35,000 ft. impression: foothills, prairie, not unlike Alberta or Colorado.
After border crossing – impression confirmed – more dry, grazing land, sparsely populated – than Taber-Warner area’s very irrigated agriculture, typical of south/east of Lethbridge.
Approaching Great Falls, lunched on burger and onion rings (and map reading at Silver Spur Saloon in Vaughn) going across to Missoula might be interesting.
Missoula dining: if looking for a great meal – ‘Ciao Mambo’. Not the only reason for coming here, but if you only needed one, their food and service justifies the journey. Apres-dinner, my quest/craving Alden’s Organic Blackberry Ice Cream (developed my addiction in Maui). Googling indicated Aldens sold here. Found that store. To my chagrin, only Alden’s product they carry wasn’t remotely close.
Found a compromise.
Free paper soup bowls, spoons and napkins at deli. Found two ice-packs. Found a scoop in the housewares section. Ate Tillamook Wild Blackberry in their parking lot with my A/C set as low as it goes (it was 35C outside).
New places always amuse – playing tourist is such an artificial way to grasp any community.
Local folks live locally, work and play locally. Seems everyone fishes (now I have context for next time I view one of my favourite movies – A River Runs Through It’ – now I know how many rivers run though it …).
Mountain air, leisure, heat – compelling combo; who knew?
Thinking blackberry ice cream.
No longer frozen, it’s looking more like chilled yogurt …
column written/ published from Doubletree Hotel, Missoula, Montana
morning walk: 21C/69F (another +90F day predicted), great long walk over bridges and along the river (Blackfoot I think – hard to tell, there are so many creeks and rivers running through this place), near University of Montana campus; full moon in an empty sky as daylight arrives here a couple of hours before sun ever rises over the mountain tops. I got within one-arm’s length of a young buck, his velvety antlers and size were stunning – as was his steady gaze – sure of his ground but ready to flee if I made any quick moves …