Monday, July 22, 2013

Into Montana

Columbia River, Central Washington
St. Ignatius, Montana

Flathead Lake, Montana

I can't tell you how good it feels to be on the road again. To be not working. To be able to relax a little. To see some of the most scenery ever.

We started the day early. The climb into Snoqualmie Pass through the Cascades was a little foggy, but the instant we crested and started going downhill, the sun came out. Central Washington is flat and rolling, much like Oklahoma (but not quite as green). All the rest areas we stopped at had fantastic views. Idaho was mountainous and forested and the interstate got much twistier at that point.

Once we got off I-90 in Montana, we began the trek up 70-mph two-lane back roads to Kalispell. We passed some ridiculous mountains (how did I miss St. Ignatius the first time I drove up here? I've never seen a more beautiful small town) and Flathead Lake, which is a prime vacation destination and so was full of slow-moving people.

We grabbed dinner at a joint called Moose's Tavern, which was a strange combination of bar and family pizza joint. With sawdust on the floor. Never fear, though: the pizza was excellent and the beer was cheap. We lingered for a couple of hours, playing Uno.

My stepson is having a fantastic time. We spent most of the day talking and laughing in the car, everyone exclaiming over the scenery. In a few minutes I'll wake everyone up and we'll go to Glacier National Park, then continue down central Montana to spend the night in Livingston.

Two thoughts: when I made my solo road trip four years ago, I couldn't imagine doing it with another person. Now? I love having a driving buddy (my husband). We work very well together in a car, and it's so awesome to be able to share the experience with someone.

Also, I realized my favorite thing ever is this. In a car, driving, pretending I'm an outlaw. Seeing the sights, driving fast, paying for everything with cash.

Next stop: Glacier!

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