Yellowstone Downs, Billings, MT, August 17, 2007

All good things must come to an end, and the summer in Montana was no exception. Finally it was time to leave the smoky Rocky Mountain front and start heading back to Chicago, albeit in kind of a roundabout manner. Billings was first on the stop, for a little more racing, and a little last fishing.

Forest fire smoke nearly obscuring the sun before I left.

This year the racing in Billings coincided with the fair for at least one weekend. We headed out on a very hot Friday afternoon, the opening day of racing, me and a friend and his two sons, for the exciting 10 race card of quarter horses and thoroughbreds. Admission just a bit high due to the fair, but it was worth it.

Here are the horses coming around the turn below the rimrocks.

Here are the horses ripping by in front of the stands. Bluffs above the Yellowstone River in the background. And no, I was not the only one hiding in the shade.

Check out these pools!

Oh yeah, we mostly lost. I think I turned a small profit, and the local buddy, he went home with more. But the others of the party blew enough to make it an overall losing day for the group. But the beer was cold, and there was a whole big fair midway to check out, as well as much tasty fair junk food.

I thought I caught these dragons giving us the stinkeye. Damn dragons.

Is there any midway game better than Frog Bog? Perhaps Whack-A-Mole, but ...

There was a big tent with a million fine attractions, but this was the best. We didn't go in, though. No chance of it living up to the imagination.

My big chance to run away and join the circus! But I didn't.