Okay, I said I love Idaho, but I really love Montana! It's beautiful!! I have a deep need to go ride a horse out over the range. And stand in the middle of river, any river. I even feel a desire to yodel.
I am staying in this small town called Livingston, with a great old down town, buildings all dating back to when the railroad came through. There are about a half dozen cafe's, and 3 bookstores, all in a town of about 3,000 people. The really weird thing is it doesn't feel like a tourist town at all. No small ranching town can really support 3 bookstores, right? Well, maybe it's just cause I'm here off season, but this town gives off none of the stink of Pismo.
There is a big red brick hotel smack in the middle of downtown, across the street from the railroad station, that Mr. Peckinpaw used to stay in (I say Mr. because I've forgotten his first name - Sam?), where he had some delusions and shot up the walls. Today that same room is occupied by Steven Baylor, who seems to be following in Mr's footsteps.
The best thing about Livingston is that I have my own personal guide. Lynn knows all the sights, and all the history. She played hooky one day to take me to Lewis and Clark Caverns, and Virginia City. Way fun, both of them. Yesterday, I did nothing. It was fabulous. I sat around and read, and wandered downtown for some tea, and watched Lynn's big TV. I really needed this to remind me to slow down. I have been running way too hard.
Well, now I am really going to slow down. I am going to take a few days for Yellowstone, and then double back into Idaho. Going back into a state I have already left feels good. I have that moment of panic, thinking "but I've already been there!" and then I mentally give myself a big whack, and say not to Coer d'Alene you haven't. Or Moscow. Or St. Marie. So I am constantly reminding myself of what this trip is about. And I am starting to love it.
(One thing I don't love - dirt roads. Normally they are my favorite, and there sure are a lot out here, but now, every time I go over one I fill my entire sleeping area with dust. Pew.)