From: Checking Off My Summer List, Part One More
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Summer in Northwest Montana goes by in a blur. One breezy, sparkling day, a season I call “late spring” emerges out of the weeks of rain, mud, fog, and false starts. I’m ogling the blossomy landscaping at our McDonald’s drive-through and thinking that this must be the prettiest corner of the prettiest region in the US. We’ve arrived, and I vow to hold on to each day so that the months don’t flip by quite so quickly. But then after just a couple family visits, an out-of-town trip, several smoky days we hope will go away, and some weeks of tourist-packed traffic, we’re suddenly back to new teacher training at my job. And then I see the back-to-school supplies at WalMart. And finally—the death knell for summer—come the first crimson leaves that signal we’re about to enter that other season, that one that is unpredictably glorious, and we hope long, but always the gateway into weeks of bleak indoor weather.
With a timeframe like this, those of us who have moved here because the lush woods and mountains drew us like powerful magnets have some things to get done in our spare time. We rebuke ourselves each sunny day that we’re indoors, especially when it’s not too hot (the sun out here is brutal) or threatening rain. I tend to have a mental summer checklist of things that need to happen by mid-September, because I’m lucky if October is hospitable enough for such things. I’d say I’ve done a fairly good job of covering the list this summer, with time to spare for more:More
Several years ago, while I waited on the curb at the San Diego airport watching traffic flow by, I noticed something about the cars. They were different from the local vehicles in Northwest Montana, and although I’d lived in San Diego for 20 years, I had never made the connection. It wasn’t just the obvious preference for SUV’s and Subarus in the rugged north—no, it was something else, too. The city vehicles were shiny and updated. Many of them looked high-end. I thought of the beaters I often spotted in my Montana town—the ’80s sedans, the classic trucks, and the boxy early style of Subaru—and it made me realize the degree to which residents of my town make do with what they have. I was proud to be one of them.
In recent months, this trend toward junky vehicles seems to have gotten worse—or better, however you choose to look at it. Before I explain, however, I have to admit that my own little red car has its own issues. I will remove the log from my own eye first. This is a beloved vehicle that won’t quit, even though we’re at 198,000 miles. Each blemish tells a story. The longish dent on the driver’s side—that was a tangle with a tall stand of bamboo at the side of our driveway when we were in San Diego. My husband could not understand how I did that, as I had backed down our long, steep driveway a couple thousand times by then. I could understand, because I had backed down that impossible driveway two thousand times without incident, and it was only a matter of time before it got me, especially now that there was a giant, unforgiving stand of bamboo to complicate things.More
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see the Libertarian candidate drop out of the Montana U.S. Senate race and endorse GOP nominee Matt Rosendale against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. They also roll their eyes as “former Republican” Max Boot urges Americans to vote for Democrats in every […]
My last post was about summer while I was growing up in Arkansas during which I made plenty of great memories. Now that I’ve been up here in Montana for several years, I’ve made quite a few Montana summer memories.
I moved to Montana in June of 2014. The day I left Arkansas, there was a heat index of 120 with 90-some-odd-percent humidity. I loaded up the U-Haul with the help of several friends, stuck the cat in his pet taxi, booted up an audiobook, and set off on my great trek across the country. I drove up to Sioux Falls, SD the first day and was delighted with the much cooler temperatures. I drove to Gillette, WY on the second day to stay with my handsome now-husband. (@kaladin) Then I finished the journey up to Bozeman on the third day. Terry had already picked us out an apartment on his last leave. Got the truck unloaded, and started to settle in for about a week before the new job started.More
Sorry it’s taken so long to put this together, but I finally have completed the slideshow video for the Montana Meetup we held a few weeks ago. Besides the usual still photos, I’ve included some snippets of video that @6foot2inhighheels captured, from one of the parties, from the recording of Ricochet Silent Radio: Who Killed Invisible Television, and from Flyover Country — Wives Edition. For the background music I had to include at least one Don Williams song, since he died during the meetup.More
Author’s Note: Owing to the difficulty I have in uploading multiple images to Ricochet, this meet up report will be in two or three parts.
