the sky at the end of the interstate

When Kate asked if I wanted to join her on a road trip back to her homeland, Montana, I eagerly accepted. Montana and Vermont are both places which I’ve heard only extremely positive things about. I was only too glad for the chance to determine the veracity of these claims for at least one of the two states for myself. It wasn’t a super planned and exact trip. Which doesn’t bother me, though it did leave me feeling under prepared. The evening before found Sunita and me in Portland at the concert of the exceptional LP. We didn’t return home until 2:30am, a mere two and a half hours before Kate and I were scheduled to depart for Montana. Kate graciously took the first shift of driving while I stole a bit more sleep. In hindsight, we didn’t listen to a second of music during our drive either way. Kate came prepared with audiobooks and podcasts, and we spent our hours listening to those and conversing.

We arrived in Kalispell mid-afternoon and met up with her dad Lee and his wife Lisa at Flathead Lake. And what a splendidly large and lovely lake it is. They took us out on their boat to Wild Horse Island, where we had a leisurely hike and saw an impressive amount of wildlife. For the millionth time in my life I was told “ohh, this is unusually good weather for here.” ‘Unusually good weather’ meaning sunny and warm. This coming from people who didn’t grow up in Florida where ‘sunny and warm’ is equivalent to ‘boring, overdone, and way two centuries ago.’ I am cursed by ‘good weather’ following me wherever I go. Only Portland seems immune to the curse of my eternal sunny presence. Anyways, digressing here, it was a pleasant day. Upon our return the sun turned golden and the skies filled with the beautiful purples and pinks distinctive of this area. What a gorgeous place. We closed the evening with dinner at a local brewery.

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Kate had a cornucopia of potential plans for our trip. The following day we headed to Glacier National Park with Kate’s mom. I pulled one of my infamous car trip narcolepsy routines, so I can’t speak much for the way there. But once we arrived we did the spectacular Highline Trail. There we spent several hours amidst awesome views and more fuzzy critters. We tried an energy bar made out of crickets that Kate had gotten for me to try. It was surprisingly delicious. After our strenuous day we spent the evening with giant Greek salads and several episodes of Pushing Daisies. Exertion begets happy laziness.

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Our third day took us to the Polebridge Mercantile where we bought inexcusable quantities of huckleberry bear claws. We ate them slowly in the tiny place that is Polebridge. We agreed to take it easy after our hike the day before and wound up spending a few hours at Lake McDonald. Kate and I had another lovely dinner with Lee and Lisa. I tried some elk, which was delicious and nearly vegetarian-ending.

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The last day was a half day. Kate got her hair cut by a friend and then we had pizza. And then we drove off with our car loaded with freshly picked pears ready to become honeyed pears. We stopped in Spokane for the evening and stayed with a friend of Kate’s, and then picked up again early the next morning. It was a good road trip. Montana has me impressed.

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