We Went Off: Going Back Again (#3)

If you missed the beginning of this series, you may want to read Part One and Part Two first.

The next morning was overcast and rainy, but it cleared up as soon as we hit the road.

IMG_7629Before heading up to Montana, we stopped at the Buffalo Bill Dam, which LCB loudly dubbed the Buffalo Bill Darn as soon as we exited the RV. This was terrible enough as it was, but it got much worse when the small people started laughing hysterically and then a nearby tourist began chuckling, too.

That just encourages the man.

It’s in moments like these that I feel not unlike Marge Simpson. It was as if I’d woken up that morning and found myself living in an RV, legally bound to Homer.

(Fortunately, LCB’s very attractive, so one would never physically confuse him with Homer. This line, while true, is also necessary for avoiding marital discourse with …Homer.)

At any rate, before walking on the dam, we stopped at the visitor center to use the bathroom. The males in our family had walked in ahead of the females, and when Baby-girl and I approached the restrooms, they were huddled by the doors in deep discussion. The toilets, we soon discovered, were essentially giant holes with toilet seats on top of them, and the men hoped theorized that the toilets might somehow empty directly into the dam.

Is it improper to discuss toilets in public? Because that’s what happens to you when you wake up in an RV married to Homer.

IMG_7635Ah, yes, that would be the boys, standing looking down below the toilets to see if they could prove their theory. It was one of their finer moments as well as a moment where I paused to thank the Lord that we never ordered anislandmom.com t-shirts for the family. It’s just not the way I’d want people exposed to my blog for the first time.

I save that junk for all y’all, my peoples.

My apologies if you are a first-time reader.

IMG_7643IMG_7648Then, we walked out on the dam itself and looked around for a couple of minutes, noting its features. I was so busy taking pictures and looking around, however, that I didn’t realize what I was doing until I started to leave the dam.

If you read my camping on Hunting Island posts, you know I’m not fond of heights. Therefore, while on the dam, I was careful to stay away from the edges, feeling (at least I thought) much more at ease in the middle of the walkway. And then it hit me.

IMG_7639Someone…we won’t disclose her identity, but we’ll call her Marge, realized she was walking with her legs spread wide, like she’d just gotten off a giant’s horse. Yes, Marge realized that while she thought she was handling her acrophobia discreetly, she was instead stupidly trying to provide herself with extra balance by walking like a living triangle so she wouldn’t fall off a fifteen-feet-or-so wide walkway (lined with railings, no less) and plunge over the side of the dam.

I really don’t know what to say here.

In fact, just yesterday I was reading an author who kept using phrases like, “I just don’t know how to describe for you…” and “I just can’t tell you how…” to the point where I finally put down the book because oh my word already, if you are writing a book, it is your job to know how to describe or tell something at least most of the time. If you are being rendered speechless on every page, what exactly are you doing?

This is all true.

But I still don’t know what to say here. So I’ll move on.

On our way out, we saw a bunch of other little interesting things,

IMG_7649like this,

IMG_7627and this, things I remember nothing about now, even though I’m sure the descriptive plaques were fascinating to read at the time.

We left the darn and headed north until we hit Livingston, Montana. From there we headed west to Bozeman. If you’ve read my prequel, you know before we settled on island living, there was a time where we were considering relocating to the mountains. During that time, we looked very seriously at Bozeman.

So there we were, headed back into the town that could have become our home. It’s a strange, strange thing to step back, after probably a fifteen year absence, into the outer trimmings of a life you once came close to choosing. It’s a charged moment.

Without prompting, the small people had put away their tablets and books, and sat faces to windows, taking it all in.

IMG_7674IMG_7671We stopped at a gas station on the east side of town to refuel and pick up some home magazines (an obsessive hobby of mine),

IMG_7686and then drove down the main street,

IMG_7683pointing out shops and restaurants we remembered along the way.

IMG_7687We drove by the high school, where I perhaps would have been teaching today had we settled in Bozeman.

And then we turned south as we headed out of town, and the mountain range that had been in our peripheral view was now in front of us. It was the same mountain range we woke to in our B&B fifteen years ago. On that last trip, we saw many mountain ranges, both in the United States and in Canada.

But of all the mountains we saw on that trip, I remember thinking these were the ones. These were the mountains I could see myself waking to and inhaling every day for the rest of my life. It wasn’t that they were the most beautiful ones out there, although they are very beautiful.

I guess it’s just that they suited me.

IMG_7695IMG_7698And as we continued south, the roadway now laced with a few more buildings than I remember, the mountains stood before us again, as vast and as beauty-laden as ever.

And you know what?

They still suit me.

IMG_7699In life, choosing one thing often means giving up another thing, which is what we did when we chose our island. That said, it is a rare day when the grace of our choice escapes me. I love our island life.

But still, Bozeman would have been a fine, fine life.

2 Comment

  1. Lady Lisa Bear says: Reply

    Did you and your home come out alright from Arthur passing by?

    Hmmm…you would not have done well at the top of the George Washington Bridge tower that my father, sister, and I got to visit. You can look down through the grates at the cars going past below you and at the roof of the Little Red Lighthouse. My sister had some trouble, but wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to go up there. If it hadn’t been so windy I would have climbed into a harness and gone out on one of the giant cables.

    Montana is beautiful. We spent a week in Glacier National Park years ago in August. There was still snow to hike on. The drives around the park and to and from Great Falls were fantastic. And we were in GF for the Montana State Fair, which was a lot of fun, too.

    I am looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip.

    1. We’re okay. Thanks for asking!

      Just googled the GWB tower – no, I would not do well there. At all. And, I don’t even want to hear about harnesses and cables. People seriously do that??

      We went to Glacier years ago, too, and loved it. The whole park and surrounding areas are gorgeous.

      Thanks. I’m working on part five now!

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