Geez, I don't know what to write today. I found a little library with unlimited access, and I did lot's of other stuff online before I got to this, so now I am written out. Oh well, here goes:
Okay, so Sherman Alexie was not from Coer d'Alene in Idaho, he is a Coer d'Alene Indian from Washington. I couldn't get in to any bookstores anyway, as they are all closed on Mondays, so I guess I didn't miss out. I was hoping to get a little whiff of scandal, but it was not to be.
Today I am in a small library in Shelby, Montana. The great thing is that the local reading club is talking about "Howard's End" in the tables behind me. And, in the tradition of reading groups everywhere, right now they are talking about the coffee tax in Seattle. Defeated soundly. Now we are on to the decline of schools everywhere, and how kids have to go from door to door begging for money to keep their programs alive. The topics are the same in every state, it seems. I still think California is at the bottom, but maybe that's just cause it's my home.
More beautiful country, most especially Lake Pend Oreille (pronounce Ponduray, according to Nate, who is of course from Montana). Every time I turned a corner I wanted to take a picture. There were little side ponds covered in lillies, and huge expanses of water that reflected the trees, and the mountains. Still more great barns and farmhouses spotting the landscape around - this was definitely an affluent tourist town. Everything was cute.
I had dinner (soup - always the cheapest thing on the menu!) at a resort/RV park/restaurant/bait shop called Beyond Hope. Hope, you see, was just up the road. Took my soup at the bar and chatted with the bartender to get my human interaction for the week in, then took my beer out to the veranda to watch the sun go down over the lake. Absolutely lovely. Then I drove 2 minutes down the road and parked at the trailhead, to avoid paying the $20 fee at the park. I felt very thrifty.
The next day took me on a wild goose chase for a road that parallels the railroad track by Libby. I looked for a while, then gave up and asked at the bakery. The fact that they had fresh cinnamon rolls had nothing to do with it, I was just there for directions. They informed me that the road had been gated off, by the government, private owners, and so on. You could still drive it, you just had to get permission from each owner first. Sorry Nate, I am not that hard core.
Hey, Nate, if you read this you should leave your "I'm from Montana!" story on the comments. Or Kara, I think you were there. That would make a good addition here, if I only knew it well enough.
Anyway, the drive was lovely even without that side trip. I wonder how many times I am going to use that phrase? The drive was lovely, the surroundings were beautiful, gorgeous countryside. I should just shut up and let the pictures speak. Although they never do justice, they at least give an idea.
And here again - Glacier National Park was beautiful. I liked it even better than Yellowstone. There was such a variety of growth, and the snow just falling on the higher elevations made it heavenly. I couldn't make it all the way through - the falling temperatures had already closed the road about halfway through, but I saw enough to know I loved it, just on that ride. Made a little snowman right at the top, where I had to turn around. It was too tempting.
After that I hit the plains, and covered with snow, they actually glowed. I am such a California beach gal - the snow dazzled me. I had a big grin on my face the whole time I was driving through it, and I couldn't stop snapping pictures. Boy, are those going to be boring. Oooo, white stuff. Oh look, another pile of white stuff.
Okay, something just made all the lights go off for a second. That drove home the fact that this is too long already, and if I lose it all now... So I will sign off for now. Today - an underground tour of Havre, hopefully.