Posts tagged Big Sky Country

Big Sky Country

(Photo courtesy of Big Sky Fishing.Com)  There’s a reason they call Montana “Big Sky Country”. There were miles and miles of sky above me along with some ominous looking clouds. I knew I needed to get to Billings as fast as I could to be in a place safer than the open road. And as it turned out those clouds did produce a tornado that day. It tore the roof off of some building. Fortunately I was beckoned into a café by the owner prior to the tornado touching down. After the storm passed and the skies cleared, the people of Billings came out of their homes and businesses to assess the damage. It was then that I saw how close knit this community is. The café owner fed me a fabulous dinner and offered to put me up in her home. I told her that I already had reservations at an RV park, thanked her for her kindness and was on my way. Or so I thought.

When I went outside to get back on my bike I noticed I had a flat tire. So back inside I went, asked if her offer was still available then asked where I could get my tire fixed. As luck would have it, her son had a friend who worked for a bike company. She gave him a quick call and before I could finish my glass of homemade lemonade her son was there with his truck and hauled my bike off to be fixed. When he returned with it I asked how much I owed for the repair. He smiled sheepishly and said “it’s free as long as you agree to something.” And as you can imagine I was hesitant to agree to an unknown. He directed me outside and to my astonishment there sat a new bike with a trailer on the back end with a big sign saying “Spoke Shop” on it. He said all I needed to do was take his new outfit on the road with their sign on it and it was mine. He went on to say that my other bike was no longer road worthy and that they could not send me out on the road in good conscience with that old bike. I graciously accepted this gift which also included a GPS and a small motor to help me get over some of those mountain passes that were still ahead of me.

I’ve met so many generous people on this trip, but none quite this generous. At this very moment Billings was my favorite town. How could it not be with the hospitality that these people have shown me. I spent the night at their home. The next day I was able to visit a few of the town’s main attractions, and tested out my newly outfitted bike. I soon found myself back on the road and heading to Laurel Montana. From Laurel you can enter Yellowstone National Park from 4 different cities. I was tempted to make a side trip through Yellowstone, but after checking my new GPS I decided to stay on my course.

I could feel the richness of the railroad history in Laurel along with its small town atmosphere. It took me back to when I was a little girl visiting my grandparents who lived in a small Nebraska farming town. I have fond memories from back then and am creating fond memories of the present. Life was good.

And in my real world as I read Jason Christensen’s blog of his actual Cycling for Change trip through some of the same country I’ve virtually ridden through, I’m convinced that my imaginary bike trip is not all that far off. For he writes about the wonderful people he and the other team members have met and the generosity of so many of them. Now we all know there probably isn’t a bike shop around that would give someone a tricked out bike outfit for nothing simply to advertise their store, but I do believe there are people out there that would show the hospitality that my imaginary café owner showed me. Jason’s blog is proof of that. And it’s proof that God’s power and word fills the hearts of many.

One can follow the C4C team’s actual trip by logging on to , clicking on the Cycling for Change icon, then clicking on “follow Jason’s ride here”…You’ll be able to read Jason’s blog and to see some pictures of the scenery that this team is seeing for real. God is a true artist with the beauty that He has given to us.

Unfortunately many of us are harnessed with the trials and tribulations of our everyday lives so much so that we don’t take the time to see the beauty around us not only in the terrain, but in people too. Some are so bogged down with hurt and pain and loneliness that they can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s some of these very people that Catholic Charities tries to help the best we can. It’s through the generosity of our donors that allow Catholic Charities to continue our mission.

And it’s your dedication and enthusiasm that helps me to continue my virtual trip across this great nation. May God bless you all, keep the C4C bike team in your prayers, and let’s keep going the distance.


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