for the past several months, i've realized that i have been nowhere except the cottage where i work and home. for fourteen to sixteen hours a day, i've been inside at work, and the rest of the short days have been spent either travelling between home and work, or in bed, attempting to catch up on my sleep. it is no small wonder why i have been creatively blocked lately.
this week i am seeing for the first time in months, my regularly scheduled work hours...without overtime or team meetings! this means i actually have three days off in a row!! having spent yesterday catching up on much needed sleep, i decided to take a ride around town and share with you the wonderful place in which i live.
billings is the largest and most populated city in montana. it serves as the regional trade center, transportation base, and medical hub. billings is nestled in a valley at the foot of four mountain ranges and is sheltered by a sandstone rim that runs pretty much straight through the entire town and nourished by the yellowstone river.
these views are from the top of the rims, alongside the airport. as you can see, the city stretches out for what seems forever under the big sky of montana. though our idea of a "big city" differs, i'm sure, from what most people think of as one, seeing as our population hovers around a meager 84,000+ residents. fortunately for us, this gives billings a wondrous small-town sense of safety and country friendliness not available in what most folks think of as a "big city." it's a place where vast ranches and lush farmland mix comfortably with tall office buildings (granted, there are only a few), and where horse trailers can be seen as frequently as diesel buses. we boast the finest of medical facilities in the four state area, museums, landmark attractions, symphony, opera, local theater, fine dining and more.
as beautiful as all this is, i have decided, however, to live outside the city's limits. in all my travels, i've had my fill of big cities and enjoy living on the outskirts...affording me the opportunities of a big city, but the quiet of the country at the same time. fifteen miles outside of town, just a short stroll down the road from my house, the countryside opens up into vast farmland, currently planted predominantly with corn.
jumping on the back of my vintage kawasaki and the short ride of a mile or two and these farms begin to give way to ranches...
though, closer to home, you are more likely to find small farms and pastures...
so i am surrounded by natural beauty, gorgeous countrysides, and innumerable opportunities for inspiration! i only have to get outside and soak it up! somewhere, i lost this focus. i used to spend countless hours walking along side the yellowstone river. riding the old bike out into the country, exploring roads that i had not yet been down. walking downtown, watching people and soaking up the historical offerings of an old western town. recording thoughts in spoken word on my ipod and sketched ideas in my art journal. or just taking my guitar up on the rims or out into the countryside and noodling around on the strings while the dogs romp and play without fences to hinder them. instead, i've allowed myself to be boxed in by walls. but today, with you along for the journey, i've begun to break out of those walls and rediscover my surroundings!
thank you for joining me...