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Montana: Getting Here Was MORE Than Half The Battle

In one day I went from brushing snow off my windshield in New York to summer temps while passing through Texas and then back to snow in Montana…actually that sounds like the weather last week at home. :) Montana in April sounded like a good idea at the time. Who knew it would look so much like New York…also in April. I won’t be complaining about the weather anymore.

I’m really glad I made it to Montana. It was definitely one of the more challenging states for me to visit because my preferred airline only has one flight in and one flight out of Billings each day. So that means a Montana adventure has to be planned accordingly. Here’s how mine played out.

My flight out of Albany left first thing in the morning and got me as far as Philadelphia where I had to change planes and get on a second flight to Dallas-Fort Worth. From there I would make the connection to a third flight that would arrive in Billings, Montana. That’s approximately eight hours of time in the air, but layovers add to the total travel time, so I arrived in Billings around 3:00 mountain time in the afternoon. From there I had to rent a car to drive the two and a half hours that it would take to get to Bozeman, MT where the closest of Montana’s only two laser tag sites is located. I would have loved to get to the second site also, but unfortunately it was three hours beyond Bozeman and would be closed by the time I could get there at this point. So I drove to Bozeman and arrived at Laserdash.

I entered the location and it was a quiet night (which I was forewarned would likely be the case on a Thursday evening), but I met up with Mateo and staff member Sky who hooked me up with a fun card and welcomed me to tour the arena before enjoying a game of Fun Blast.

The arena is hand painted in neon colors. It appears that someone built it for them in a manner similar to how I used to build sets for my stage productions. Meaning the construction was likely a local creation and not an imported arena design.

One base was located in a room on the first level.

The arena is built on two levels that can be accessed by one of two staircases. I’ve said this before…I HATE to see staircases in an arena. I think they are dangerous even for the most careful players. Case in point…while stepping down I felt my own foot slide and nearly took a tumble while I was on the top level. I can’t imagine this being a good idea with a larger group or really active kids.

So after that I relegated myself to a downstairs game. Partially because I didn’t need to risk anything so early in this trip and partially because I was a bit under the weather, had travelled all day and had not yet had any food, so to be honest I was tired and my heart was barely in this game. But I did enjoy that I got to experience it nonetheless.

And when that single game was done I decided I needed to find some sustenance more than tag, so I ended up at a restaurant called Dave’s Sushi. I ordered a locally named roll and some calamari to take back to my hotel for the night knowing that I had to be up early to make the two and a half hour drive back to Billings the next morning.

I had straight highway driving for most of the trip back to the airport, however it had snowed hard in Montana since the night before and the conditions of this road would have likely caused schools in NY to call a snow day (which I understand is a real rarity in Montana). So (since I didn’t have any choice) I carefully drove back to the airport, glad I had allowed plenty of extra time.

Remember I mentioned that the airline I fly only has one flight in and one flight out of Billings each day? I was sitting in the terminal in plenty of time to board that one flight that would fly me back to Dallas where I had planned to catch a connecting flight to Denver and from there drive north to Cheyenne to play tag in Wyoming. Well, that didn’t happen because there was a tornado watch happening in Dallas area which impacted every flight trying to go in or out of Dallas. There was a delay and enough of a disruption in schedule that I knew it was highly unlikely that even when the flight got to Dallas that I would be able to keep my schedule and visit all the places I wanted. So I shifted gears from there. I decide it would be better to rent a car in Montana and just drive south into Wyoming and keep driving from there into Colorado. So that’s exactly what I did! :)

It’s a 6 ½ hour drive from Billings to Cheyenne, which is roughly the same amount of travel time I would have had by plane. So I divided the drive into two parts and got myself as far as Casper, WY that night, found a hotel and then got up bright and early to continue my journey to Cheyenne. So essentially I had put in two very long days of travel and had only yet played one game of laser tag. Well, this is proof that in the case of Montana getting there was MORE than half the battle, but it’s all good. That was my 41st state that I was happy just to check off and you know I was going to make up for lost time on the rest of the journey. And I had a little adventure to share…and I don’t just mean the sushi!

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