continuing through the end of September, a series of “Wilderness Walks” will be offered at 10 locations in Eastern Montana and northern Wyoming. You could probably tell what part of Montana many of these walks are in just by glancing at their names: Bitter Creek, West Crooked Creek, Terry Badlands, Tongue River Breaks and Chain Buttes. A lot of the places are spectacular, but in subtler ways than places like Paradise Valley or Glacier National Park are spectacular. (more…) Continue Reading →

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College freshman, mad about ice cream, launches business

Van

The new ice-cream man in town is a young woman, but don’t look for her in a three-wheeled cart blaring calliope music. Bailey Scott, a 19-year-old freshman at Rocky Mountain College, will be driving a big sky-blue van with pink trim, and she’ll mostly be doing special events and private parties. (more…) Continue Reading →

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A bit of excitement in downtown Billings

Miss

And some people think living in downtown Billings is uneventful. My daughter called me about 3 in the afternoon Sunday to let me know that a cow was running loose on South 30th Street a block west of the Montana Rescue Mission. Since I live nearby, I raced down with my camera. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Web-based radio a new outlet for musician’s passion

Jimmy

RED LODGE — There was never much question that Jimmy Kujala’s life would revolve around music. The native of Red Lodge played his first professional gig, at the Snag Bar, when he was 9. He and one of his sisters, Carolyn, started a band, The Lost Generation, a few years later. Kujala was only 15 or 16 when the band opened for Merle Haggard at the Shrine Auditorium in Billings in the late 1960s.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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At Crow hand-game tourney, the spectacle is the thing

Other Meds

I was told by several people that the Crow hand game was difficult to explain, but that once I’d watched a few rounds it would start to make sense. I suppose it did, sort of in the way that the one cricket game I ever watched had begun to make some sense by the time it ended. The big difference is that at a cricket game, cricket is the main attraction. (more…) Continue Reading →

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A gear head’s pistons never stop pumping

Harris

Kent Harris took Walt Disney’s words to heart: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Gear Head Land was not in the headlights for Harris in his youth. And the retired banker admits that he was never really much of a motorcycle or car guy. He had, and does own, some nice wheels, but he had never gone in for the nitty-gritty part—the dirty, oily hands, scratched-up knuckles and sleepless nights thinking about projects. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Last Best News throws 2nd annual fundraiser-party this Friday

Fun

It’s time for the second annual Last Best News fundraising party. The first Last Best News bash was held on Feb. 26, 2016, on an unusually beautiful day that brought about 400 people to the Garage Pub at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company. I wrote in the aftermath of that event that we hoped we wouldn’t need a fundraiser again for a good long while. However, as I said, “we also agreed that the party was so much fun that we ought to make it an annual event.” Continue Reading →

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Artists’ expedition captured on canvas, in narrative of trip

Keys

Editor’s note: We went to the opening of “Young Guns,” a new exhibit at Tyler Murphy’s Montana Gallery, 2710 Second Ave. N., Friday night, and we liked what we saw. It wasn’t just that the paintings were good, which they were. We were impressed with the way Murphy interspersed throughout the exhibit short, typewritten descriptions of the painting trip he made with a couple of fellow artists. Besides saying some cool things about Montana, Murphy really captured the joy of creativity, the inspiration of shared work. Continue Reading →

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Top-chop bluegrass-Americana band to play Billings

Franks

Two Bit Franks, a Bozeman-based acoustic bluegrass and Americana four-piece band that has played in shows all over the region, will be performing in Billings on Friday, April 21. The concert will be at Harper & Madison, 3115 10th Ave. N. The music will run from 7 to 9 p.m., but there will be a no-host cocktail hour starting at 6, with wine, beer and handcrafted cocktails from the Edgar Bar. Seating is limited to 50 seats. Two Bit Franks features John Lowell on guitar and vocals, Tom Murphy on mandolin and vocals, Jeff Shouse on banjo and special guest Wes Horton on standup bass. Continue Reading →

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The humble pack rat is an adversary to be reckoned with

Rat

Stumbling around my kitchen preparing my doxies’ breakfast (crunchy dog food, vitamins, medicine and yogurt), I noticed that the peaches on the counter top had funny marks on them. My first thought was that my cat Bud had decided to add some citrus to her diet, as I noticed the marks in not just one peach but three. But the marks didn’t fit either Bud’s much smaller teeth or her sharp, fine claws. I examined some plums nearby and found one had been half eaten. Not the cat, not the doxies, with marks too big for mice. Continue Reading →

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