By Dan Cole, Absaroka Region
One of the great things about the Porsche Club of America is the friends you meet along the way. Recently I said at our breakfast meeting I was going on a weekend road trip to the Black Hills. I said I was staying at the K Bar S Lodge in Keystone. Who wants to come along? Seven different folks took the bait! (I didn’t post the drive on our Facebook page because it was an unofficial event and I didn’t want to get our president in PCA hot water, over insurance waivers, COVID waivers, etc.)
The big picture plan I had for the weekend was to get friends together, have a fun and loosely structured weekend, where we can do things together, or in smaller groups and then reunite in the evening to discuss the day.
Jo and I stayed at the K Bar S hotel once before during the PCA Dakota Region’s annual “Run for the Hills” event. I decided this was going to be our base location. Staying at the K Bar S were myself (Jo had work commitments with the Heart and Soul Run and couldn’t attend), Stephanie Haider, Lynnsey Slanina & Anthony Wain, Buddy and Judi Kastrop, Steve and Sally Hildenburg, Rick and Kathy Brookshier and Jim and Karen Grace. Former Absaroka Member Greg Kohn called and wanted to renew his membership and asked if we were doing any drives. I mentioned my trip to Keystone and he and wife Susan came along as well in their new Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The group met at the Town Pump/Flying J in Lockwood at 8:00 A.M. where we grabbed some goodies, talked about the drive and then headed off for the weekend.
After lunch, we decide to hit the road to Keystone and omit actually driving over to Devils Tower. The visitor’s center was closed, so it would only have been bigger, not necessarily a better view than from the restaurant. The road back to the interstate did not disappoint either. It was a genuinely fun drive from start to finish. I would place it as one of the nicer loops in our region. Too bad it’s so far away for day trips.
In Sheridan, we stopped for a break, gas stop and to meet Greg and Susan. We then headed to Devils Tower. After leaving I-90, the road to Devils Tower was a blast! It was smooth, twisty, pretty scenery, not too much traffic, just pure Porsche fun. Lunch was in view of Devils Tower at Devils Tower Gulch Restaurant. Their team did an excellent job hosting our group during a busy season for them. We’ll definitely return there in the future.
We arrived at K Bar S, our hotel for the weekend in the late afternoon. Once everyone settled in, we met up on the patio for some beverages. Everyone was so relaxed after the drive; we ended up staying there rather than fighting the Keystone crowds that evening for dinner. Greg and Susan who were saying at another hotel went to Hill City and had a wonderful dinner and desserts at the Alpine Inn.
The only way Saturday could have been better is if Jo had been able to come along on the trip, otherwise it was a perfect day!
After breakfast, we assembled for a quick driver’s meeting covering the route and ideas along the way. The Brooksheirs and Hildenburgs missed our drive as they were all going to go to the Air Force base for some shopping since they weren’t in their Porsches. All good, as that was the plan for the weekend; do your own thing.
First stop, Crazy Horse Monument. It was a good thing everyone had money because I didn’t know there was a fee! Crazy Horse Monument is one families’ dream to work with the local native culture to build a monument to one of their great leaders Crazy Horse. The site is packed full of art exhibits, lecture, movies on the monument, native dances and other goodies. The actual Crazy Horse monument is very slowly taking shape. The head is complete, but it’s going to take a long time to complete the project as a private undertaking. It’s well worth a visit and your time.
On towards Custer and another great two-lane road to drive. Highway 89 to Sylvan Lake and Custer State Park is twisty as it weaved through farmland and the Black Hills. There was little to no traffic until we reached Sylvan Lake, then it was busy as expected. After another well-spent entrance fee, we began the drive on the famous Needles Highway.
The Needles road is a narrow and sometimes single lane road through some unique scenery. You drive through tunnels, pass crazy road formations, and see many other people also enjoying the day on motorcycles, sports cars and family SUVs.
Iron Mountain Road takes us back to Keystone. It’s famous for solid rock tunnels with great views of MT Rushmore, pigtail bridges. and scenery.
Dinner was early in order to make it over to the Lighting ceremony at Mt Rushmore. The Powderhouse is a local restaurant and steak house. The food was delicious and the service excellent. The meal was so good the group went back the following evening for seconds!
