8/18/2014 3:30pm a rest stop on i15 Montana
I swung through Butte and saw BT’s show (BT and Tina’s show). I had to sneak into the gallery a little bit, but Tina arrived and turned on the lights. Sneaking meaning I went in through a back door (the gallery is in a sort of mall space, but not really, but there are other shops in the building and a back hallway opens into the gallery). Anyway, I wasn’t nagged for being there early than opening. The show was lovely! I’ve always dug BT’s type and design. That’s why I commissioned a wall mounted bottle opener from him. I gave him the type I wanted spelled out and said “do whatever, I trust you!”. I can’t wait to hang it back up in a more permanent spot (i.e. Pulali Point).
I left Butte at around 1pm and filled up my tank and got one of those .99 cent Arizona iced teas and ice for my cooler and some Sriracha flavored sunflower seeds. I’ve driven for a few hours, though I’m in no hurry, so I think I’ll hang at this rest stop for a bit. My phone continues to have trouble charging in the car adapter (did I mention it was doing that?) so I’m getting it to 100% here. Same with my mp3 player. Oh, I fixed my L key. I just pried it up and removed the dust blockage and popped it back in. This rest stop has a weather report going on loop, but now I’ve heard it so many times that I’m unsure if the weather is actually going to be good or bad. Rain showers likely. Lows 45 to 50. Chance of precipitation 50%. I should find out what the weather will be like before I camp in Glacier. I’d really like to camp, but again: getting rained out of my tent will suck.
Looking at the map, I’ll enter Idaho through Missoula and… pretty much go right across it into Oregon. I’ll probably just drive on. I’ve been to Idaho before so I don’t really have any intrigue to do something within that state. I just wanna get to Portland and see my pals.
8/20/20143:51 pm a rest stop on i90 nearing the Idaho border in Montana
I am on my way to Portland Oregon! I have many more hours of driving to do, but I have a place to crash so it’s all good. I’m taking some time to charge my phone because it continues to be weird about charging while I’m driving. This rest stop has a large amount of outlets. The previous one had zero that worked.
Sherri and Scott told me to say hi to Kelsey if I saw her in Glacier National Park. She is a seasonal ranger there, and lo and behold she was the one giving the ranger talk that I saw! So I said hi and marveled at how wonderfully small the world can be sometimes.
I departed my lovely little rest stop at 7amish. Filled up my tank and got some tea and then headed west to Glacier National Park! I came in the St. Mary entrance, got my junior ranger booklet and map and hike ideas and set off the make the most out of my day.
Right off the bat: I was correct to forgo camping because the weather was no good. Thunder erupted in the afternoon, and rain & hail came down as I was getting sworn in as a Junior Ranger. And it rained occasionally through the day after that, and when I was heading to Kalispell in the evening, thunder and lightning was seen on my right in the park all through the drive (I took 89 then 49 then 2 when I left, so that I went around the bottom of the park and not through it). It really is a park you could spend a week in, doing all the different hikes. Lots of nice long hikes. I did the St Mary and Virginia Falls hike, and met a nice guy named Daniel who did a through hike of the Appalachian Trail a few years back. We talked National Parks and travel and doing something big when you come up against a wall in your life. Nice fella. I met another nice fella earlier today. I should really go to parks more often to pick up dudes.
Anyway, Glacier! Absolutely beautiful. I loved how the Rockies rose in the distance and continued to dominate every view. Sad to think how the glaciers will be gone by 2030. That feels so soon in my life time. I drove all the way down to Apgar and back up to St Mary and up to Many Glacier for the sunset. There was road construction, so it was two hours to do the ~60 miles of the Going-To-The-Sun road. I got my St Mary stamp first, then cruised down and past Logan Pass and stopped for some photo ops, and went more and more down and down and down into the valley. At Apgar I got another stamp and saw the wildlife Ranger program and got my book signed by Kelsey and learned that deer eat 5.5 pounds of greenery a day! That’s a lot of salad. This was a relatively easy Junior Guide book to fill out. Theodore Roosevelt really made me work for it, with drawings and hike descriptions. I got my badge, and a sticker, and my feet got absolutely soaked by the rain (I tried to avoid it, but the water was a couple inches around my car!). I put on my flats that I’m so going to throw out once this trip is done because they smell and are worn mostly out. They were cheap to begin with, so I’m not surprised they haven’t survived the torture I put my shoes through.
