Going west, again

The list of things that I love, if I were to be completely honest and cast out the most casual uses of the verb, would not be very long. (I do not, for example, really love red velvet cake, although I am amenable to heavy petting.) But right up there — somewhere below my wife and dogs but above my shirt-tail relatives — would be road trips. All things being equal, and the cost of gas not being a factor, I can think of few things I’d rather do with a day off than point the nose of my SUV toward some destination. Often, the more remote, the better.

Where I’m headed today fills the bill nicely: I’m going to Dillon, Mont., 257 miles southwest of Billings, to read from my work at Dances With Words, a program hosted by the English department at the University of Montana Western. You can read the press release here.

Downtown Dillon, August 1942, from the "Captured: America in Color" collection. Check out this picture and others at


I’m really looking forward to this trip, even coming on the heels of a longer one — to Missoula and back — last week. A natural-born road tripper should never complain about the frequency of his journeys, lest the road gods conspire and keep him caged in one place for a protracted time.

One of the great things about this relatively new career as an author is that I get invitations to visit places that aren’t necessarily on the road to anywhere else, and when I’m beckoned here in the state that I’ve made my home, I get to fill in some more of my knowledge of this vast, history-filled place.

My hope for today: clear roads, a good view of the mountains and new friends at the other end of the asphalt.

2 Responses

  1. Jim Thomsen

    That looks like a cool downtown. Reminds me of Walla Walla, where I’ll be road-tripping myself in a few weeks. Hope you had a great turnout.

    April 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

  2. Pingback: To Dillon and back: an incomplete travelogue | Craig Lancaster