Walt and I are on the road. We left home Sunday at 5:00 AM (after getting up at 3:00) so that we could get to Couer d'Alene in time for Walt's afternoon tee time at the CDA resort with the world-famous floating green.
Almost 900 miles and two days later, we're at West Yellowstone.
I love Montana, and had forgotten why. There is something about the huge sky, even filled with clouds that show you their intentions a half day away. The land sprawls, the mountains loom protectively, the roads are long and straight.
We stopped for coffee in St. Regis yesterday where I discovered huckleberry licorice. Huckleberries are as big a deal in Montana as they are in Idaho. They're in everything, and everywhere. There was a fresh huckleberry pie at this place, for $40. Yikes! While we waited for our coffee (which took forever to be made - a good latte is hard to find off the I-5 corridor), I found myself repeatedly drawn to the licorice. Not for myself, but because any year before this one I would have bought a couple of packages as treats for my new group of students. A twinge of "darn!" A jolt of realization: this is real.
We pulled into Superior right after, the town of my early childhood. The old brick school building still stands, the one where I attended first grade, and started second. We moved right after my birthday that year, forced out because the freeway was going to be built over top of the small farm my parents built from the ground up. The intersection of Cedar Creek and I-90 is now so developed there's not one single atom left of that old home.
Our last stop before arriving last night was Virginia City. It's part ghost town, part historical reenactment, part tourist trap. A place I've always wanted to visit, it didn't disappoint, but I was happy with the half-hour we spent wandering. I didn't need more.
The shift in my awareness that started earlier this summer, continues to unfold as the miles present themselves to us. The ghosts are gone, and my need for them as well.
Today is Yellowstone. The sun has risen behind me in a clear pink sky. Venus greeted me with a wink before relinquishing the night sky. Adventure awaits.
Photo of the Tobacco Root Mountains, part of our travels yesterday, from Flickr.