I drove slowly back up and stopped often for pictures. Logan Pass was full of people avoiding the rain. I got my WPA postcards and the Logan Pass stamp. If you don’t know what stamps I’m talking about, I mean the National Park Passport Cancellation Stamps. The dated thing you put in your NP Passport, if you have one. I don’t, I just put them in my travel journal.
From Logan Pass I did the waterfall hike. No bears were seen, but I made sure to jingle jangle my keys as I walked due to the bear warnings that are everywhere in the park. That is where I met Daniel and since we were walking back at the same pace, we struck up a conversation.
The lodge up in Many Glacier is nice. Has a great view of the water and mountains. I got a hot dog and a ginger beer and sat in one of the lounges while the sun left the sky, then I drove on for two and a bit hours. Very miserable hours of driving. It was dark, but that absorbing dark. Not the clear starry skies that were above me when I left Yellowstone for Bozeman. I drove a few hours that night, but they were not bad at all, but this time! And the weather was spotty and the roads varied in condition. All in all, not a fun night drive. But I got to my precious Walmart parking lot in Kalispell, Montana, and slept pretty well, and all the way in to 10! I normally don’t sleep that much in my car. I filled my tank in Kalispell and drove south on 93 to Missoula, then got onto i90 heading west. I stopped at this small used bookstore I saw a billboard for and it was one of the best used bookstores I’ve been on during this trip.
Hypothesis: small town used bookstores will have better browsing selections because they haven’t been picked over like the larger second hand bookstores, which have to also cater to people who buy new books.
At this book store I found two Winslow Homer artbooks for 6 bucks a pop. They are a bit dated, but he isn’t exactly contemporary. One was his woodcuts, the other was a book about him with black and white reproductions. Yes I got them. After frowning at $30-$50 Winslow Homer artbooks present at bigger stores, of course I did. I probably could have browsed more and found further treasures. The basement was a treasure trove of paperbacks, but I didn’t want to stay too long. So on I went clutching my precious books to my chest. Homer and Eakins are two artists that really came to my awareness on this trip, thanks in large part to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
At the previous rest stop I got some refreshments from the nice church people who volunteer to give people coffee and cookies. I’d like to see Atheists do the same thing. That’d be nice. So, onwards to Idaho and Washington and then down into Oregon and Portland!
8/22/2014 Serenity’s in Portland, Oregon
I have some major catching up to do! I got to Portland than I got to hanging out with people and I only just now got my computer hooked up to Serenity’s wifi. The absolute sweetheart has let me call her home my home for the next few nights. And even let me unpack some things into her space in the living room, so my car isn’t so burdened down/obvious target. How wonderful! I got in late to Portland on Wednesday night. 11:30ish and after some chatting got right to bed. In the morning BT picked me up and we went to Pine State Biscuits, where they had cheerwine! Hurray! I got the standard biscuits and gravy and we starting catching up. From there we went to Magnetic North, which is the studio space he and many others occupy in Portland. Wonderful space, it has several presses and lots of room and much art all over the place. No one else was there at that time, though Phil Bone swung by with his brother and dad. BT and I grabbed lunch at the nearby brewhouse and then went to walk Carnegie, BT’s dog. It was great to catch up and also to converse with someone who is also well travelled. And it is just nice to spend time with an old friend. I was returned to Serenity’s at around 6:30 and Heather and Daniel came over and saw the place and we four chatted, then Serenity stayed home and we three went over to Division and The Woodsman Tavern and got some fancy ham and cocktails. Division Street has seen lots of new building and restaurants and development. Money is just being thrown into Portland right now, and the rent is going up as well as many people getting booted from houses because the landlord wants to sell.
So I had a good wonderful evening with the amazing Heather and Daniel. I hope to host them at my place in the future so that they can be all hosted and pampered.
In the morning, I finished The Marriage Plot. Such a good book and an amazing ending! Can’t wait to loan it to Mom.
I met up with those two favorite hooligans for brunch at Zell’s. I got eggs benedict and it got all over my face and a bit on my skirt, which I washed out later at Madeline’s. Tasty food! I loaned them my copy of Lost for Words. I’ll get it back some day. BT loaned me his copy of How To Win Friends and Influence People, so I’ll need to get that back to HIM some day.
After brunch I went over to see Madeline and I hung out with her in the super way of old! Two years have passed, and we caught up and Jackson is taller, and she’s working as a supervisor at Macy’s and working on art and stuff. We watched several episodes of The Strain, which is a super gross show and also SUPER AWESOME! And we went for a walk and walked Pepper and chatted and talked some more and watched Halt and Catch Fire. A good mellow day with a great friend.
Tomorrow I meet the other Trillian and we shall see if the world collapses.