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where is laura? Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. Rainer Maria Rilke

new thoughts on "old," "wild," and "indians"

USA | Friday, 14 July 2006 | Views [928]

A recent trip out to Montana unepxectantly turned out to be an interesting couterpoint to my South American travels. Through our explorations of Glacier national park, the surrounding Indian reservations and tribes, and the general life of the cowboy who still has a strong presence in this part of the country-- I couldnt help but make some parallels... but I"ll weave that in as wel go along. My mom and I set off on July 2 and flew into Bozeman, MT. I had driven through Bozeman on my ride back out to PA from CA, and had a general sense of main street in my mind, and a good hamburger joint to revisit. We picked up a Subaru Outback from the airport and started our journey. Our first B&B in Bozeman was the Lehrkind Mansion, an old Victorian house, rescued by Chris and Jon who quickly filled it with time period pieces, brought the gardens back to life, and serve a mean breakfast with fabulous coffee. Each morning we gathered around the table to chat with our inn mates, about the area, travels, and as we got more comfortable, politics. The Inconvenient Truth was playing at the local old deco Theater, and we saw it right away... an appropriate primer for our travels up to Glacier National Park (which for good reason, is talked about in the film). We covered town in a few hours, and spent the next day taking a nice walk in the nearby Gallatin national forest, and taking a drive up to the Big Sky ski resort, which was slightly sad and disappointing. July 4, we decided to drive to the next town of Livingston for the rodeo. This was a sold out event, we were lucky to get in... the opening hour was filled with the ladies equestrian team, and the naming of this year's Miss junior Montana rodeo gal, the exchanging of saddles and all. There was the typical dumb clown used for filler, and even a few clinton jokes. I enjoyed checking out everyone's get up, some more fashionably western, others more authentic. The 4th of July is like christmas time for Cowboys because they award hundreds of thousands of dollars out to the winners across the country, who knew? All the time I couldn't help of think of Brokeboke Mountain, and wonder if it ever made it into the Theaters in Montana, if so, I can only wonder about the tormet lashed on those who went to see it... and those who may be silently suffering... From Bozeman we drove a few hours to Missoula. An interesting town, which felt more like a lived in downtown with a def young student population.. a bit of a Boulder, CO from 15 years ago. We had some great greasy family Mexican food, and checked into our next Inn, a room with all the charm and amentities you could want (read: TV = happy mom). We checked out all the cute stores, roamed around in and out of the drizzle (which thankfully quenched a rapidly spreading wild fire on the hill closeby). Overall, a nice town, good feeling, down to earth wholesome people. Our drive from MIssoula to Whitefish took us past Flathead lake, the largest freshwater lake east of the mississippi, an absolute aqua gem. We stopped in Polson for coffee and donuts, and made good time to Whitefish by evening. Whitefish, a charming one street old town, revamped to mountain luxury. There is a nice new pedestrian path to the lake, 1 mile away, where the city maintains a nice park and beach area. The town has a lots of new money coming into it, evident by the new library and school.. mostly from investors buying up property, and changing this once quite secret into a highly desireable getaway. My mom loves this town. When we were there, it was open gallery night from 6-9, just as the rain cleared... food and wine to go around... It was very lovely. I bought a funky hat made of old ties, and enjoyed the looks I got as I modeled it the rest of the evening. This was by far our favorite B&B, the Garden Wall Inn, great local history and info, wonderful hospitality, breakfast... hard to leave! From here we leave behind the comforts of cute little towns, and go in for the real adventure of the park. Within 20 minutes we are entering the west gateway.... to be continued

Tags: Mountains

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