I'm not sure what I planned to really do in Missoula for an extra day, but I'm so glad I booked it anyways because Flathead Lake would not have fit into the schedule otherwise. Wendy (host) suggested driving up the East side, which was more scenic and straight. And my general plan was to just drive and see what caught my eye. And to find reasonable kayak rentals. Success. I turned off at Finley Point to start, which turned out to be just a small camping spot. So luckily for me (and I guess unluckily for the kid in the booth) the credit card machine wasn't working, and I got a complimentary MT State Parks day pass... that I didn't end up needing to use at all. Also luckily for me, finding Valley Wide Seakayaking was easy and kayaks were $10/hr with 2hr minimum. I was a little skeptical of the dude's Trump sticker on the car he was working on when I pulled up, but he was nice and his daughter was cute and eating soaked Graham crackers (btw, originally promoted as a way to curb alcoholism and masturbation) and who am I to start a convo about politics with a stranger?
|Thank you to Abs for the hat. And thank you to Midwestern log rolling events for randomly giving away non-sponsor Sam Adams hats.|
Goddamn the lake was beautiful. Driving by it reminded me of driving through New Zealand. And the road up was punctuated with cherry orchards that I wish I had time to stop at, but I guess their cherry festival around here was in July so I'm telling myself I didn't miss out on too much. Back to the lake. Squeezed in a pseudo arm (maybe a little bit of core too? and I got a blister between my thumb and forefinger, hardcore right?) workout 'yaking around this little 'lake peninsula' we'll call it and back. It was so quiet. No one was on the water. Which doesn't make sense because it was clear and warm and calm and perfect and heaven and all good things. On the one hand, I loved the solitude. On the other hand, I wished Max or Ian was with me to kayak race across the lake. So I sought comfort in TAL, specifically this episode, which seemed too appropriate. I've just been terribly spoiled because apparently the best way to listen to podcasts is while gliding on a lake. Water was super clear, greenish aquamarine-ish. Super blue looking out in the distance. Just so fucking blue, I couldn't handle it. That plus the bluest blue sky and the blue mountain silhouettes and my little blue kayak. I definitely suggest you GET LOST in Montana. By the way, I took like a million shots of this paddle.
Also not part of the original plan, but after kicking back in the kayak to use up the rest of my 2hr, I drove the easy 10 miles north to Bigfork, which was apparently known for its art galleries. Stopped in at Eric Thorsen's sculpture studio where I couldn't comprehend the detail. But then again, any time I look at art, I can't comprehend the detail. And that some humans are incredibly talented, and all I draw are stick figures. There was welding work that reminded me of Jules, and that efalent head that reminded me of Audrey. I almost impulsively bought a mini statue for the first birthday present I will have gotten my dad in many years (yeah, we don't usually celebrate these things). Impulsively bought him a beautiful painting at another gallery instead. I've never felt more adult than the moment I handed over my credit card for an incredibly expensive painting (or maybe it was reasonable.. I don't know enough about art pricing yet). And at my last stop, I found an exhibit from a doctor from Emory med, which naturally reminded me of Amy.
I saved my appetite for The Huckleberry Patch in Arlee on the way back. You know, I like to think that advertising doesn't work on my super evolved and discerning mind. But it does. It so does. Especially when I'm half delusional after much driving. The point is that I saw the words "huckleberry pie" on a billboard, and I had to have it. The diner was more than I could've ever asked for. Why? Because I'm a sucker for local foodstuffs/ingredients/specialties... and then shoving it into every possible form of consumption. From the more typical things like huckleberry jam and huckleberry syrup to medium typical things like huckleberry chocolate and huckleberry candies to intriguing things I just knew I had to buy like huckleberry popcorn and huckleberry coffee. Oh shit, I just realized that I really am my father's daughter.
The pie was not what I expected. It kinda looks like they wrapped a couple buckets of berries tossed in sugar in thin elastic dough and stuck it in the oven. It's not that I didn't like the crust.. it's just that I wanted a substantial crusty crust. So I ended up scooping out all the filling, which was intensely tart while be intensely sweet. In a good way. I heart tart.
Calling it an early night because I think I'm getting sick (please please please no). Err.. will read about bison meat tomorrow.