I woke up bright and early on Day 10 to meet up with the-now-feeling-better John at 9am. We did some scouting of the Great Falls old motels and I also shot the interior of the very groovy bus station, followed by a dash to one of the dams (just for fun)...and I've got just one word for you...DAMN!
Unfortunately, you don't get the full effect from the stills...you really have to hear the sound. I was so impressed that I made John take one more trip to the dam after we went back to the hotel to awaken Sleeping Beauty and Pumpkin. We did a second stop at Starbucks, then the dam and then on the way out of town we ran into - almost literally - this gaggle of geese (Canadian I might add) wandering across the street...
I screamed at John, "We have to stop!" Jaimie and I ran across the street and snapped a bunch of pictures, totally wanting to take the little ones home.
How cute are they?
It was around this time that I realized I was no longer in possession of my purse...which was carrying over $100 in cash, along with credit cards and maybe my passport and green card and everything else I own. Jaimie quickly called the Starbucks we had been to and after a search they found it. I believe I had left it on the patio while I was waiting with Pumpkin for John and Jaimie. By some stroke of luck, someone turned it in without taking any of the money that was practically hanging out the sides begging "Take me! Take me!" Bless you, oh citizen of Great Falls.
At that point we high-tailed it to Helena for some more scouting. We had an interesting encounter at a bar on the main drag where John was given permission by the bartender for me to shoot a couple of interior shots. I was barely inside the door with my cameras when some asshole, who was already drunk before noon on a Sunday, stopped me in the doorway and threatened to break my camera if I took even one shot. We had a staring standoff for a couple of minutes and I soooo wanted to shoot him right then and there - with my camera or my gun - but then I thought better of it. On the off chance that he reads this blog, "Dude, you are an asshole...why don't you see about getting a life instead of being a complete fuck-up."
And speaking of birds - yes, I was speaking of them a couple of paragraphs up - on our way back to the cars Jaimie and Pumpkin found this beautiful injured bird....
Jaimie and I insisted on doing everything we could to save the bird - by this time I think John thought we were completely nuts - including calling local vets, animal control and even a wildlife sanctuary. Unfortunately, we came up empty - it was Sunday and nothing in Montana seemed to be open, except the bar - so we had to leave the little bird to fend for itself. I hope it survived.
John and I did some more scouting of Helena while Jaimie decided to continue on to our hotel in Butte. We surveyed the high rent district, as the movie does need an opulent house or two, and I was so impressed I was shooting almost every house. Then we stopped in front of one place and a woman came out to ask what we were doing. John introduced himself and she then told us she was concerned because the house belonged to the Senator's disabled mother and since he was getting a divorce she thought we might be fishing for paparazzi pics. She then went on to tell us the history of every house on the block.
We moved up the street and found a fixed-up Victorian where a couple was in the yard gardening. We decided to ask the owners before I started shooting and not only did they say we could shoot the outside, the wife invited us in for a complete tour of the interior...including there bedroom and the cool yoga room she built in the turret. So, at least someone in Helena was extremely hospitable and not drunk.
Once we were done with the rich folks neighborhood, we hit up a few motels and then headed down the highway to Butte. The three of us went out to dinner - the ending to a fun-filled day - and then called it a night.
It was what happened the next morning that threw us a curve.
Miles traveled: 156 + all the driving in Great Falls and Helena
Time in car: probably around 10 hours
Went to sleep: I believe it was midnight or thereabouts