"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On The Road

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.


Jessica Nelson said...

Oooh, adventure! I love it.
Montana made me fall in love with the west. We drove through Yellowstone when I was a teen and I loved that neverending horizon, the mountains that never seemed to move. Hope you guys have tons of fun! ;-)

Janna Leadbetter said...

All of it sounds so lovely. I'd even try a bite of that huckleberry licorice! :) Have fun and be safe.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I love being a witness to all this healed behavior.

Find it fascinating there isn't an atom left of your old home.


Elenka said...

We had a wonderful time in Yellowstone when we went there many years ago. What an awesome place. Hope you are having fun.

Amber said...

So many jewels in this one.
Love this-- "even filled with clouds that show you their intentions a half day away"...


The Unbreakable Child said...

Awesome. Sounds fun! I love licorice and the huckleberry licorice sounds yummy. Travln' mercies to you and yours.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

AH,have a grand time in that beautiful country. Last time I was in Yellowstone in August, we were snowed on. Adventure indeed. Enjoy!

Jerri said...

The Big Sky of Montana is as open and as full of possibilities as your future.

The state preoccupation with huckleberries is a tiny bit strange, though. I've seen them in served in every possible iteration.

hooray said...

"The ghosts are gone, and my need for them as well."

Wow! I love that line!

And the licorice sounds yummy. You never cease to thrill me with your writing.

Unknown said...

Glad your enjoying your montana adventure, so big and different from one end to the other. That licorice you can order online at www.huckleberrypatch.com