|the end of the season|
One last vacation and a dip in the lake.
One last trip to Whitefish, Montana, then south towards Missoula, where fires still burn in the forest, (the locals say it always burns in August in Montana). Stop along Flathead Lake and watch fire suppressing helicopters load up with water to douse the flames.
Then stop at Bigfork, where in a quaint bookstore I find a used copy of Bright Orange for the Shroud, a Travis McGee novel by John D. MacDonald, and the store owner and I talk of pottery, which is his passion. Everyone has time to talk in Montana.
Then down the road to the Raven for brisk swim in the cool lake, a beer and lunch. The smiling guests are talkative, the beer cold, the food nourishing, and the swim in the lake exhilarating.
Where are you from? I asked.
Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Georgia, even Paris, France came the replies. And scattered among the hundreds who came and stayed, are a lucky few born and raised in Montana.
Happyland, I renamed the state for everyone seems to smile.
Only a fool would leave.
I love Kansas
Don't get me wrong. I love Kansas. It is a great place to raise a family, but mountains and cool blue lakes, it has not. So, I must travel and extol the virtues of Kansas elsewhere. Ad astra per astra. Hard work is okay, and hard work gets me to Montana where I like to play.
|Raven, Bigfork, Montana|
Now, imagine my pleasant surprise when coming back to find the Kansas weather in the 70s and 80's.
If I close my eyes, I imagine I am still in Montana sitting at the Raven beside Flathead Lake, near Bigfork. A smile comes to my face.
|Flathead Lake, Montana|