We headed over to Mt Rushmore to watch the lighting ceremony early. We saw how busy Mt Rushmore was when we drove past earlier in the day and we wanted to ensure we had seats. We were early, maybe too early, with a wide-open amphitheater in front of us, but on the plus side everyone got to explore the grounds and the conversations while waiting for a nice evening. Once the show kicked off at 9:00 P.M., the place was packed. If you have never been to the lighting ceremony, it’s something that everyone should see. In this time where we as a nation are so divided, the National Park Service does a wonderful job explaining why Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt were chosen to be on the mountain. Great men all, with struggles each faced, how they conquered them
and how our modern “Greatest Generation” leaders faced similar issues in the twentieth century. At the end of the ceremony, I can’t help feel one left with a renewed patriotic spirit for our great country. I did overhear a teenager comment afterwards that the production was full of lies; I may have set him straight.
On Sunday, I headed back to Billings for Father’s Day activities my kids had planned so the rest of the weekend’s activities fell to others to plan. They did a good job!
After breakfast and driver’s meeting, the group decided to visit the Minuteman Missile Visitors Center located off I-90 near Wall, South Dakota. The visitor’s Minuteman Missile Center is part of a group of several sites managed by the National Park Service to tell about the Cold War.
The center has some excellent exhibits, interesting films and allows visitors to explore the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System and its role in the larger context of the Cold War.
For lunch everyone decided to play tourist and visit famous Wall Drug located in Wall, South Dakota. We’ve all seen the signs for Wall Drug lining the interstate system for hundreds of miles. Wall Drug was featured in the recent Academy Award winning movie “Nomadland.” They have a crazy collection of stores, souvenirs, and kitsch. From the photos I saw, I didn’t see any Wall Drug bumper stickers on any of the Porsches. Maybe a future visit to Sea Lion Caves in Oregon would get better bumper stick support, however, I doubt it.
On Monday, everyone headed home on their own schedules. Most opted for the freeway home, some took two-lane Highway 212 via the southeast corner of Montana.
Overall, it was a fun weekend with good friends and memories made. It showed the friendships made in the Porsche Club are genuine and extend beyond our planned Club activities. A fun trip can happen by someone simply making a suggestion to get the ball rolling. It’s clear why bikers flock to South Dakota and the Black Hills each year en masse. The roads are fun, the scenery is beautiful, the folks friendly, and you will leave with a smile. We’ll be back to the Black Hills and continue to explore that corner of Absaroka Region.
1956 – 2021
Past President – Porsche Club of America Absaroka Region
Jeanette Deloris Armstrong passed away unexpectedly on April 25, 2021, at the age of 64. She was born Oct. 22, 1956, in La Chapelle-Saint- Mesmin, France to Ianthe and Ernest Barrow.
Upon graduation from Charles W. Woodward High School in Rockville, MD, Jeanette attended college for two years in the Washington DC area before moving to Houston, TX with her parents. While working as a dental hygienist, she decided to change careers. Jeanette obtained her paralegal degree working as a paralegal and legal librarian in the Houston area. After moving to Billings, she was employed by Ortho Montana working in medical records in sports medicine until her retirement Dec. 31, 2018. She was also an Arbonne consultant.
In 2000, Jeanette and Arthur A. Armstrong, Jr. were married on a cold snowy Dec. evening in Laurel, MT. They resided in Billings. They especially enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Florida, and the Flathead Lake/Lakeside area. Jeanette enjoyed listening to smooth jazz, Motown, and modern country music.
Jeanette was a very active member of Word of Life Fellowship where she was one of the women’s bible study team. Her beautiful smile and warm personality greeted Sunday worshippers as they entered the church. She was an avid fan of the Houston Astros, Texans, and University of Texas Longhorns and closely followed NASCAR. Her favorite driver was Dale Earnhardt. During the college football season, the TV came on at 9 am and never went off until the last broadcast west coast game was over. Also, the same could be said for NFL and NASCAR. She enjoyed playing fantasy football. In addition, she enjoyed traveling and loved sports cars.
Jeanette loved to cook. Four years ago Art purchased their first Traeger pellet grill. Jeanette mastered the technique of barbecuing and grilling on the Traeger. There was nothing she wouldn’t attempt to master or cook, specializing in brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey for Thanksgiving, leg of lamb for Easter, and the list could go on. People that knew her knew of her grilling skills. She was a natural at anything she attempted to do.
Jeanette enjoyed personalizing their home which included their specific likes and interests. Together, she and Art were very dedicated to and enjoyed working out together four to five days a week at Yellowstone Fitness which kept them fit.
