Leaving Glacier we stopped in an adorable town, Augusta, for brunch. We chose Chubby’s Diner and we were totally taken with the signage, which, among many others, included the following admonitions: “Tabs are due the 1st of every month – not when you feel like paying” and “due to the number of weirdos not paying for their food we will no longer serve outside. You can still order, prepay and eat outside if you desire.” Oh, Montanans.
I should also share the story of a little gem of a man we met in Glacier. While using the nockies (also known as binoculars, to y’all non hip campers) at dusk to hunt for bears we met a man from Choteau who came up to Glacier every fall with his wife. (Choteau is a small, relatively middle-of-nowhere town on the drive into Glacier). His accent and outfit alone were charming enough, but I most intrigued when overhearing his conversation with another camper a while later. He and another man started talking all things animals and anti-government when the second gentleman began to talk about a book he’d read. He started, “Have you ever heard of the book –?” and before even getting to the title our man from Choteau cut him off with a deadpan response of “Oh, I don’t read.” And that was that. Ha! I had never heard such an unbridled conviction admonishing literacy. I will forever associate Choteau with the man who doesn’t read and ain’t ashamed. Oh, Choteau.
Anyhow, we spent our last few days in Montana in the college town of Bozeman. We have little to share with you about the draw of this town as we sought it out primarily as a shelter from the storm, a wifi hotspot to catch up on the blogs (which, as you can see, we shamefully slacked on afterwards. Sorry readers!! Catching up soon!!!!), and a place that might have a nice dinner for Alan’s 36th birthday. (36! Can you believe it!? Time flies). Our first semi-disappointing AirBnB experience was had in Bozeman, but only in that we tried to find a place to stay the day before we arrived which was never confirmed and so we had to opt for a cheap hotel last minute. No big loss, as for less than $100 we had two(!) large beds and a pleasant enough room to blog, free wifi all day and waffles in the mornings.
Our first night in Bozeman we checked out Montana Ale Works for some good brews and some snacks, and it’s a solid option if you’re itching for a beer and some barfood. The next night, Alan’s birthday, we went to Plonk, which came highly recommended by friends we met on the road. It was a lovely dinner, though writing this now over a month later I remember little about the food itself, other than us asking the waitress her thoughts on certain dishes vs. others, to which she replied that the pork belly appetizer was delicious but “not that big” and “light.” Friends, it was six inches thick of pig fat. Lordy. Montanans do “light” meat like meat eating champions! After dinner, though Alan tried to go home, all tired and full of pig fat, knowing him well enough I convinced him to check out nearby Copper Whiskey Bar for a drink, and then rushed us out just in time to get some birthday desserts before the local co-op closed. We went for a walk around town while we enjoyed the treats and I sang him happy birthday using a lighter as his “candle” to blow out. Rounding the corner on our walk home, we came across the cutest rock star in history… a thirteen year old guitar player/singer and his dad! Oh. My. Goodness. We stood and watched, all smiles, as this little kiddo serenaded us with a cover of Guns N Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine.” I requested Freebird in encore, but it was not yet in his repertoire, so we heard Sweet Home Alabama before I decided this was definitely where I wanted to spend the $5 I found on the street in Portland and had been carrying in my pocket for the “right occasion” ever since. I wish I got his name. He’s going to be the next Mick Jagger. You rock, little man, you rock. Having had a few cocktails at our dinner I left little Jagger with the $5 bill in his guitar case and flashed him the rock/devil’s horn signal and a hearty, “ROCK ON!” Go on, judge me. I was bewitched by his pre-teen rockstarness.
I leave you with a couple other interesting things to note.
- Somewhere on the road in Montana we saw a billboard for the Testical Festival (testyfesty.com). Woah. So, that’s a thing apparently. I’ll let you check out the website for yourself if you’re so inclined. (Yes, the website is really testyfesty.com)
- Reading Update. I figured I’d share some of the more interesting reads I’m enjoying on this trip, and while in Montana I finished Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs. Beautiful book. I’ve read a number of her novels now and I’m so totally enamored with her. Her work is chock full of delicious sentences. Every sentence is pure delight and mastery of the English language. To the point that Alan disenjoys my company while I read her work because I want to stop at every page to share with him a sentence, or a beautiful metaphor she’s used, or the entire chapter. Oops.