Well, just spent the last three weeks in Montana on Lake Flathead. The view changed every day. This is a panoramic shot in the predawn hour today (I used AutoStitch so there’s there is some distortion). We got to go up to Glacier National Park and Waterton.
A few of the highlights besides the magnificent Glacier National Park and driving the Going to the Sun Road: Glacier Distilling, East Shore Smoke House (ate there four times, I can recommend the sweet potato fries, the Buffalo Burger and the Wild Sockeye sandwich, not to mention their excellent Montana beer selection), Richwine’s Burgerville in Polson, MT (an old style mom and pop burger joint with good burgers, huckleberry shakes and frozen huckleberry lemonade), and high tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel overlooking Waterton Valley (I think the high was from the price) When you drive to GNP go up the east side of the lake, it’s much more scenic than the west side. We didn’t get to see much in the way of wildlife. Saw a few deer, plenty of birds, and some bison at a distance on the National Bison Range. No bears, black or grizzly, no moose, no mountain sheep :-(.
My only minor regret is NOT playing on the 9 hole golf course at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. BTW SKC is a very nice tribal college. It functions as a community college, so enrollment isn’t limited to just tribal members.
We got back from our second trip to Montana. My wife taught for a week at UM in Missoula. For the weekend we drove up to Glacier National Park and stayed in a cabin at Lake McDonald Lodge. Alas, the Going-to-the-Sun road wasn’t open yet so we only saw a fraction of the park. Of that fraction we saw was immense and gorgeous. The only wildlife we saw were prairie dogs and some birds. We plan to go back.
Missoula, at least downtown Missoula still has it’s old small town charm. Very walkable. Almost, a Something Wicked This Way Comes feel to it (sans Jason Robards). Replete with carousel down by the Clark Fork River. If we were rich, I could see spending parts of summer up there and escape the ever warming Tucson.
I did do one short hike at Avalanche in GNP. Didn’t go all the way to the lake because I’m still recovering from a minor knee injury, but I took some great photos including this one.
Was hoping to say hi to a friend while we were there. Email probably got caught in their spam filter, and didn’t want to pester them in case they were busy.
“The sun is riz, the sun is set, and here we is, in Texas yet.”
Won’t delve too deeply into our holiday travels just where we’d been. Our journey started in Tucson. Stopped for the night in Van Horn, TX then on to Austin, TX for two nights, over to Lake Charles, LA overnight then up to McKinney, TX for the next three days. Up to Tulsa Christmas day. There for a whole week then to Albuquerque for another overnight stop and then back to Tucson. Got to see a lot of family and friends along the way.
We didn’t drive the entire length of I-10 in Texas as we detoured through the Hill Country to get to Austin and then another state highway to Houston to join back up with it. You enter Texas at Exit 0 in Anthony, TX and leave it at Exit 880 in Orange, TX. All I can say is unless you have to drive it, don’t.
Melissa and I recently went on a 10 day musical tour of Scotland with Jim & Susie Malcolm. We had an amazing time. Every night but one our group had a private concert. All of them were good but some of them stood out a little more than the others. One of those was by Karine Polwart. I wasn’t that familiar with her. I’d heard of her and I learned she sang one of my favorite songs, "Follow The Heron". Cathie Ryan has recorded it among others. There were other great performers including Karen Matheson. I purchased her CD Scribbled in Chalk and I’ve listened to it quite a bit. She’s an amazing lyricist. Here’s two of her songs: "Follow the Heron" and "Hole in the Heart".
I love Twitter. It’s the wild west of social media. You can say almost anything, read almost anything. I’ve met a lot of great people through it. And best of all I got to meet some of those people in person. Some are local. Some are as far flung as California and Switzerland. And this last meeting was with a young programmer I found on Twitter who lived in Geneva. I wanted to follow people in Geneva that also shared my profession. Anyway, I found Tobie. We met at Parc de Bastions for a beer. He gave me some good insights on what to try. He told me the sad state of affairs with finding local beers in bars. The big Swiss companies gain exclusive access to lock out the better beers. He also made a recommendation on what coffee drinks to try.
He suggested a café renversé, it’s a Swiss or rather Genevan take on the café au lait (coffee with milk)—white coffee in the European parlance. It was very good. European portions are smaller than ours. I did go to a Starkbucks and had an American sized coffee that cost me nearly $7US, proportionally was on par with the Swiss coffee prices.
Why am I focusing on coffee of all the things I’ve done in Switzerland on this trip? It’s the little pleasures that can enhance such a journey and be shared more readily. We went on a magnificent train ride through the Alps and that was a large pleasure, but you cannot share a large pleasure the way you can share a small one. As for a café renversé you might persuade your local barista to make one for you or to figure it out yourself.