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The bad news is that it was only day 2 and already I had lost a hiking boot and Nat her wallet. The good news is that we're both not unfamiliar with these sorts of crises and are well schooled at dealing with them.

As it was the same price to bring a carry on as to check a bag, we decided to share and check the monster bag Nat hauls back and forth across the Atlantic. I packed my stuff inside my prized Ikea bag that I am proud to say has a luggage check tag on it that I hope to never take off (it takes ingenuity and desperation to check an Ikea bag) and then put it inside Nat's, to take it out when we arrived. And while there are many good things about that Ikea bag, including its colors, size, ability to scrunch up into nothing, washability, one of them is not keeping things inside it all the time, so sadly, I must have lost a boot somewhere between our Trumpian hotel in Salt Lake and The Beast, parked in the hotel lot.

On our drive north, acknowledging we were already behind in fresh food intake, we were excited to find a Jamba Juice and after receiving our green drinks, skipped out, leaving Nat's wallet in Rexburg, Idaho, America's Family Community, only realizing it when we approached Big Sky, Montana, 2 hours in the wrong direction.

While I am off to buy a new pair of boots today, I was overdue anyway, updates to follow on Nat's sitch.

It seemed imperative to stop at the Idaho Potato Museum, I, realizing that doing research on this museum was definitely work-related as an ED search may well come out of it. The baked potato was delicious, the tater tots, not so much.

Work related stop

As we got into various National Forests, the land changed quickly from gently rolling with mountains in the background to the actual mountains, filled with pine trees and white crosses that identify people who have died (an alarming amount). At what was called a caldera, but to us seemed like a meadow between mountains, we were lured in by the shockingly beautiful Flat Ranch Nature Preserve, where we took a walk in our Birkestocks (me out of necessity, Nat in solidarity, along a grassy track through the meadow. It was the kind of place I had pictured and hoped Montana would be like, the grasses were Wyethish in color, a yellow green, or perhaps green yellow, waving in the breeze and punctuated by purple, yellow and white wild flowers. When we got to the furthest point, I smelled that smell and felt the breeze of a big rain coming, hightailing it back in my case just in time, Nat choosing to stay with the cows she so loves and hoping lighting wouldn't strike. It didn't.

That I tried out my new wide-angle lens yesterday in a town and was frustrated by it, so didn't have it in these wide open spaces was of course a good lesson. Fortunately, there will be other opportunities.

Different kind of stile

View from Flat Ranch

Road to the hills

Taking it all in.

We arrived in Bozeman at dinner time and were a little shocked by the New Yorkness going on. We were tired and hungry and didn't feel like wandering into every restaurant, so made a random reservation at a sushi restaurant, something that did not seem right in Montana. In true form, we ended up walking away from the hubbub, through some sweet neighborhoods and a historical district, past fire trucks and close to Route 90, to the most random of new malls for what turned out to be not a bad dinner, but that might have been relative to the potato lunch we had had.

For a few nights we are staying in a converted barn with views of the mountains and early morning wake ups from the chickens below. And the sound of wind, always wind.

View from my bedroom in the barn


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