She is survived by her devoted husband, Arthur A. Armstrong, Jr., mother Ianthe Barrow, father Ernest (Pat) Barrow, brothers Douglas (Ginger) Barrow, David (Betty) Barrow, sister Gracie Barrow, nephews Andrew (Paula) Barrow, Ryan Barrow, Jess Barrow, and niece Kellie Barrow.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Jeanette’s life will be held June 2, 2021, at 2 pm at Word of Life Fellowship, 1737 King Ave. W, Billings. In remembrance of Jeanette, the family asks that any donations be made to Disabled American Veterans, American Cancer Society or Word of Life Fellowship.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Billings Gazette on May 30, 2021.
Summer is upon us! It is time to get out and see the beautiful land we live in!
We have a few drives planned for you: June will see some jaunts through Wyoming and the Dakotas. In July we will get to see Dr. Batty’s car collection in Sheridan, August is the All-Euro Car Show and September promises a trip to Lewis and Clark Caverns. Stay tuned to your email to hear more about all those! Also, look to Facebook for some pop-up all-marque-inclusive events, such as Billings Cars and Coffee, which happens almost every Saturday and is a good little Show and Shine with a bit of coffee to start your weekend. Summer is the time for car shows, and there is no shortage on those: again, stay tuned to Facebook for more information on locations and times.
I want to say welcome to our new members, we look forward to meeting you and will have a new member party in October.
I also want to say thank you to our current members. I miss you all. I know it has been difficult for us all in this time of pandemic. We are on track to be back in the swing of things. I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Breakfast is next weekend, June 12, at the Laurel Golf Club. A small group is going to the Dakotas and Northern Wyoming in the middle of June, if you would like more information on that, let me know!
Stay well, be kind.
I hope this letter finds you all healthy and in good spirits as this holiday season comes about.
The days are getting shorter, the leaves have fallen, and I hope all your pretty cars are put away for the winter. While these shorter days give us less time outside, they also give us time inside to brush up on reading and research, or even working on winter projects. I know at my house winter brings time in the car shop—a lot of honey-dos get done over this time. Do not forget the resources available to you through the PCA.org website, rennlist.com, as well as your fellow Absarokians. Many of our members are a wealth of knowledge! They not only know a lot about their own cars, but about many other things, things we often call hobbies, but, as I’ve found out many of them are professional hobbyists. I have recently found our members to be interested in everything from knitting to beer making, painting to genetics, fly tying to cheese making and RC cars, to name a few.
As far as club activities go, our council has decided that following Montana’s guidelines has been too restrictive, first, on the number of people in a group (we are usually more than allowed), and second, the ability to spread out said group in a comfortable space. Going forward, we will not be having any gatherings that cannot abide by Montana’s guidelines. We will still be gathering for breakfast on the second Saturday, as the Laurel Golf Club has a space that allows us to abide, as well as be comfortable in a group and they kindly set aside a dedicated space for us.
My wish for you is that you find comfort in this holiday season. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Until next time,
As I sit here getting ready to write this, I am gazing outside on this beautiful Saturday, February 22, 2020. It’s near 50 degrees out, with a slight breeze. I can feel the spring light coming in the window, teasing me, but I know it’s about to duck down behind a cloud and soon to follow, behind the horizon. Yes, the days are getting longer. Yes, it’s getting a bit warmer overall. Then the National Weather Service has to ruin my ruminations by telling me that this coming week, Winter will be back for a little while. That’s Montana, doing what she wants.
I’ve had it: I’m going to pack up my bags and run away. At least for a little while. I’ll be off to Palm Springs at the end of this week to attend the Zone 14 President’s meeting. We had this bright idea last year while in Saskatoon to jaunt off to the warm lands of California! And I’m super glad we all agreed! The meeting will take place at the same venue that Parade will be in June. I’ll give you all a full report when I return. I have talked to a few of you, but please don’t hesitate to let me know any questions or concerns that I can take with me regarding our club, Parade, or PCA in general—I will take them along and address them with many in the PCA executive council.
Thank you again to the Kruegers and to everyone who came to the Baked Potato Party last weekend. A wonderful time was had by all! I can’t wait for our next jaunt with you all!
The next thing on our agenda is the Tech Session on March 21, and then our first drive of the season, Road to Chico, April 25 & 26, 2020.
