Montana haunts my dreams. We have been pulled into its orbit like so much space debris around a planet, and I suspect we are as thoroughly trapped. As we drove on into that mythic space, the sun refusing to set until nearly 11 p.m., I felt an infusion of joy unlike any I had known in a long time. Entering Montana means Going On An Adventure.
As previously mentioned, we got in late that first night and so had to forego our campsite on Flathead Lake for a motel room in nearby Big Fork. Part of our delay was certainly due to the stunning nature of the landscape through which we drove.
Another reason was the need to stop for provisions, as we had five hungry travelers and little storage space for food. We considered the various options along the way. Some were wrong for obvious reasons:
While others, though having potential, didn’t quite fit the bill:
We finally found a proper grocery store in Kalispell. We weren’t sure what we would find, never having been there before, so we were pleased to see a familiar name: Rosauer’s. This regional chain has a store near us, though we rarely think to go there. At any rate, the Kalispell location was a first-rate choice for a late-night stop. Not only were local and regional products given prominent billing, the store itself had a distinct sense of place. Store aisles were not numbered, but named after area cities and attractions (Missoula, Glacier, etc). Also for sale was a color calendar featuring Montana scenery, a tempting morsel indeed. We got what we came for and headed back out into the mountain twilight.
That night was a sleepless one for me. Was it the coffee? The chocolate? The thrill of being on the road again? Or just the noise of the A/C unit in the motel room? It’s hard to say. The rest of the clan had no such troubles. Yet I remembered the last time we came through here, on a trip to Colorado, and I didn’t catch a wink then either. Maybe it’s Montana, all that big sky and broad horizon, that keeps me up at night.