Things I Learned Visiting Montana

Nearby Whitefish, MTThings I learned visiting Montana this week:

  • Geocaching in Montana is not at all what I expected. I was looking for ammo cans sprinkled everywhere like so much sawdust from the local mill. Not so much. They like to hide nano caches in bushes in a park. So…hike a half mile to find something the size of a pebble stuffed into a juniper bush the size of a car…in the rain. Not satisfying.
  • Flying with a broken rib is not bad.  Getting in and out of a low profile rental car
  • Corollary: The “new” Ford Mustang is horrible.  Every bump goes straight from the suspension to my ribcage.  I should have taken the SUV (I’m a Chevy man, anyway, where’s my Camaro?!).
  • Staying in a town without a major chain hotel reminds me of that scene in “Up In The Air” where the Clooney character’s road warrior status means nothing, since he’s not in the local hotel’s rewards program.  I think I am getting delirium tremors due to Marriott withdrawal.
  • Living in the extreme north latitudes (48N) seems fun at first; what’s not to like about the sun setting after 9:30PM?  The locals tell me it’s not that fun when you
    have a dim glow in the sky past 11:00PM in July and barely any daylight in the
    winter.  I’ll stick with 33N .  It gets dark earlier but it actually gets dark.
  • A saw mill permeates the entire town for miles around with the delicious odor of fresh cut lumber.  I could live with that.
  • I have to travel 20 miles to find a decent chainsaw in San Diego.  In Montana, it’s Husqvarnas all the way down and wall to wall.  I’m a Stihl guy but respect is due.  Husky seems to rule Montana.
  • They love their coffee, hate their Starbucks.  I can see why.  Every block is dotted with what look like old Kodak photo booths converted into coffee stands making a decent cup of joe.  No drip, just espresso straight up or converted to a tasty Americano.  In a 20 mile radius from the hotel I found one Starbucks, no waiting.
  • It’s beautiful up there in Kalispell.  It reminds me of the community that gave me
    my occasionally used handle, Kinzua Kid.
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