Missoula

Last weekend we decided to go to Missoula to spend the weekend with Glenn and Terry. After work we hopped in the jeep and headed over the pass. We stopped at the Natural Pier Bridge in Alberton for a stretch break. Sprocket was less than pleased that we made him stay out of the river but it was flowing hard! (And we didn’t particularly want to arrive at Glenn and Terry’s with Wet Dog.)

Once we got to their house, Glenn pulled out some leftovers for a really yummy dinner. Their kitchen began to fill as Buck and Sue arrived, then Terry came home from work, then another friend, Brandon, joined us. Cocktail hour had stretched into cocktail evening!

The next morning we relaxed with coffee and discussed (debated?) some current Missoula events before heading off to the farmer’s market. When we’d lived in Missoula I hadn’t realized that the farmers markets (there are three downtown on Saturdays) were such an event! There was great looking produce everywhere punctuated with some cheese and local meat as well as ready to eat food—I enjoyed a breakfast burrito and F tried a French sausage. Both were awesome!

After the farmer’s markets, we met at Buck’s house to take the dogs hiking in Pattee Canyon. Sprocket wasn’t much into playing with the other dogs but really seemed to like getting out and moving around. There were quite a few people out and about. After our hike, we ran some errands (Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Petco) as we do when we’re “in town” and picked up some steaks at Costco for dinner.

Dinner turned into an awesome evening! The original plan of steak, potatoes and bread turned into a feast. Terry decided to make some salsa verde and guacamole for appetizers. Then we decided to cook some morels that were growing in the yard (yes, morels in the yard). Then Buck and Sue brought a salad. Yummy awesome goodness. We all pitched in on cooking as best we could (which meant Forrest and I followed the directions we were given). Wine and conversation flowed and tons of food was consumed. I think I ate from 4pm until about 8pm without stopping. The evening was capped off with strawberry rhubarb cobbler. When we finally made it to bed I was stuffed.

The next morning the feasting continued. We had steak (even better after more marinating!) and scrambled eggs (with fresh herbs and cheese)! Brandon even came over to join us and brought the fixings for mimosas.

Forrest and I had been hoping to get a hike in on the way home but since it was pouring down rain, we settled for a stop in Alberton to visit the Montana Valley Book Store (packed full of books of questionable quality at sort of expensive prices). I did come away with a copy of William O. Douglas’ My Wilderness: East To Katahdin though.

In the end we had a lovely weekend. Thank you so much to Glenn and Terry for hosting us! We had a blast.

Monday.

Labor Day weekend is supposed to mark the end of summer. In some small, but tangible ways, this weekend felt like the end of summer and this morning like the beginning of fall.

Saturday we went to Silverwood Theme Park. We rode the roller coasters and made a half-hearted attempt to enjoy the water park. We sort of knew going in but standing in line with hordes of people isn’t really our scene. We ran errands and came back to the valley with a car full of stuff (like always) and six 10′ copper pipes hanging out the passenger window (future curtain rods), we’re special like that.

Sunday, I drove to Montana for Andee’s bachelorette party. It was wonderful to just relax and hang out with a bunch of girls. We sat on a dock at Seeley Lake, drank prosecco from the bottle, ate Bayburgers, swam a bit, and relaxed. Leaving Andee’s house I realized I had to turn on the headlights. In the summertime with our 10pm onset of darkness, I never have to drive in the dark. Fall is coming.

I met up with Jeanna and Mike to catch up a bit before leaving Missoula. It was good to see some old friends and relax over pizza.

On the drive back to Mullan, I was treated to a lightning show. There was even rain. I haven’t seen rain in a long time. At home, I crawled into bed and we watched the storm over the ridge. We talked quietly as the sky flashed, usually we never talk at night. Days apart are good for talking.

And this morning? It was grey and decidedly not summery. I’m not ready for winter, but I think I am ready for fall. This summer has not been the awesome amazing over-the-top fun-filled one I’d hoped for (but it’s been good), it’s been busy, happy, and full of life building: we’ve worked hard on the house and the cabin, got engaged, and become more integrated into the community.

Bring on fall, bring on cool mornings and nights, let the tamaracks change color, and pull out the sweaters and hats.

After I get one more summery weekend. 🙂