-Posted by Isaac
How are we looking?
Pretty good, I must say. The old timers were right, this is an exceptional spring.
We'll know just how good in a month or so. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted. I tend not to miss bragging opportunities.
But for now, back to this Montana business. As I stated in the last post, we took ourselves a little business trip. (Leaving four rambunctious kids with Grandma.) Once again, back out to the soul filling, great and still Wild West.
Jayne and Becky had a ten year reunion with their old coworkers at Elephant Head Lodge just east of Yellowstone. Me, I was just along for the ride.
And "E-Head" happens to be where we stayed. And wined. And dined.
For at least a couple nights.
It was quaint.
We found ourselves amongst hikers, bikers, flyers, skiers, hunters, rangers and fly fishing guides. People who make a business of the great outdoors.
And any respectable, streamlined business starts the day with coffee and a serious corporate roundtable.
A well oiled machine, we were.
We decided to split up the work. Who would be hiking, who would be floating, who would be fishing, who would be stumbling into grizzlies...
My group would be hunting antler sheds (off trail, steep country), so we were voted most likely for a bear attack. We took packs and dogs.
We also had three cans of bear mace and a revolver.
A storm hit us high on a ridge, miles from the truck. About five hours later, wet and tired, we crossed the last stream and found the road, carrying exactly zero antler sheds. Too bad, but still worth it. Because...
We spotted a BEAR!
We spotted a DEER!
And later, a BEER!
Is that CLEAR?
(C'mon, Isaac, will you quit with the Dr. Seuss BULLSHIRT?)
Nope. Still plenty of bullshirt to come.
Finding ourselves just outside Yellowstone, we couldn't resist a day in the park. Against our better judgement, we made our way to Old (10 min late) Faithful.
Why against our better judgement? Because of this bullshirt:
Everyone wants to see the park. Everyone! (The entire Japanese nation!) So you spend way too much time trapped in the car, sitting in traffic, standing in line, peeking around shoulders, paying $10 for a deli sandwich... it's a circus.
Yellowstone is not the place to be if you want peace of mind. Fortunately just north of the park is that rarefied combo of sun, sky, mountains and grandeur we call "Montana." Magnificent Big Sky, where your soul can feast on beautiful solitude and your eyes consume mile after breathtaking mile for hours on end.
One day an old monk was asked by a pilgrim, "Where is the Buddha?"
The old monk replied, "Where isn't the Buddha?"
Montana- Where things seem to fit.
We walked into a coffee shop / art gallery. And there on the wall was the perfect piece for our living room.
For a scant $14,200 we could be reminded of beautiful Montana everyday!
The Yellowstone fiasco really put us in the mood for a calming soak. About an hour north of the park we found hot springs and a bed outside the idyllic little town of Pray, MT.
Next morning in the lobby, I noticed this:
It was time to go hunting bees. I hiked about a mile in the wrong direction, but later spotted what appeared to be a few hives outside some kind of corral.
Turns out, the bees were actually inside the corral. Very well guarded hives, protected from bears and varmints and people like me. (Honey sold at those prices needs protection!)
It appeared that they had a rough winter. About half came from packages.
What a wonderful quick vacation. Many new sights, many new hikes. The bee hike was the last of the trip. It got me missing our girls back home.
Fortunately we left the business in very competent hands.