Last night we watched Ford v Ferrari starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. It was up for four Oscars, and won two—Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing. I can attest to it being deserving of both. The cinematography was also wonderful: I felt like I could smell the gasoline on some of those scenes. Christian Bale’s portrayal of Ken Miles while driving made me feel a bit like someone was filming me while driving, the way he talked to the car and praised her and asked her for more. I want to know more back story of how Carroll Shelby got to where he was with Ford Motor Company. Yes, yes, I know I’m being a little blasphemous by going on about all these “other” marques, however, Shelby does drive a Porsche Speedster in the opening scenes. It’s good to see it, although you cringe when he does a U-turn across multiple lanes of traffic while a bit angry. Not to worry, Porsche Purists, film and television have ways of keeping those vintage cars pristine: it’s called, not using a vintage car at all! For film, if you’re using a car in a scene, you usually must have at least three cars, so any one car has two backups. There’s not a lot of vintage metal just laying around that can still run. A lot of film cars are replicas, and there’s a lot of magic that goes into making us suspend our disbelief. But let us not fret—ALL the Cobras were replicas. Ford v Ferrari was a great way to spend two and a half hours, cheering and crying, crying and cheering. I highly recommend grabbing some popcorn and turning it up—get ready to smell the rubber.
I heard that in Pennsylvania on Sunday Punxsutawney Phil predicted that we should have an early spring. Take that as you may, since Montana seems to do whatever she wants with the weather!
One thing is for certain: we will have the Ninth Annual Baked Potato Party regardless of the weather! We have two venues available, thanks to the Krueger’s, and we will distribute the address of the appropriate Billings location depending on the weather a few days before. Please RSVP to me by February 13.
Also, I wanted to remind you that registration for our annual drive to Chico Hot Springs is open and there are a few overnight rooms left. Thanks to Jack and Herb for securing a wonderful half price rate on our rooms this year; Chico always proves to be a fun time. Call Chico at (406) 333-4933 and mention that you’re with the Absaroka Porsche Club to get the great rate!
At the end of this month, I will attend the Zone 14 Presidents Meeting. This is the time for me to relay your questions and concerns to our Zone Representative, Peter Spencer. If you have any questions for our Zone or for anyone in the National Committee, please relay them to me. I have a few things to put on the meeting agenda, but I need to hear from you all as well.
And lastly, anyone thinking of going to Porsche Parade this year, it is in Palm Springs. Registration is open. You can find all the information on the PCA website with your PCA login. Early registration gets a discount.
See you all at breakfast this Saturday! Remember, it’s at the Laurel Golf Club, 9am
Guten tag friends! Happy New Year! I hope everyone is as excited about the coming year as I am!
I can’t believe this will be my sixth anniversary of being a member of the Absaroka Porsche Club, and I can’t wait for many more! I became a member by default, when my husband said, “ok, you’re my affiliate member” and I said “what?!?!” I honestly didn’t know that there was a group for just these cars: and I especially didn’t know that there was a group of people that were so welcoming and fun-loving as the ones in our region. I was just along for the ride—which is pretty ironic, considering that I get car-sick if I am not the one driving. This fun fact got me my own car when Anthony got tired of me looking rather green in the passenger seat. And my first new-to-me Porsche happened to be the same model as the first “sports car” that I drove back in high school. It was even the same color, Porsche Guard’s Red, of which I’m quite fond. Ruby Slipper isn’t super fast, but she always has the power to take me home, and there’s no place like home, this wonderful state of Montana we all live and love in.
It just turned full on winter with the passing solstice, and most of our cars are snug away in their garages and under cover. I encourage all of you in this time of less driving to log on to the PCA website and update your membership record. We have determined that the easiest and most effective way to contact you is through email and text, so please make sure that those are right in your PCA account. If you do not know how, I can help you at our next meeting, or I am available by text anytime! We have a lot of fun events planned for this year and I don’t want for any of you to miss out on the fun, from the Potato Party to some cool day drives, tech sessions, and even some overnighters. We are also working to have a weekly Cars & Coffee event with some other car groups around Billings.
Speaking of overnighters, make sure to call Chico Hot Springs and make your reservations for our first overnight event of the season April 25. There are more rooms and dinner seats available this year thanks to Herb and Jack. Mention you’re part of the Absaroka Porsche Club to get our group rate.
This year looks to be a fun one! I look forward to serving you as president and having you all as friends. Thanks for making this group so wonderful!
Sartorial Ninja and PCA Absaroka Region President