The trip from Everett, Washington to Bigfork, Montana did not have an auspicious start. When we opened the garage door to start loading the car, we found ash on Ray’s car, and our suburban neighborhood smelling of wood smoke. This situation prevailed all the way from home to destination, I kid you not. Highway 2 over Stevens Pass was shrouded in smoke from Eastern Washington wildfires, and all of Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Western Montana were the same. The first picture I took was at a rest area off the highway near East Wenatchee, on the east bank of the Columbia River.More
@vicrylcontessa explained to me that I hadn’t made it clear I was attending. I’ll be flying in Thursday night and leaving Monday evening. Do they rent Camaros? More
Now that we’re getting closer to the event and more people are making their plans I reckoned that I ought to publish the third and final post on the Meetup we are having in Bigfork, Montana, near Glacier National Park. The official dates are September 8-10, which is Friday-Sunday. And you really will want to […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Republican Greg Gianforte’s win in the special Montana congressional race a day after he roughed up a reporter and how Democrats are still looking for their first win at the ballot box in the Trump era . They also mourn the Islamist slaughter of […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to reports – and audio – of Montana GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte getting physical with a reporter, who claims Gianforte body slammed him and broke his glasses. They also shake their heads as Manchester police stop sharing intelligence on Monday’s bombing with […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching Hillary Clinton remain immersed in her state of denial, as Hillary takes responsibility for losing to Donald Trump but seems to blame everyone else. They also react to Pres. Trump tweeting about nuking the legislative filibuster and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying it’s not going to happen. And they’re almost speechless as the Democrat running for Congress in Montana invites skeptics of the liberal line on climate change to go into their garages and start their cars.More
Well now, we’ve got a special election coming up in Montana, one month from now. A couple of hard-core Montana folks are squaring off, and they’re packing heat, even in their commercials. This is the kind of stuff from which legends are made. From, of all places, NY Magazine online: More
Most of you know about the big weekend Ricochet Meetup we’re having near Montana’s Glacier National Park in September, right? If not, you can read about it here. And I’m sure most true fans of Ricochet know about Gary McVey’s awesome set of adventure stories under the Ricochet Silent Radio label. If not, go to […]
While waiting for my turn to see the doctor, I was surprised to see a large yellow dog stroll up behind the receptionist’s desk. Then he noticed me and stood with his front paws on the counter to get a better look. I was charmed. When he came out into the waiting room, I greeted him and let him sniff my belongings. It was comical, too, to find that on my way to the restroom, he was padding down the hall behind me.
I pumped the assistant who was taking my blood pressure. Whose dog was this? It had been newly adopted by the doctor, she explained. Since he lived on a rural property, he didn’t want to leave the animal all day to have it wander off. So was this a temporary arrangement? I wondered. The assistant replied that yes, it was, probably. She betrayed no emotions on the subject, for or against. The receptionist had also appeared to have zero opinions regarding her assistant greeter.More
There have been enough developments that I reckoned it’s time for a fresh post on the big Montana Meetup for next year. @sawatdeeka and I will be co-hosting a weekend-long Ricochet Meetup in Bigfork, Montana September 8-10, 2017. You read that right, 2017. You can read the previous announcement and comments here. Bigfork is on […]
Every now and then, Thomas Sowell writes a column titled “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene” where he offers up gems like “Stupid people can cause problems, but it usually takes brilliant people to create a real catastrophe.”
I’m no Thomas Sowell, but here are a few of my own (much less pithy or clever) random thoughts the passing education policy scene:More
Has anybody else been waiting for an opportunity (or excuse) to go visit Big Sky Country? For years I have read and heard about the magnificent scenery in northwestern Montana, especially Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake. Ricochet’s own sawatdeeka lives in the area, so she and I are working on putting a plan together […]