Bozeman – Montana

August 20, 2010

Today was my day off.

I spent it doing the classic combination of fly fishing, yoga, and online Dungeons & Dragons.

A few weeks ago, my roommate Nate spent a week fly fishing in, yes, Bozeman, Montana.

Nate caught lots of fish.

(By the way, Nate, don’t forget to water the plant.)

I caught none.

But I had a nice experience with Gary, an elderly gentleman who works at the fly fishing shop where I rented my gear. He is also a local school bus driver. Gary took me onto the lawn in front of the shop and showed me how to cast and what to do, roughly, if a fish bit. He also showed me how to tie a fly onto the line. His recommendation was the Spruce Moth. After I tied on the lure, he walked me over to the window and, sure enough, a real Spruce Moth was sitting there.

From the shop, I followed Gary’s directions: went south 6 miles to a town called Gallatin Gateway (home of the historic Gallatin Gateway Inn), took a right at the only intersection in town, crossed a bridge, parked, and went down to the river.

I walked in and began fly fishing.

Back on the lawn with Gary I was pretty bad at casting. But in the river, I was simply pathetic. I didn’t have a chance in Winnemucca of catching a fish.

And it didn’t help that Kettle was running around in the water.

That’s right – Kettle was in the river!

He wasn’t exactly swimming – his belly was barely getting wet – but man was he having fun! He’d run in the water, then jump up the embankment, then sprint around in the grass. And then do it again.

It didn’t take me long to give up my fly fishing career and just go play with my dog.

We returned to the motel, I dropped off Kettle, and went to yoga class. There are a surprisingly high number of yoga studios in Bozeman. I chose one called “Be the Change Yoga Studio”. It was a nice space, with a wide mix of students, and good instructors … I ended up taking two classes in a row. I came a long way for this, after all.

Back at the motel, I had just enough time to make a salad before my online Dungeons & Dragons game. About once a month, I join John (my brother), Mike, Jeff, and Donna to play a D&D campaign being run by Eric. We use an Internet service called Fantasy Grounds which provides the tools needed to play on computers remotely – such as the ability to show maps, roll dice, track stats, chat, etc.

Our characters are a group of dwarves (mostly) that are trying to … well, it’s complicated and I don’t fully understand it, but we’re trying to do something important. Anyway, we were in underground caverns, and we walked into a room. My brother’s dwarf, named Slash, proceeded to fall through a trapdoor, falling 50′. If that wasn’t bad enough, an iron plate then closed above him, sealing him down at the bottom of the pit. Then poison gas filled the pit above the iron plate, making it highly suicidal for any of Slash’s dwarven brethren, that being us, to drop down into the pit to try to get him out.

Our solution was simple. Jeff’s dwarf, named Hegri, cast a Neutralize Poison spell on himself, then used his Boots of Spider Climbing to climb down the side of the pit until he got to the iron plate, then cast at Transmute Rock spell to create a tunnel around the edge of the iron plate, then went through the tunnel, got Slash, and used a Dimension Door spell to bring them both back to the top.

My dwarf, named Afflack, did very little during this whole process, other than keep some distance between himself and the wisps of poison gas coming up from the trapdoor.

And that was my day in Bozeman.

As you’ve gathered, I didn’t camp.

But I had a reason.

I needed the privacy of a motel room that night.

After all, I was pretending to be a dwarf.

I guess I should have taken it from the other side.

Gary, Lord of the Flies & School Bus Driver

Going In


Going Out

Outside the Gallatin Gateway Inn


Downtown Bozeman

Kettle feeling at home

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